jim-stoffer

Jim Stoffer 2016 Grand Marshall

2016 Grand Marshall, Jim Stoffer Bio

How long you have lived in Clallam County?
We moved here in 2002 as a Coast Guard assignment; home is where the Coast Guard sends you and we have made Sequim our home. I have served as a volunteer and advocate for the Sequim School District since 2002. My daughter Sarah attended Sequim Schools from 3rd-12th grade and is now a senior at Boise State University. My wife Diana works for Trinity United Methodist Church as the Faith in Action Coordinator.

Education background
I’m originally from Nampa, Idaho; graduated High School in 1979; and attended Boise State University before joining the Coast Guard in 1980. I earned a BA in Political Science and AA Psychology in 1993 from Columbia College.

Work Experience
I retired from the Coast Guard in 2010 after 31 years of active duty service in afloat and shore-based units. Former Commanding Officer of USCGC Cuttyhunk out of Port Angeles, and the USCGC Mustang in Seward, Alaska. I also served with Patrol Forces Southwest Asia; in the Kingdom of Bahrain. My last assignment was as Liaison Officer; Afloat Training Group Pacific Northwest (Hold certifications as a Coast Guard Training Specialist in Leadership, Training, Total Quality Management; and Shipboard and small unit administration and management). During three of my tours I served as the USCG Partnership in Education Coordinator (PIE) for schools in Honolulu, Hi, San Diego, Ca, and Seward, Alaska. PIE is an education program that the Coast Guard partners with local schools through Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics know as STEM based programs.

Summary of your community involvement
Hellen Haller PTA/PTO 2002-2005, Sequim Middle School PTA 2005; Girl Scout Troop Leader 2002-2005. Sequim High School Choir Boosters President, Sequim High School Operetta Club Production Team; Co-Chair Sequim School District Facilities Committee, Past President of Citizens for Sequim Schools; League of Women Voters Voter Crisis Committee. Serves on the Sequim Irrigation Festival Board; Member of the Sequim Dungeness Chamber of Commerce (Individual Membership) Recipient, Certificate of Merit for Community Leadership and Service to Education, Washington Association of School Administrators. Trinity United Methodist Church Lay Leader; and Sister City Chaperone for the Student Delegation Oct 15 Trip to Shiso, Japan.

Tawana & Joe Borden

Each year the Grand Marshal is selected by the Irrigation Festival Committee as someone who has made significant contributions to the community. The Grand Marshals for the 2015 Irrigation Festival are Joe and Tawana Borden.

The Bordens say it feels wonderful to be named grand marshals. “We’ve enjoyed having the opportunity to name other grand marshals,” Joe said, “and now that we’ve retired from the festival after 19 years, it’s an honor.”

The Bordens moved to Sequim after Joe retired from the U.S. Army after 22 years, including three years in Army Intelligence in Vietnam, and bought their first home here after moving around so much. Tawana’s parents already were in Sequim and she said they decided their children needed to set roots with grandparents.

Joe went back to work here selling propane and car parts and Tawana worked for the Jimmy Come Lately. She has been in banking for more than 28 years and remains part-time.

Joe is originally from Atlantic City, N.J., and Tawana from Chugiak, Alaska.

During their marriage, they’ve lived in Oklahoma, Texas, Hawaii, Virginia, Germany, North Carolina and finally in California before coming to Sequim. They met at Fort Richardson in Alaska where Joe was working as a bartender in the non-commissioned officer’s bar and Tawana was the head cashier.

Since moving to Sequim, they have remained active in the community.

Joe held offices of Commander of the VFW post and District Commander for the VFW twice, as well as Commander of the American Legion while Tawana was president of the Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW. He also was on the board of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce for eight years.

They also are involved with the Shipley Center and the Captain Joseph House Foundation with Joe serving both boards as vice president, and Tawana helping with their annual fundraisers. Joe also works with the Advisory board for the Sequim High School auto shop and is the District Coordinator as well as a instructor for AARP Drivers Training Classes.

They’ve been married 45 years and have a son and daughter together — Chuck and Tawni — and they both have two daughters from previous relationships —Kelley from Tawana and Lisa from Joe.

