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Thurston County, Washington
Genealogy and History

Obituaries and Death Notices

E.L. Adams
While he was working as second loader in the camp of the Fir Tree Logging company 10 miles southeast of Olympia about 2 o’clock yesterday afternoon, E.L. Adams was struck by a cable in the head and was killed almost instantly. The body was brought in to the Jesse T. Mills Undertaking Co. parlor where it lies awaiting arrangements. The deceased was born in Oklahoma, but had lived most of his life in Washington. In addition to a father and mother he is survived by a wife, two sons Wesley and Fred and a daughter Viola. He was 32 years of age. [Wednesday, November 14, 1917, Morning Olympian (Olympia, WA)- TE - sub by FoFG]

Andrine Bak
Mrs. Andrine Bak, 92, resident of this county for the past nine years, passed away early Sunday morning at the home of her daughter, Mrs. N. B. Helland, near Deep Lake, in the Plum Station neighborhood. Mrs. Bak was a native of Norway and came to this country 48 years ago. Surviving besides her daughter, Mrs. N. B. Helland, are ten grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren. Furneral services will be held from the Warnica and Warnica Funeral home Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. Rev. Sayler officiating.
[From: The Daily Olympian, unknown date - Sub by KT]

Mrs. George Ball
EVANSVILLE – Mrs. George Ball, 94, for many years a resident of Evansville, died at her home in Olympia, Wash., Apr. 25. She had been living there with her daughter, Mrs. George Dell, formerly of Evansville, for a period of years. Surviving are Mrs. Dell, 13 grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren. Funeral services and burial were at Olympia. [
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wis.) Tuesday, May 7, 1946; transcribed by FoFG mz]

Caroline Drake
Mrs. Caroline Drake, 65 years old, died at her residence, 1010 Columbia street, at 4 o'clock this morning. The funeral will be held in the Presbyterian church at 2 o'clock Wednesday afternoon, June 29, interment being in the Masonic cemetery. Deceased was a native of Indiana and came to Washington thirty years ago. She leaves a family of ten children, all of whom reside in Thurston County.
[The Olympia Daily Recorder, June 27, 1904 - Submitted by a Friend of Free Genealogy]

Lyman D. Drake
DEATH OF LYMAN DRAKE Caused by a Fall He Received at South Union on Wednesday
Lyman D. Drake, the well known resident of South Union, died at 5 o'clock on Wednesday evening as the result of a fall he received but three hours before. Mr. Drake was a brick mason by trade and was engaged in constructing a chimney on a house belonging to D. R. Burdick, at South Union. Mr. Drake was at work on a scaffolding about twelve feet from the ground when it gave way, throwing the unfortunate man heavily on his head and shoulder. The result evidently was that his spine was broken. The immediate effect was that he lost his eyesight, but he retained consciousness until his death.
He was at once picked up and taken to the house but continued to grow worse. Three hours afterward he was moved to the home of his daughter, Mrs. W. J. Abbott, but died soon after being moved. He was 72 years of age and a wife and ten children, four boys and six girls, survive him. The funeral will be held this forenoon at 11 o'clock from the South Union church and interment will be in the Masonic cemetery.
[The Morning Olympian of Friday, October 20, 1899 - Submitted by a Friend of Free Genealogy]

Ralph Dunbar
Ralph Dunbar Succumbs to a Stroke of Apoplexy This Morning
Olympia, Wash., Sept. 19-Chief Justice Ralph Dunbar of the Washington state supreme court, died here early this morning after a lingering illness of several weeks. The attending physician said that apparently apoplexy was the immediate cause of death, which occurred shortly after midnight.
Chief Justice Dunbar had been a member of the state supreme court since Washington was admitted to the Union and served three terms as chief justice. He was nominated without opposition on the non partisan judiciary ticket at the state-wide primary last week to succeed himself.
Ralph Oregon Dunbar was born in Schuyler County, Illinois, April 26, 1845, and when but 1 year old was taken by his parents across the plains and mountains by ox team to the Willamette valley, Oregon, where his father engaged in farming. He was educated at Willamette University and in 1867 moved to Olympia, where he took up the study of law and was admitted to the bar in 1869. He was appointed clerk of the territorial supreme court in that year and served until 1871, when he moved to Yakima, where he practiced law until 1875, then moving to The Dalles, Or.
In 1877 he returned to --------- and the next year was elected a member of the upper house of the territorial legislature. He was returned as a member of the lower house in 1885 and was elected speaker. He served as chairman of the committee on public lands in the constitutional convention in 1889 and upon admission of the state to the Union mounted the supreme bench. He is survived by a widow and three children.
[Oakland Tribune, Oakland California September 19, 1912 - Sub by Shauna Williams]

