The Harbor – A Culture of Success

County of Grays Harbor, State of Washington

Some say that “all roads pass through Grays Harbor.”  It’s interesting to note how often a Harbor connection is encountered to a very notable person, or event.  Here are a few Harborites who have been very successful in various endeavors.  From Nobel Laureates to Rock & Roll Hall of Fame musicians.

The list is of persons recognized nationally or universally.  It’s impossible to list everyone, and this is only a sampling.  Additionally, there are many Harborites who have received a great deal of regional notoriety, but are not listed on this website. 

This is not intended to be a biography; rather, it is a list to remind people of the great minds grown and nurtured on Grays Harbor.  I  hope you find it enjoyable. For convenience, the names are in alphabetical order.  The list will be updated periodically.  If you would like to suggest additional names, or have a correction, I’d love to hear from you.

Tom Quigg –

(last update – July 6, 2024)


Paula Akerlund EdD

“In  2014, at Ocosta Elementary School in Westport, WA…the school approved renovations that include a tsunami evacuation refuge with capacity for approximately 700 persons. The refuge will be the first vertical evacuation structure in the United States.” — Project Safe Haven: Tsunami Vertical Evacuation Systems on Washington State’s Pacific Coast,, originally posted in 2014 and updated April 25, 2023.

In 2015 Paula Akerlund was Superintendent of the Ocosta School District in Westport, and led the conception, design and construction of the “nation’s first vertical evacuation center.” The center was “constructed using sound engineering methods that will allow the roof and upper level of the new structure on school grounds to survive multiple tsunami waves.” — Washington Military Department,, posted January 16, 2016.

“The new gym at Ocosta Elementary…is strong enough to withstand a mega quake and tsunami — and can shelter at least 2,000 people on its roof.” Akerlund took charge of the district shortly after the Japan (tsunami) disaster. “You think: Well, that could happen here.” she said. “It will happen here…It was clear the old elementary school needed to be replaced. Modern building codes require a new school to be earthquake resistant. Reinforcing a portion of the complex to serve as a tsunami-evacuation structure had never been done before.” — Sandi Doughton. The Seattle Times, June 9, 2016.

Served as Ocosta School District Superintendent from 2011 to 2017. Raised and educated in Aberdeen, Weatherwax High School 1971. Mt. Holyoke College BA. University of Oregon MA, Seattle University EdD.

Orris E. Albertson

A leading authority on wastewater treatment.  Has over 100 publications, 29 United States patents, and many innovations to improve water quality.

Awards and recognition for his work include the Samuel Arnold Greeley Award of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1996, and the  American Academy of Environmental Engineers, Kappe Lecture Award in 1997, and the prestigious Thomas R. Camp Medal from the Water Environment Federation in 2008.  — biography of Orris Albertson.

Raised in the East Hoquiam River Valley.  Wishkah Valley High School, 1951.  Masters Degree, Sanitary (Environmental) Engineering, University of Washington, 1957.  Information from his sister, Bonnie Johannes.

Gerry Alexander

Justice on the State of Washington Supreme Court 1994-2011.  Served as Chief Justice 2000-2010. Retired 2011 do to the court’s age limit.

Born in Aberdeen.

Anderson Middleton Company

Delano Farms Company division was formed in the early 1990’s and became one of the largest producers of table grapes in North America. The Red Cedar Vineyards division in Paso Robles, California was a large producer of wine grapes. The grape growing divisions were sold in 2021.

The company began producing its Clayhouse Vineyard wines in 2003, and in 2016 Vintage Wine Estates procured the distribution rights. Wine selection can be seen at

A second winery, Cadaretta,  was opened in Walla Walla, Washington in 2008.  “Cadaretta is named for an Anderson Middleton lumber schooner that traveled the West Coast from Washington to California, during the first half of the 20th century.”  The winery was closed in  2017 — information provide by Rick Middleton.

Anderson & Middleton Company was founded in 1898 in Aberdeen, is headquartered in Hoquiam.

Charles Anderson

ITT Rayonier, Inc., President 1970-1973 , and CEO  1973-1980.  Moved up to ITT, and was an ITT Executive Vice President from 1981-1987.

Raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1946.

Jim “Jimmy” Anderson

Head basketball coach for the Oregon State University Beavers from 1990 to 1995.  In 1990, the Beaverswere 22-7 and tied for the Pac-10 Championship.  He was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year and District Coach of the Year (by the National Association of Basketball Coaches).