Altogether they have nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

For the Bordens, they say the Irrigation Festival has meant a lot to them.

“It’s been all about the community,” Joe said.

“Every year you meet new people and have new adventures and it’s kept us young.”

They joined the festival after the Sequim Irrigation Festival Ditch walkers, volunteers who built the float and accompanied it with the festival’s royalty around the state, asked them to accompany them.

Tawana drove the float in Port Angeles during the Sequim Irrigation Festival’s 100th year and remains the only female driver of the float since they began volunteering.

During their tenure, they held almost every position from being in charge to keeping track of the portable toilets.

Tawana said her favorite moment of the festival was going through town in the float.

“We were most proud when you go through the town and the hometown crowd is oohing and awing and to see the girls (royalty) in their element,” Tawana said.
Biography contributed by Sequim Gazette

2014 Grand Marshal Gary and Jan Smith
Each year the Grand Marshal is selected by the Irrigation Festival Committee as someone who has made significant contributions to the community.

The Grand Marshall for the 2014 Irrigation Festival Gary and Jan Smith

Gary Smith was born in Sequim, son of Arvie and Dottie Smith. Gary’s family came from Alabama and Seattle. Janice, his wife, was born in Port Angeles, daughter of Fred and Katie Schmuck. Janice’s father was also born in Sequim. Her mother was born in Iowa. Jan and Gary both attended University of Puget Sound; Gary graduated with a chemistry degree, and then worked at Rayonier Mill for five years. In 1970 the opportunity came to farm when Janice’s father wanted to retire.

Janice would be the third generation on Maple View Farm at Washington Harbor in Sequim, following her father, Fred, and her grandfather, Ernest Schmuck who emigrated from Germany at the age of 20, and later started Maple View Farm in 1933.

Gary has served for 35 years representing the irrigaters in local water issues. He has been a director on the Clallam Co-op Board for 36 years and served as board director on NW Farm Credit Services Bank for 14 years and four of those years as chairman. Although the farm has been transferred to his sons, Troy and Ben, he still works on the 400 cow dairy and crop operation.

Janice has enjoyed farm life and raising four children, three who are living close by and one son, Anthony, who is a Navy pilot. She is proud of her nine grandchildren and fi ve great-grandchildren. Janice spends her time doing the bookkeeping for the farm with the help of daughter, Wendy, also who is a nurse at OMC. Janice supports helping women with their education through her membership of 49 years in her P.E.O. Chapter where she is currently president.

Both Gary and Janice joined Trinity United Methodist Church when they were teenagers, they were married there in 1960 and still are active. Together Gary and Janice, when they are not driving tractor or chasing cows, enjoy short trips on their sailboat, traveling and tinkering with antique cars. But the highlights for them are working and playing with their family.

On the Irrigation Festival: “It has always held importance. First hearing stories of our parents involvement of playing in festival baseball competitions, festival picnics, airplane rides and going to the BIG PARADE. For Gary it is memories of showing his 4-H and FFA animals at the Sequim High School grounds. For Janice it was performing the Maypole Dance and earning 25 cents for sweeping out her Dad (Fred Schmuck)’s school bus for the carnival ride on the Octopus. It was a big deal to be in two parades, Sequim and Port Townsend, as part of the 1959 Festival Royalty with Kaye (Thompson) Strong and Hazel (Messenger) Lowe. We are very proud to be again a part of our Irrigation Festival.”

2013 Grand Marshal Elaine Grinnell
Each year the Grand Marshal is selected by the Irrigation Festival Committee as someone who has made significant contributions to the community.

The Grand Marshall for the 2013 Irrigation Festival is Elaine Grinnell.

Elaine Grinnell will serve as grand parade marshal during the 118th Irrigation Festival this coming May. Over her 76 years, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe citizen has clung close to her cultural and geographic roots, having been reared by her grandparents, David and Mary Prince until age 10 in the tribe’s original Jamestown community, established in 1874. She graduated from Port Angeles High School, earned a degree in counseling and worked for the Port Angeles School District as a counselor to Native American students. She married Fred Grinnell 52 years ago and the couple has three children: Jack, Julie and Kurt, plus nine grandchildren. After their children graduated from high school, the couple moved back to Jamestown on property that had remained in her family over the decades.