Frank William Edgbert
Frank William Edgbert died 04 January 1935
Frank W. Edgbert, 89, Civil War veteran and pioneer of the Sound country, died at his home, Thomas and Conger streets, Friday evening.
Mr. Edgbert came to this state 46 years ago and engaged in business at Arcadia, operating a general store there until 17 years ago, when he retired and came to Olympia to reside. He was born in the state of New York August 10, 1845.
In early life Mr. Edgbert went to Chicago, and at the outbreak of the Civil War enlisted in the 91st Illinois Infantry. He had the distinction of being with the troops that participated in the funeral services for the martyred president, Abraham Lincoln. Following the war, Mr. Edgbert located in Indiana, and came from there to this state.
He was a member of the local post of the G. A. R., and his death further depleted the fast thinning ranks of the corps. Mrs. Edgbert died here in 1929. Surviving are two sons, Charles R., and Frank William, five daughters, Mrs. Irene (Hugh) Bridges, Mrs. Nellie (Wallace) Lott, Mrs. Emma (George) Green, Mrs. Clara (Henri) Schlottmann and Mrs. Florence (George) Carlo, and 27 grandchildren, all residents of the county. Mr. Edgbert was a member of the Christian Missionary Alliance congregation. The body is at the Mills parlor.
["The Daily Olympian," Olympia, Thurston County, Washington of 05 January 1935 - Sub. by Clara Jacobson]

Funeral services for Frank William Edgbert, 89, pioneer and Civil War veteran, will be held from the Mills chapel Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 with interment in the I.O.O.F. cemetery where full military honors will be accorded. Mr. Edgbert is survived by two sons, five daughters, 27 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Mr. Edgbert engaged in business at Arcadia 46 years ago and was postmaster there for a number of years, and in early days traded extensively with the Indians. He retired 17 years ago and came to Olympia to live.
Note: Frank William Edgbert was the son of Fletcher William Edgbert and Almira Watson. He was born on August 10, 1845 in Harrisburg, New York. He married Delia Vianna Sharp on September 2, 1875 in Grundy County, Illinois.
["The Sunday Olympian" of 06 January 1935 - Sub. by Clara Jacobson]

Hamilton Gleanham
Hamilton Gleanham, a young man well known in the vicinity of Olympia, Wash., was killed Sunday afternoon while hunting deer near Yelm by the accidental discharge of a gun which he held in his hand.
[Columbia courier. (Kennewick, Wash.) October 16, 1903]

Hildebrand Children
Mr. Hildebrand, of Olympia, has lost three children within a week by diphtheria.
[Grant County News (Canyon City, OR) – Saturday, November 15, 1879]

Hazel Hill

Hazel Hill Passes Away At Olympia, Washington

Hazel Hill, one of the nine-year-old twin daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Freeman Hill of this city died at Olympia, Wash., Feb. 5, 1921.  The two girls have been going to school at Oakville, and staying with an uncle.

Hazel was taken suddenly ill Wednesday morning and was taken to Olympia Thursday and operated on for appendicitis.  Word was sent to her parents and Mrs. Hill left Friday but was too late, as the little girl died before her mother could arrive.

Hazel was born in Springfield, Oct. 26, 1912.  Besides her mother and father, Mr. and Mrs. Freeman Hill, and twin sister, Wavel Hill, are two brothers, Freeman and Archie and a sister, Belzona.

The funeral was held at the Walker chapel Tuesday at 2:30 o'clock.  Rev. Harry Neet officiated, followed by interment in Laurel Hill cemetery.
[The Springfield News (Springfield, OR) - Thursday, February 10, 1921]

George F. Hoffman
FATAL ACCIDENT – George F. Hoffman, a well known, popular young man residing at Olympia, was found dead at Tumwater on the 4th instant. An investigation showed that he had, in the dark, fallen down an embankment, struck a stump, fractured his skull and died almost instantly.
[Willamette Farmer (Salem, OR) – Saturday, March 16, 1872 - JD - Sub by FoFG]

Thomas Allen Hollcraft
Thomas Allen Hollcraft, the only son of Mr. and Mrs. T.P. Hollcraft died at the family residence, at 2: 45 o’clock this morning. He was 15 years old July 27, last. Death resulted from pulmonary tuberculosis, complicated with a heart trouble. He had been a sufferer since last February. [Thursday, September 23, 1909 Olympia Daily Recorder (Olympia, WA) - TE - Sub by FoFG]