While assistant basketball coach from 1965 to 1989, the Beavers won five Pac-10/Pac-8 titles. (1966, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984).  — Sports Information Office, Oregon State University.

Inducted in Oregon State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015. Pac-12 Basketball Hall of Honor inductee 2015-2016.

Jimmy died on March 3, 2024, and at the memorial service Gary Payton, Oregon State University All-American, Seattle Sonic, and NBA Hall of Fame Inductee had the following to say about his collegiate coach and mentor, Jimmy Anderson. “I’m here to tell you about a man who changed my life.” Gary expressed his very strong connection to Jimmy and the Anderson Family, and added that as a professional, whenever he had a bad day, he would call Jimmy and then tell himself, “I gotta be like him.” Gary said that all the professional accolades he received “…were because of Coach Anderson.” In 2013 he learned he would be inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame, and after calling his parents, Gary called Jimmy Anderson. “I told him (Jimmy) it wouldn’t be right if he wouldn’t be there to accept the award with me.” So he flew Jimmy and his wife to the ceremony. In his final comments at the memorial, Gary said, “My coach was with me in every accolade I got.” – Anderson Family YouTube video, “Jimmy Anderson Memorial (Gil Coliseum)”, March 16, 2024.

Raised and educated in Hoquiam.  St. Mary School (Hoquiam), graduate of Hoquiam High School in 1956. Attended Grays Harbor College, and graduated from Oregon State University.

Robert Arthaud (stage name: Robert Arthur)

Hollywood actor 1944-1959.  Starred, or was featured, in 38 motion pictures and over 600 television shows.  —  biography The Films of Robert Arthur.

In an interview with Robert, I couldn’t keep from asking about the rumor he had taken a bubble bath with Norma Jean Baker (aka Marilyn Monroe).  He answered, “When we were young actors, we lived near each other.  One evening we drank a little too much and decided to take a bubble bath.”

Born, raised , educated, and died in Aberdeen. Weatherwax High School, 1943.

Gertrude E. Backstrom

One of the best summaries of Gertrude’s shooting skills appeared in a 1959 series on “Shooting Champions” in The American Rifleman.  The article starts “Mrs. Gertrude E. Backstrom, 46, housewife and mother, is the outstanding woman in pistol shooting today.”  She was the National Womens Outdoor Pistol Champion from 1955 to 1959.  In addition, she had been the National Womens Indoor Pistol Champion from 1952 to 1959.  According to The American Rifleman, at the time she held 17 of 30 recognized National Women’s Pistol records.

In the February 2000 edition of Shooting Sports USA, a Publication of the National Rifle Association, the featured article was titled “50 Great Competitive Shooters of the 20th Century.”  The article credited Gertrude with providing “for women’s pistol shooting what almost nobody else has done: she beat men.”  They speak of her appearing in archival photos as a “typical 1950s era housewife pictured in a gingham dress, with a sweater for a shawl.”  She won an “unprecedented, four consecutive Women’s National Pistol Championships from 1955 through 1958.”

She also won the center-fire rapid-fire phase of the 1958 National Matches where she competed against men.  Shooting Sports USA said “her finest moment occurred at the National Matches in 1957.”  Of course she won the women’s title, but “she also laid claim to the overall civilian title, the first and only woman to obtain that honor in NRA’s competitive pistol history.”

Information provided by Dick Moulton and the Backstrom family.

Born, raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1929.

When competing she lived in Hoquiam, and her husband operated Sommerville Pharmacy in Hoquiam.

Don Baker

Inventor and developer of medical ultrasound devices.  “Baker, armed with an insatiable curiosity, ravenous desire to learn, and problem solving smarts he learned as a kid, turned his assignment into a lifetime quest that revolutionized the field of medicine, by refining ultrasound into the most vital, cost effective, diagnostic tool available today.”

“In recognition of his accomplishment, the University of Washington and the UW Alumni Association have bestowed upon Baker their highest honor: The 2002 Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus Award.” — Columns, University of Washington Alumni Magazine, June 2002.

His early inventions are on permanent display in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.

Spent early years on a farm in Rochester, until family moved to Baleville, near Raymond.  Raymond High School, 1950.  Pre-engineering Grays Harbor College, 1951. Electrical Engineering, University of Washington, 1960. Deceased in 2018.

Eldon A. Bargewell

Major General, US Army, deceased.

In 1981, joined Delta Force, US Army counter-terrorism and hostage-rescue unit, founded 1977. – Fayetteville Online, April 5, 2001.