Long before the tribe was federally recognized in 1981, Grinnell served on its tribal council in the early 1970s and today is an honored elder of the tribe. She continues to take an active role, as a member of the housing improvement committee, and working on education and scholarship opportunities with the tribe. For the past several years, Grinnell has been a storyteller of S’Klallam legends to other tribes and non-natives, including at the annual canoe journeys. She is a member of the Northwest Native American Basket Weavers Association and Northwest Native American Storytellers Association, teaching others how to tell stories.

Upon being named grand marshal, Grinnell said, “I can remember going to the Irrigation Festival as a small child. My mother, Mildred Judson, was a grand marshal, too, and I think it’s the most exciting thing to happen during this lifetime of mine, to represent the people of Clallam County. I am especially honored because I think it’s the first time a native person, other than my mother, was selected. I am very excited because all of my kids are going to try to make it back for the parade.”

Biography by Pat Coate

2012 Grand Marshal Derrell Sharp
Each year the Grand Marshal is selected by the Irrigation Festival Committee as someone who has made significant contributions to the community.

The Grand Marshall for the 2012 Irrigation Festival is Derrell Sharp.

As part of a family who pioneered an irrigation farm in Washington’s Columbia Basin, Derrell Sharp said he learned every aspect of the irrigation process that Sequim holds dear. “Being the oldest festival in state is an accomplishment,” he said. “I recognize what they are doing here to keep farming important in the valley. I see a real swing to smaller hobby farms.  The quality of food produced locally is so much better.”

Derrell got the taste for farming early on. He was born in Portland, Oregon, and lived eight years in Redmond, Oregon while his dad was an Ag. teacher. His father, Derrell Sr., received 80 acres in the Basin after serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II and being a prisoner of war in Batan.

Derrell Jr. graduated from Connell High School in 1965 and joined the Navy Seabees during the Vietnam War. He served in the DMZ in Quang Tri, northern Vietnam, for one year doing road construction and building facilities such as a hospital, helicopter pad, bunkers, and airstrip with the U.S. Navy Mobile Construction Battalion. After discharge, he started college at Columbia Basin Junior College in Pasco, Washington.  Derrell began taking courses towards his dream of teaching.

Darrell returned to the family farm in 1970 and farmed until 1981 when he moved to Sequim. His mother Roma moved here before him and lives in Sunland. He fell in love with the rural setting while visiting. “You plow one way and see the mountains,” Derrell said, “You plow the other and see the water.” His early business ventures included a landscaping maintenance and pest control company, a home garden center, and landscape maintenance for Dominion Terrace on Third Avenue.

As proprietor of the family farm, Darrell leased out the property for wholesale asparagus before ultimately selling it in 1984. Eventually, Derrell achieved his goal of teaching when a previous agriculture teacher left just a few days school started in 1996 leaving the school in need of an instructor. Through his experience with the nursery, administrators were familiar with Darrell’s expertise and asked him to fill in. “It went over my expectations,” Derrell said about his first year teaching. He later sold the pest control business and leased out the garden center property to Ferrell Gas so he could focus on teaching.

Derrell met high marks during his tenure as an agriculture teacher at Sequim High School. He earned awards as Washington Walmart Teacher of the Year, and Washington Nurserymen’s Association Teacher of the Year. Toyota awarded him a grant for a project studying rabbit manure to make effective compost. Along with last year’s Grand Marshall, Emily Westcott, he continued and expanded the citywide flower basket program. Derrell also helped the school district receive a farm for its FFA program. His wife Lynne, a retired Sequim High teacher, whom he married in 1989, said Derrell had a real connection with kids and the community. They have two children and six grandchildren.

Eventually, Derrell earned a Bachelors of Science in Agriculture degree with vocational certification from Washington State University in spring 2000. Derrell said one of his best memories one year was handing out nearly $100,000 in scholarships to FFA students who had sold their animal projects at Fair and profited from their own agricultural businesses. He retired in 2009.

