Lawrence Theodore Brewster | Passages
December 1, 2009 · Updated 2:01 PM
Lawrence Theodore “Larry” Brewster was born on Nov. 29, 1925 in Mount Vernon, Wash., to George Theodore and Vera Goldie (Guinn) Brewster.
He passed on Nov. 27, 2009 after a vigorous battle with cancer. He was two days shy of his 84th birthday.
Larry was the grandson and great-grandson of Skagit County pioneers. During his childhood, he lived with numerous family members and friends in many places, including Mount Vernon, Burlington, Ellensburg, Okanagan, Friday Harbor, Puyallup, Everett, Kodiak Island, and on an experimental farm outside of Fairbanks, Alaska.
In spite of the challenges of starting a new school each year, he was able to earn his high school diploma from Everett High School in 1943. After graduation, he was employed briefly at Boeing before joining the Merchant Marine.
The U.S. Army Transportation Corps recruited him in February 1944 while at basic training on Catalina Island, Calif. He then went to New Orleans for more training, where he discovered his lifelong love of jazz music. From New Orleans it was on to Jacksonville, Fla., for further training and then to the Atlantic Theater and the Mediterranean where he served as a deck officer on deep-sea tugs and tankers.
After returning to the Northwest, he wooed and married Nellie E. Pettys on July 24, 1948. During this time, he was employed by Black Ball Transportation Co. on various runs around Puget Sound. In 1949, he transferred to the Anacortes–San Juan Island run, at which time he and Nellie moved north to Anacortes where their family of two boys and two girls were born and raised.
Soon after the birth of their first child in 1949, Larry quit Black Ball and took a job at Bob Way and Paul Scofield’s Signal station on the corner of 12th and Commercial in Anacortes for the higher wages that he could earn there.
In 1950, he purchased the Mobil Station at 32nd and Commercial, which he ran until 1967. In 1965, he returned to the water and started working for Washington State Ferries which became a full-time job in 1967. He retired from WSF in February 1996 as master of the ferry Nisqually.
After retirement, he became active in the Group Health Senior Caucus, traveling to Bellingham and Seattle for assorted meetings on a regular basis. He held a number of different positions during his tenure with the Caucus, including chairman.
He also continued to have an active interest in the well-being of the ferry system, always attending ferry advisory meetings when they were held in Anacortes. He enjoyed his time at the Elks Club and the American Legion, both of which he was a member. One of his greatest joys was beating Keith LaRue at cribbage, which unfortunately didn’t happen quite as often as he would have liked. He looked forward to trips to Friday Harbor to play cribbage at the American Legion with his many friends on the island as well.
Larry loved to read and listen to music of many different styles. These were habits that he passed on to his children and grandchildren.
Larry is survived by his wife, Nellie, at the family home; sons, Gordon (Dena Christensen), David (Becky); daughters, Sandra Cox (Steve) and Janet Davidson; 12 grandchildren, DeWayne Cox, Teri Stine (Jim), Taña North, Angie Marsh (James), Eric Rivas (Laurie Wollam), Krestina Wardlaw, Shanna Brewster (Brian Blechschmidt), Amanda Brewster, Nicholas Brewster, Ruth Davidson, Patricia Davidson (Jeremy Rehkop) and Melanie Driver; and nine great-grandchildren.
Larry is also survived by his sister, Beverly (Leonard) Sund; sisters-in-law, Pearl Skorstad and Florence (Jim) Evans; his close friend, Keith LaRue; and numerous other relatives and many good friends.
Larry made many new friends while staying at Fidalgo Care Center. He was extremely grateful for the compassionate care and friendship they gave him, and his family is very grateful as well.
Graveside service will be held on Dec. 4, 2009 at 1 p.m., at the family plot at Pleasant Ridge Cemetery, 17666 Valentine Road, La Conner, Wash. Following the service, a celebration of his life will be held at the Anacortes Elks Club, 1009 Seventh St., from 3-7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, Larry requested that memorials be made to the Salvation Army or the American Legion.
Arrangements are in the care of Evans Funeral Chapel & Crematory, Inc., Anacortes and the San Juan Islands. To share memories of Larry, sign the online guest register at www.evanschapel.com
— Family of Lawrence Theodore “Larry” Brewster