Commanded elements of Delta Force over a 15 year period, finishing as overall Commander of Delta Force in 1998.

Leader, Delta force missions in 1989 Panama Invasion, and 1991 Persian Gulf War.  “in 1998 he took command of Special Forces in Europe, overseeing activities in Kosovo and Bosnia.”  — Washington Post, June 16, 2006.

Promoted to Major General by President George W. Bush, 2001.  According to Eldon, his last job in the Army was as the Director of Combat Operations in Iraq. At the time of his retirement in 2007, he was the most highly decorated member of all US armed forces currently on active duty, including the US Army Distinguished Service Cross. Inducted as a Distinguished Member of the Special Forces Regiment, April 5, 2012.

General Bargewell credited much of his success to growing up on the Harbor.  “ Hoquiam and Aberdeen may not be the center of the universe for business and entertainment, but it is a  place where you can rise to success if you have the motivation.”  — The Daily World, March 13, 2006.

Died April 29, 2019, in a lawnmower accident at his home in Eufaula, AL.

A bronze statue honoring Major General Eldon Bargewell was dedicated in MG Bargewell Memorial Delta Park, Hoquiam on Armed Forces Day, May 20, 2023.

Born, raised and educated in Hoquiam.  Hoquiam High School, 1965. Attended Grays Harbor College from 1965-1967 and played on the GH College Choker football team. Eldon left the college before completing his degree, to join the US Army in 1967.

Gregory P. Barlow

Major General, US Army, deceased.

Served as Adjutant General for the State of Washington, commanding the Army and Air National Guard from 1989 through 1999. While serving in the US Army, his major awards and declarations included the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal (with Oak Leal Cluster) and Purple Heart. 

Lived his retirement years in Ocean Shores. Deceased in 2013.

Wendy Hagen Bauer

Universally recognized astrophysicist.  Tenured professor, Wellesley College.  ­—  archives of Bob Preble.

Has investigated binary star systems, currently working with data from the Hubble Space Telescope under a research grant from NASA’s Space Telescope Institute.  — biography Wellesley College.

Born, raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1967.

Karl Bendetsen

“During the administration of President Harry Truman, Bendetsen served as Acting Deputy to the first Secretary of Defense (Mr. Forrestal).  From 1949 through 1952, he served successfully as The Asst. Secretary of Army, and Under Secretary of the Army.”

Also served “as Director General of US Railroads,” and was appointed by President Truman “as the first Chairman of the Panama Canal Company.”  — Jerry Ness, “Oral History Interviews with Karl R. Bendetsen,” Truman Presidential Museum and Library, October 24, 1972, November 9, 1972, November 21, 1972.

In 1942, held the more dubious role of Commander of Wartime Civil Control Administration, which directed the evacuation and relocation of persons of Japanese ancestry.

Former CEO, Champion Paper and Fiber Company, 1967-1973.

For more on his life, read The Colonel and the Pacifist, by Klancy Clark de Nevers (Weatherwax 1951).

Born, raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1925.

Adam Bighill

Defensive linebacker with BC Lions of the Canadian Football League (CFL) 2011-2016 (Grey Cup Champions 2015), and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 2018-2019 (Grey Cup Champions 2019 and 2021). – 

Defensive linebacker with New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL) 2017. –

CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award, 2015, 2018 and 2021. CFL All-Star Team 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018. Highest paid defensive player in the CFL, 2018. 

Born and raised in Montesano.  Montesano High School, 2007.

Guy Bingham

Offensive Lineman and “Long Snapper” with the New York Jets.  Seven year NFL veteran. —  from Rick Anderson, The Daily World.

Born and raised in North River.  Weatherwax High School, 1976.

E. K. “Ned” and Lillian Fleet Bishop

Aberdeen philanthropists who left their fortune to the E. K. and Lillian Bishop Foundation.  Since 1972, the foundation has contributed over $52,000,000 in grants and scholarships.  Most have been for projects and students in Grays Harbor County.

Endowments funded by the foundation have a combined initial value of $11,000,000 to provide future scholarships.  — information provided by Jim Mason, E. K. and Lillian Bishop Foundation Board Member.

Bishop Center for Performing Arts on the campus of Grays Harbor College, was constructed in honor of Mr. And Mrs. Bishop, and funded by a contribution from Rueben Fleet, plus an E. K. and Lillian Bishop Foundation endowment for maintenance and programming.   Lillian Fleet Bishop and her brother Rueben Fleet gifted Fleet Park to the  city of Montesano in August 1946.  — The Vidette, August 29, 1946

Much of the Bishop Family wealth is felt to have come from their initial investment as co-owners of Consolidated Aircraft, founded by Lillian’s brother Rueben Fleet. — Rueben Fleet and The Story of Consolidated Aircraft.