In retirement, Darrell has stayed active doing some traveling. He also completed his CDL license; driving several months for a seafood company.  Following his military roots, Derrell is training to be a service officer for Disabled American Veterans to assist in the process of veterans receiving benefits. His long-range goal is to help them transition into jobs. Through this he is working with the Department of Veterans Affairs project called Grow Green to help veterans create jobs in the agriculture industry. Derrell and Lynne continue their green thumb ways with a small greenhouse they converted out of their dog Buddy’s kennel. Derrell is also learning to fish from the shore.

The couple plans to stay in Sequim. “Why do we stay here? We want to be here,” Derrell said.

2011 Grand Marshal
Each year the Grand Marshal is selected by the Irrigation Festival Committee as someone who has made significant contributions to the community.

The Grand Marshall for the 2011 Irrigation Festival is Emily Westcott, known by many in the area for her tireless efforts on behalf of the community.
Emily was born in Tacoma where she grew up, attended school and lived for 23 years. After graduating from Washington State with a degree in physical education, Emily moved to Olympia and took a job teaching P.E. and Health in Centralia at Maple Lane, a State Correctional School. She worked there for 10 years, while simultaneously studying for and receiving a Masters degree in counseling from Oregon State in 1970.
In 1979, Emily moved to the Olympic Peninsula to take a job as Vice-Principal at Port Angeles High School. At the time, she thought P.A. was “at the end of the world” and it took her a couple of years to get used to the small town atmosphere after living in Olympia. Emily lived in Port Angeles for about six months and then moved to Sequim where she has lived ever since. After marrying Ken Whitney, Emily left P.A. H.S. for a short while before returning to work teaching at Choice, an alternative school. She worked there from 1987 until her retirement in 1998.
Emily’s husband, Ken, owned the Red Ranch Motel and Restaurant and after their divorce in 1991, Emily ran the restaurant from 1993 through 2003. For about five years of that time, she was working at the restaurant in the mornings, travelling to P.A. to teach, and then returning to Sequim to work at the restaurant.
In 1995, Emily started visiting friends on Orcas Island but it was a long 5 hour trip each way. One day, she took a chartered flight and arrived in 25 minutes. She thought “I can do this” and signed up for ground school at Wright Bros. Aviation, becoming a licensed pilot in August, 1996. She has been flying ever since and regularly donates flights for local charities to auction off for fund raising.
Although she is “retired” from the school system, Emily is busier than most people with full time jobs. In addition to many community activities, she works as a substitute teacher and especially enjoys working at Sequim H.S.
Emily started working with the Chamber of Commerce in 1993 and served on Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce board for many years. One of the projects for which she is well known is organizing colorful flower baskets and containers on and around Washington Street. Emily said that when she was at the Red Ranch, there was a vacant, weed filled lot across the street and she organized a group to get it cleaned up and beautified. From there, they moved down the street, little by little, spreading the flower baskets along the street. In 1997, she began getting sponsorships for the baskets ($100 per basket) and raises about $12,000 per year for 130+ baskets, barrels and mini-gardens. The flowers and baskets themselves come from Sequim High School students who grow the flowers from seed. Emily is also responsible for Christmas decorations at the Bank of America Park at Washington and Sequim Avenue and at other locations throughout town.
Emily is obviously a woman who gets things done and knows how to get people working toward a common goal. She admitted that if someone stops to chat with her as she is putting up decorations or flowers, they’ll get put to work.
For the past 17 years, Emily has worked with the Irrigation Festival, using her considerable persuasive abilities to tackle fundraising and get sponsors for the various Festival events.
Emily lights up when she talks about her current involvement with the Sequim Museum and Arts Center (MAC).She got involved on the board after being asked by Bob McCrory and has been President for the past two years. Some of her recent accomplishments include working on behalf of MAC as it has remodeled its exhibit space on Cedar Street, starting a field day (outdoor themed history exhibit), and initiating a large yard sale/swap meet to raise funds.
Emily said that what she loves about Sequim is the small town atmosphere and the fact that in this “little pond” she can get to know so many people. Because Sequim has that small town feel, she can take pride in knowing that her efforts can make a big difference to the community. “It’s fun doing things to make Sequim a better place”, she said. Emily describes Sequim as a “very charitable community that gives until it bleeds.”
Since Emily arrived in Sequim in 1979, there have obviously been changes, but she sees most of the changes in a positive light. The downtown is more attractive, the Boys and Girls Club has been a positive addition that has had an impact on many children and families, and there are more cultural offerings at places like MAC and the Olympic Theater Arts.
Emily was named Citizen of the year in 2004. She said she had been nominated for about 10 years and was beginning to feel like Susan Lucci before she was finally selected.
Emily said she was very surprised and pleased to be selected as Grand Marshall for the 116th Irrigation Festival. “I thought you had to live here longer”, she said. She is very excited and looking forward to participating in Festival Events.
So, as you drive through town and appreciate the colorful flower baskets or marvel at the holiday decorations, think of Emily Westcott and if you stop to say hi to her, be prepared to lend her a hand.

