Lake Stevens loses another community icon - Mayor Lynn Walty will be sorely missed
Lynn Eugene Walty has been a fixture in Lake Stevens for decades and if some organization needed help you can bet that Walty was there to give a hand. Walty’s passing on March 19, 2013, has affected many in this tight knit community and his presence will be missed for years to come.
“When we heard that former Mayor Lynn Walty had passed, it was a somber day in the office for many of us,” Interim Police Chief Dan Lorentzen said. “Lynn was more than the former Mayor, he was a great friend and someone you could always talk to. He was such a big part of the city and this community and I know he will be missed by all of us.”
Walty was born on July 21, 1941 in Cheney, Kansas and married his “inspiration and the love of his life” Etta, “Eddi” Baird on Christmas Day 1959.
Lynn and Eddi had five children, Michael Walty (deceased), Deborah Shockley, Dawna Dahlgren (Evan), Brian Walty (deceased) and Lisa Jahn (Patrick). In addition to their children, they were blessed with ten grandchildren (Lindsey Stave, Marie Hunt [Brandon], Michael Stave, Ryan Stave, BreAnna Jahn, Danielle Dahlgren, Cole Stave, Aaron Stave, Thomas “TJ” Jahn and Kiersten Stave) and two great-grandsons (Tristan Rohmann and Brodie Hunt).
Walty retired from Boeing in 2007 where he worked as a Manufacturing Engineer for 35 years. Before starting with Boeing he worked for other aerospace companies including Beech Aircraft, Rockwell International and McDonnell Douglas.
Walty and his family were charter members of Elim Lutheran Church here in Lake Stevens where he served as a Deacon and was instrumental in the construction of the building on 26th St. NE.
In 1994 Walty ran for Lake Stevens City Council where he sat for six years before becoming Lake Stevens Mayor in 2000. He retired from the position in 2007 so that he could spend more time with Eddi. He also served on the Community Transit Board for many years. Those who worked alongside him are saddened by his passing.
“Lynn was a good friend, dedicated to his family, friends and his community. He will be missed,” Lake Stevens Mayor Vern Little said.
“I met Lynn when I was at Community Transit and then as our Mayor,” Jim Kelley said. “A true public servant we will all miss.”
As part of his job as mayor, Walty was instrumental in helping form the merger of the Lake Stevens Sewer District and the City of Lake Stevens and was active in the beginning stages of the annexation process within the city. He was instrumental in bringing the Transit Center to Lake Stevens as well.
Walty’s desire to serve others and his close friend Jim Mitchell, encouraged him to join the Lake Stevens Lions Club in 1999. Through the Lions Club he was able to serve in many capacities including Aquafest, the Lake Stevens Food Bank and several other organizations.
Close friend and past Lions Club President Steve Brooks said, “Lynn and Jim shared a special friendship and followed the Lions’ motto of ‘We Serve’ which spilled over into their mutual passion to serve the greater Lake Stevens community in many ways. It was getting to know Lynn through Lions and his pride in Lake Stevens that was an inspiration for me to run for City Council. I feel truly honored to have had the privilege to serve on the city council while Lynn was the mayor.
“Lynn served on many committees and projects in Lions and was always ready to volunteer for shifts at White Cane Days, Aquafest, and serving corn-on-the-cob at the Lions booth at the Monroe fair. Several times Lynn either chaired or co-chaired our annual holiday raffle and the Santa Float to collect food for the food bank.”
Working closely with Walty in these different capacities created strong bonds of friendship throughout the city.
“Lake Stevens was fortunate beyond words to have someone who loved our community as much as Lynn did. He was always thinking of ways to better another person’s way of living and how could we help make a difference,” friend and fellow Lion Tonya Christoffersen said. “Lynn was the olive branch, always reaching out for others. I will miss him dearly and I know that I am just one small piece of the world he touched; there are hundreds of others who were touched by his kindness, his love for mankind and his gentle soul.”
“I was so sorry to hear the sad news of Lynn’s passing. He was always so kind-hearted,” Lake Stevens Journal Publisher Desiree Cahoon said.
Walty was known for his constant smile and friendly words of encouragement every time he saw someone he knew. Just stopping by the post office to pick up his mail made someone’s day a little brighter. http://lakestevensjournal.com/news/article.exm/2013-03-26_lake_stevens_loses_another_community_icon___mayor_lynn_walty_will_be_sorely_missed
“Lynn I will miss your lovely smile when you would come to check your mail at the post office. Your good work with the community will forever be remembered,” Postmaster Michelle Quinn said.
Over the past few years Walty has become passionate about fighting cancer, especially since his beloved Eddi was diagnosed with the disease. He has been a fixture at Relay for Life events in Snohomish County and was instrumental in bringing the event to Lake Stevens three years ago, even serving on the Relay Committee since its inception.
Walty loved to serve as co-chair for the Survivors and raised thousands of dollars to help fight cancer.
“It was his idea that the Lions get involved with Relay for Life and he was one of the people that helped secure our own Relay for Life event in Lake Stevens,” Brooks explained.
His absence has already been felt and he will be greatly this miss at this year’s Relay for Life.
“Lynn was a man who believed that all of us working together made a huge difference in the lives of cancer patients. I will always remember the flight if the geese story, when one gets tired the others take over until the tired has rested,” Relay for Life of Lake Stevens Event Chair Kim Demary said. “He also greeted everyone with a smile and a hug or handshake. It’s been said that when in his presence it was impossible to be sad.”
Even after his passing his love for serving others and for fighting cancer continues.
His family has requested that donations, in lieu of flowers, may be made in Lynn’s honor to the Relay for Life campaign. The “Lynn’s Legacy for Eddi” team page has been set up for the May 10, 2013 Lake Stevens Relay for Life http://www.relayforlife.org/lakestevenswa. You are also welcome to join Lynn and Eddi Walty’s team.
Memorial services for Walty will be held at Elim Lutheran Church on Saturday, March 30 at 11 a.m. Lunch to follow. Elim is located at 11504 26th St. NE, Lake Stevens.
Cards of condolence can be brought to the Lake Stevens Post Office where they will be given to the family.