Carol J. House
Others killed last evening were Carol J. House, 17, Tumwater, Thurston county, the Associated Press reported...Miss House died when the trailer of a truck slammed through a freeway fence in Olympia and struck her car. The cab of the truck, driven by Aaron Kuhlman, 33, Tumwater, who was unhurt, remained on a freeway approach from Olympia to Highway 410. Gasoline spewed from the trailer and caught fire, spreading flames along several hundred feet of highway.
[The Seattle Times (Seattle, WA) – Thursday, November 23, 1967]

William Kennedy
Dr. William Kennedy, 82, died Thursday, March 27, in the Washington State Soldiers’ Home in Orting. He was born on Dec. 25, 1897, in Woods, OR, and had lived in Olympia from 1947 to 1964. Dr. Kennedy was a dentist and was retired. He was a 60-year member of the Tillamook Masonic Lodge F and AM. Surviving are his wife, Christel, Olympia; one son, Robert, Venice, CA; one daughter, Margaret Kennedy, Portland, OR; a stepdaughter, Magdalena Spicher, Olympia; also eight grandchildren. A funeral service will be held Tuesday, April 1, at 1 PM in the Washington State Soldiers’ Home in Orting. Rev. Archie Freeman will officiate. Burial will follow in the Soldiers’ Cemetery. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Hill Funeral Home, Puyallup. [
Daily Olympian, March 29, 1980 - Submitted by Kathie Marynik]

Edwin LaVigne
Edwin A. LaVigne passed away on September 21, 2005 after a long illness.

He was born on September 30, 1929 in Olympia to Willard Oliver and Rosella Anna (Thunder) LaVigne. He was employed by Georgia Pacific for 17 years until he bought Lacey Valve Grinding, which he operated for 20 years until he retired to Shelton.

He was preceded in death by his father; mother; brother, Bill LaVigne; and sister, Dorothy Hall.

He is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, Betty LaVigne; son, Randy LaVigne, of Oregon; daughter, Susie LaVigne, of Oregon; three stepchildren, Ron Wilmoth, Patricia Brochu, and Mike Wilmoth, all of Olympia; ten grandchildren; nine great- grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; and his faithful companion, "Freckles".

He enjoyed traveling with his wife, auto racing, watching sports, bird watching, and viewing nature and the outdoors. At his request, there will be no funeral services.
[The Olympian (WA) - Sunday, September 25, 2005.  Contributed by Maurene Richard Miller]

Freeman C. Miller
Freeman C. Miller, 87, passed away at the Nisqually Valley Care Center in McKenna, Wash. on March 17, 2006. Freeman was born Sept. 20, 1918, in Millersburg, Penn. to Cyrus E. Miller and Ella Selena Lenker.
During his childhood, Freeman helped his grandfather on his farm in Pennsylvania. He later left grade school to work in a local restaurant.
Freeman joined the United States Army at the beginning of World War II and served stateside as a cook and baker where he rose to the rank of sergeant. After he was discharged from the Army, Freeman worked as a warehouse man for Mt. Rainier Ordinance Depot (Fort Lewis) and later at the Puget Sound Naval shipyard in Bremerton, Wash. He retired after 29 years of service.
While Freeman was stationed at Fort Lewis, he met and married E. Fern McKernan of Tacoma, Wash., on Oct. 15, 1943. They were married 36 years when she passed away on Sept. 23, 1983, while the couple were living in Yelm, Wash. Freeman then met and married Mary Housden, of McKenna, Wash., on April 27, 1986 at the Yelm Prairie Bowling Lanes. Freeman was enthusiastically adopted and lovingly accepted into Mary’s family.
His friends and family will fondly remember Freeman’s delight when he was surrounded by people having a good time, be it a birthday party for a grandchild or a bowling league dinner. We all cherish the memory of his happy, distinctive laugh ringing out at a backyard barbecue.
Dad was an avid fisherman, and his daughter Mickey fondly remembers bobbing around in Puget Sound every Sunday of her younger years in the 1950s and 1960s while Freeman caught fish and Mickey drowned bait. Dad was also an accomplished bowler, and he and Mary continued to bowl frequently and competitively until shortly before his passing.
Freeman was a meticulous gardener. His lawn was always mowed, his gardens weed-free, and he was a master of the perfectly pruned hedge.
Freeman and Mary had a motor home and traveled the area for many years, camping on local beaches, usually with family. He also enjoyed working on paint-by-number pictures and hooking rugs.
Freeman is survived by: his daughter, Mickey (Don) Pederson of Puyallup, Wash.; his stepdaughter, Diana (Jim) Clevenger, Olympia, Wash.; his stepson, Bill (Donna) Housden, of McKenna, Wash.; two grandchildren, Stephen Smith of Richmond, Va. and Teri King of Fort Hood, Texas; five step-grandchildren, Kari Larson of Doty, Wash., John Housden of Tacoma, Wash, Kristina Reninger of McKenna, Wash., Brenda Linderkamp, Graham, Wash., Nicki Medicus, Georgia, and Dani Frost, Yelm, Wash; also, nine great-grandchildren. Freeman’s younger brother, Kenneth, preceded him in death in 1971.
Dad was a humble, quiet man and requested that there be no services. We will respect that wish.
["Nisqually Valley News", Yelm, Washington, March 24, 2006 - Sub. by Mrs. Carole Dick]