2010 Grand Marshal
Grand Marshal Bob and Elaine Caldwellr
Each year the Grand Marshal is selected by the Irrigation Festival Committee as someone who has made significant contributions to the community.

Bob and Elaine Caldwell both grew up in upstate New York. During their time together they have had the opportunity to live all over the country and in India. They have two daughters, Margot and Janette, and 4 grandchildren. Their oldest grandchild is about to graduate from high school.

Elaine started teaching junior high school in 1961. Bob was a soil and water conservation specialist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They fell in love with the Pacific Northwest many years ago and had an opportunity to move to Portland in 1980. They retired in 1994 and moved to Sequim.

 

With his agricultural background Bob was asked to be a part of the county growth management efforts and to help examine options for protecting the county’s rich farmland. Through that work Bob and his colleagues decided to bring in the power of non-profits and foundations and thus Friends of the Fields was formed. It was incorporated in late 1999 and received non-profit status in 2000. So far they have protected 151 acres of farmland through a perpetual easement so that it will be farmland forever.

 

Elaine enjoys painting and started painting sets for the theatre. When they had to move out of Howard Wood Theatre, she was instrumental in the purchase of the church that now houses Olympic Theatre Arts (OTA). She did the fundraising to raise the down payment for the building and land. OTA bought the building in 2001 and moved into the building in 2003. The campaign to renovate it started right away. Code conflicts led to a closure in 2006 and it took three years to complete enough of the renovations to be able to move back into the theatre in September 2009. Bob and Elaine are in awe of the number of people and businesses that came together to make these renovations possible. Elaine feels that a “lot of things have happened over the last few years to keep hope alive and there were many mini-miracles of giving that kept it going”.

 

Bob stepped in to manage the construction of the theatre renovation after the closure and is the chair of the building committee for OTA. Bob got involved in building sets for the theatre and likes doing it because “it gives him a chance to do create without having to obtain building permits”.

 

Bob and Friends of the Fields have been instrumental in getting the Community Organic Garden started. It all started when two high school students wanted Bob’s help to save farmland for an ecology club project. Because that is a complicated and lengthy process they focused instead on helping to create a local organic food supply. The Community Garden project was born from that request.

 

Bob and Elaine both have a long list of other accomplishments and causes they support. They include the Sequim Community Foundation, Sequim Humanities and Arts Alliance, First Choice Professionals, Dungeness River Management Team, Dungeness Irrigation Group, Peninsula Evangelical Friends Church and much more. They work tirelessly for the community, the arts, saving farmland and supporting and encouraging a better way of life in Sequim. They were named Citizen of the Year for 2006.

 

When asked how they feel about being named Grand Marshal for the Sequim Irrigation Festival, they said they are “humbled, honored and having a good time”. As Bob says though, “you may be a peacock today but tomorrow you may be the feather duster”.

2009 Grand Marshal
Jeri Smith
Each year the Grand Marshal is selected by the Irrigation Festival Committee as someone who has made significant contributions to the community.

Jeri Smith
Jeri Smith was born to Pearl and Clair Gilchrist in Sequim.  She has two brothers, Ken and Roger and one sister, Leah.  Her family moved away during Jeri’s sophomore year, but she returned to attend Sequim High School for her senior year and graduated in 1967.  In high school Jeri took mostly business related classes, was a founding member of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), and played the bass clarinet in the band.