Lillian was born, raised and educated in Montesano.

Kenneth G. Bixler

Captain, US Navy, retired.  Former Commander of U. S. Navy Command College, Newport, Rhode Island. —  archives of Bob Preble.

Born, raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1963.

William Boeing

“Boeing, who had studied engineering at Yale until quitting in 1903, opened up a profitable lumber business (Greenwood Logging Company) in Hoquiam when he was 22.  While Boeing made his first fortune with lumber, he had, as history knows, a side interest in a new kind of machine called the airplane.”  —  “Four Men Who Shaped the Seattle Century,” Seattle Times, December 29, 1999.

“Bill rented a room at a boarding house at 616 – 6th Street, Hoquiam.” Later, “In a nod to the industry that had given him his tremendous fortune, Bill named his Seattle mansion “Aldarra.” According to The Seattle Times, Aldarra takes its name from a tiny country between France and Spain now called Andorra” and is an Arabic word meaning “a place thick with trees.”  He and his wife eventually moved to a farm near Fall City. “In many ways, Bill’s desire to to have his feet planted firmly in two worlds harkened back to his early days in Hoquiam, when he spent weeks slogging through the damp woods cruising his own timberland and then returned to Virginia and the privileged lifestyle of a Gilded Age gentleman.” The William E. Boeing Story – the Gift of Flight, byDavid Williams.

He founded the Boeing Airplane Company in 1916.

My grandfather, Jerry A. McGillicuddy, Jr., was Bill Boeing’s General Manager of Greenwood Logging Company from 1918 until it was dissolved in the late 1930’s

Jack Bowers

After WWII, “Bowers was hired by Convair as a radar and missile guidance engineer. By 1948 he was chief Systems Development Engineer for the Navy’s Terrier surface-to-air missile at Convair’s Pomona Division.   He was named to the Convair corporate staff in 1955, and made Assistant Chief Engineer in charge of design of the Atlas ICBM in 1956. In 1965 he became President, Convair Division, General Dynamics. In 1973 he was appointed Assistant Secretary of Navy under President Nixon.” — www.

It should be noted that the Convair Division of General Dynamics is the successor to Consolidated Aircraft, funded by Reuben Fleet of Montesano, WA.

Raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Valedictorian, Weatherwax High School, 1938.

Gene Brewer

CEO, U. S. Plywood Corporation, and CEO, Champion – US Plywood Corporation, 1957-1969.  CEO, Southwest Forest Industries, Inc., 1969-1975.

First president of National Institute of Building Sciences.

Born in Satsop, raised and educated in Montesano.  Montesano High School, 1929. Buried in Satsop Cemetery, 2004.

Gail Brown, aka Gail Quigg

Internationally renowned author of serging, sewing and home decoration publications, now retired.

Several of her titles are still being sold, and can be found at book and fabric stores, or by searching Gail Brown, sewing (or serging) through any Internet browser.

Resides in Hoquiam and Gig Harbor.

Trisha Brown

World-renowned choreographer and one of the most celebrated people in modern dance.  1991 recipient of a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship.  Honored as Distinguished Alumnus of Mills College. —  archives of Bob Preble.

Featured personality in Wise Women — A Celebration of Their Insights, Courage and Beauty by Joyce Tenneson, as “the first female choreographer to win the MacArthur Foundation’s `genius’ award.”

2002 recipient of National Medal of Arts from President George W. Bush   for her “extraordinary contributions to the creation, support and growth of the arts in America.”  — The Daily World, April 4, 2003.

For more on Trisha Brown see

Born, raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1954. Deceased in 2017, and in accordance with her last wishes, Trish’s ashes were scattered in the Humptulips River in northern Grays Harbor County.

Walter E. Brown

“He was recognized universally for his contributions to the crystallography, chemistry, and biochemistry of calcium phosphate compounds.”  “His pioneering studies of the physicochemical properties of mineralized tissues, such as teeth and bone, provided the foundation for much of the modern research on diseases such as dental caries, osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis, and in the topical fluoride treatments for teeth.” — John Tesk and Ronald Munro, Dental Research at the National Bureau of Standards.

Developed and patented Enamelon toothpaste.