George Miller
Death of George Miller, Formerly of Thurston
Vancouver, May 15.-George Miller, aged 42, died here Monday of pneumonia at the St. Joseph's hospital. He was born in Thurston county, Washington, January 9, 1860. He left no family other than several grown brothers, who are prominent citizens here.
[Olympia Record (Olympia, WA), Wednesday, May 15, 1907 - Transcribed by Colleen Weeks Breeden]

Watson Rodenberger
Pioneer is Killed by Falling Tree
Olympia, Wash., Sept. 5 – Watson Rodenberger, a well known blacksmith of Shelton, was killed yesterday while out hunting in the woods near that place by a falling tree.
It appears that he and his wife were camping near Lost Prairie and during the day he went out hunting and in some way was caught by a falling tree.
Mr. Rodenberger was one of the best know pioneers of Mason county, having run a shop at Shelton for a number of years. He was about 60 years of age and the father of a large family. His wife, one daughter and two sons survive him.
There were formerly three other grown sons in the family, but grim tragedy appears to pursue the family. Within the past six years one son was accidentally drowned, another accidentally shot and the third died of quick consumption contracted by accidentally falling in the bay in the winter, the father's death now making the fourth tragedy.
[The Spokesman Review, Sept. 6, 1907, Spokane, Washington - Sub by Robyn Greenlund]


Drowned – We regret to state that Mr. Levi L. Smith, who had been elected a member of the Legislature for Lewis county, was drowned about the middle of last month, in the Puget's Sound, near Newmarket.  He was alone in a canoe, and being subject to fits, it is presumed that his untimely death was in consequence of having been seized with them while on the water.  - Oregon Free Press.

[Oregon Spectator (Oregon City, OT) – Thursday, October 26, 1848]

Rebekah Tyrell
Mrs. Rebekah Tyrell died near Toledo, Wash., a few days ago. She was the widow of F. W. Tyrell, and had been a resident of Bucoda for some years. She crossed the plains in 1849, and first settled in Oregon. [
East Oregonian (Pendleton, OR) – Saturday, June 9, 1900 - JD - Sub by FoFG] 

Lydia Vandervort
Vancouver Relatives Attend Funeral of Mrs. Roy Vandervort

Mr. Roy Vandervort of Vancouver was called here Monday on account of the serious illness of his wife, who was here visiting her sister, Mrs. Abbie Sholtz.  Mrs. Vandervort died Tuesday and the body was shipped to Vancouver Wednesday for burial.  Relatives from out of town who came to attend the funeral services Wednesday were her aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. O. L. Oakley; an aunt, Mrs. Geo. Diggs, and grandmother, Mrs. M. A. Kinne from Shelton; her aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Ira Noble from Rignall; and cousin, Mrs. Clarence Saeger of Shelton.

Mrs. Vandervort’s mother, Mrs. Jennie Purdy of Tomah, Wis., who has been here visiting for the past few months, Mrs. Vandervort’s sister, Mrs. Abbie Sholtz, and the husband, Mr. R. Vandervort, left with the body for Vancouver.
[Morning Olympian (Olympia, WA) – Friday, February 4, 1921]

William Young
Wm. Young, proprietor of the New England Hotel, at Olympia, was found dead in his dead in his bed with a cigar in his mouth and a copy of the Police Gazette in his hand, on the 17th.  [Grant County News (Canyon City, OR) – Saturday, May 10, 1879, JD - Sub by FoFG]


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