Jeri met and married her husband Ron in 1967.  A few years later Ron started his construction company and she took business courses so she could to the books.  They have 4 children.  Sheri (Huisman), Der, and Josh live in Sequim, and Matt, lives in California.  As her children were growing up, she worked as a teacher’s aid at her children’s school.  Jeri and Ron now have 9 grandchildren.

They moved to Lynden in the ‘90’s where Ron worked as an electrician and Jeri began working as office manager/bookkeeper at the Lynden Chamber of Commerce.  They moved back to Sequim in 1998 and Jeri went to work for the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Jeri has worked for the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce for over 10 years and has seen lots of changes over those years – 4 different executive directors and new board members each year.  She feels that the “diversity of the board and their work and accomplishments are “amazing”.  And that people have no idea the level of work that is accomplished by the board behind the scenes for chamber members and the community.  One of the favorite parts of her job is working with the volunteers at Sequim’s Visitor Information Center each day.

Jeri enjoys reading, walking, doing crossword puzzles and spending time with family and friends.  She would love to spend more time gardening, particularly experimenting with growing herbs.  She and Ron have a motor home and are looking forward to exploring more of the Olympic Peninsula and beyond.

At first Jeri was very amazed at having the honor to be grand marshal and now she is just a little nervous, although looking forward to the festivities.  Attending the Irrigation Festival Parade together with the kids and grandkids has been a family tradition and her honor this year will make the event extra special.

Jeri has a phrase she likes to use when she encounters people that complain that Sequim isn’t the way it used to be.  She says “Sequim was a great place when she was growing up.  This is still the good old days for our kids and grandkids – a great place to grow up, work and live.”

2008 Grand Marshal
Each year the Grand Marshal is selected by the Irrigation Festival Committee as someone who has made significant contributions to the community.

Tom Santos
Photo by Ernst Ulrich Schafer
Tom Santo’s top hat and tails are legendary during the Irrigation Festival Crazy Daze Breakfast that he has been attending for many years. But when he was asked to be Grand Marshal, he says that he “couldn’t catch his breath”. He feels it is “really an honor that he never looked forward to” and he really appreciates being named Grand Marshal.

Tom, who was the first generation of his family to be born in the United States, was born to Manuel and Amelia Santos in 1922 in Irvington, California. His parents came from the Azore Islands. He had an older brother (Anthony) and sister (Marie).

Tom had 2 children (Diane and Michael) with his first wife, Ruth, whom he married in 1943. He has 4 grandchildren. He married Zita in 1952 and they lived in Lake Tahoe until 1974. Shortly before moving to Sequim, Tom and Zita took a trip to Alaska, someplace that Zita had wanted to visit her whole life. Unfortunately, a tragic accident on this trip changed their lives and necessitated a move away from Lake Tahoe. They moved to Sequim in 1974. Zita passed away in 1998.

When Tom was growing up his father always told him to “give back”. When Tom and Zita moved to Sequim he started doing just that. Tom is an outdoor enthusiast, so it is not surprising that he became very active in the Conservation Districts, Dungeness Bay Water Shed Committee and is a charter member of 6 different conservation committees. When the Dungeness River flooded in 1979, he worked with the Corp of Engineers to help rebuild the dykes and restore the river. He was nominated 4 times for Clallam County Citizen of the Year in the early 1990’s, and he has won many awards for the work he has done with the water committees.

He has been a member of the Sequim Prairie Grange for many years, and has participated in the grange at both the county and state levels, including Deputy for State Master in Clallam County. He loves it and still belongs.

Tom is passionate about the people in Sequim and what they do for the town. If there is something that needs to be done he will do whatever he can to make it happen. His contributions are many and diverse, and include being instrumental in getting the Dryke Memorial at Carrie Blake Park, helping to get money for the Fairgrounds Grandstand in Port Angeles, working with Crime Prevention and the police to make Sequim safer, planting the Cherry Trees outside the Chamber of Commerce and much more.

While the Sequim area has grown, Tom says it is still a good area.  However, there are still many issues that he wants to get involved in, and he continues to fight for the environment and water conservation.