Director from 1967 to 1983 of the American Dental Association Health Foundation at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (formerly National Bureau of Standards).

His estate funded the Walter E. Brown Scholarship and the Three Sisters Garden at Grays Harbor College. —  information provided by his cousin, Harold Bergstrom, Aberdeen.

Raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1936.  Grays Harbor College, 1938.  Bachelor and Master of Chemistry, University of Washington.  Doctorate in Chemistry, Harvard, 1949.

Mark Bruener

NFL player.  All-American Tight End for the University of Washington Football Huskies.

Starting Tight End for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1995 to 2002, and the Houston Texans 2003 to 2010.  —  Rick Anderson, The Daily World.

Born, raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Saint Mary School, 1979-1987,  Weatherwax High School, 1991.

Daniel Bryan, birth name Bryan Danielson

Professional wrestler.  Fromerly competed with Ring of Honor and Pro Wrestling Noah (Japan), Full Impact Pro, and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.  Known as the “American Dragon”   Held titles in all the promotions. — information provided by Bryan Danielson.

In World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Bryan held the WWE Championship three times and WWE’s World Heavyweight Championship once (2011), in addition to being a one-time United States Champion, a one-time Intercontinental Champion and a one-time WWE Tag Team Champion as part of “Team Hell No” (with Kane). He was also the 2011 SmackDown Money in the Bank winner, the 2013 Superstar of the Year Slammy Award winner and the SmackDown General Manager from July 2016 to April 2018. Bryan is the 26th Triple Crown Champion and the 6th Grand Slam Champion in WWE history and headlined several major pay-per-view events, including WrestleMania XXX. – 

Born, raised and occasionally resides in Aberdeen. Weatherwax High School 1999.

Jeff Burlingame

Award-winning author of over 30 books including biographies of Kurt Cobain, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and John Lennon. Other books have been on the crew and passengers of the Titanic, and the plight of the Lost Boys of the Sudan.

He has received multiple honors form the New York Public Library. In 2012 the NAACP awarded him its highest literary honor, The Image Award, at a nationally televised event for his biography on famed Olympic athlete Jesse Owens. The previous year, his biography on Malcolm X was nominated, finishing in top five behind the winner former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Grand Marshall for the Founders Day Parade, Aberdeen.

Began writing career with The Willapa Harbor Herald , from 1997-2006 was the Arts and Entertainment Editor of The Daily World

Born, raised and educated in Aberdeen.

Bob Bush

Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, 1945. Former President, Medal of Honor Society. He was the youngest member of the US Navy to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor in WW II.

Featured personality in Tom Brokaw’s best selling book, The Greatest Generation.

The Robert E. Bush monument, a bronze statue depicting Corpsman Bob Bush assisting a fallen marine, is located in a park along the waterfront in South Bend, WA.  

He had a second home in Palm Springs, CA, and a sidewalk star is dedicated to Bob in downtown, located immediately behind the Sonny Bono statue.

Born, raised and educated in South Bend.  Lived much of his business life in Elma and Aberdeen. Buried in Menlo, Washington in 2005.

Cable Television Systems development

The first cable  television system in the U. S. was in Astoria, Oregon in 1948.  Around 1950, a system was developed in Aberdeen by Homer Bergen, Fred Goddard, Bob McCaw and Elroy McCaw.

The group began developing systems throughout the Northwest, establishing 50/50 partnerships with local owners, including Astoria, and formed Pacific Northwest Community TV.

Systems were developed in Washington, Oregon, Northern California, and Manhattan Island.  Some systems were sold off, but most became Tele-Vue Systems.

In 1968, Tele-Vue was sold to CBS.  In 1970, the Federal Communications Commission required CBS to divest the cable systems, and Viacom was formed. — “Charles E. Clements, An Oral History.” The Cable Center, Oral Histories.

Fred Goddard’s son, John Goddard, served in management of Tele-Vue, Cable Division of CBS, and Viacom Cable.  Was CEO of Viacom Cable from 1980 to 1996. — The Cable Center,

Alexander Calder

Considered the most innovative sculptor of the 20th Century.

June 1922: “Calder takes a lumber schooner to Willapa Harbor, Washington, where he catches the bus for Aberdeen and meets his sister Peggy and her husband, Kenneth Hayes.  Calder finds a job as a timekeeper at a logging camp in Independence, Washington (near Oakville)*. Inspired by mountain scenes and logging camps, Calder is compelled to paint.”  — Calder 1966, 57-58.

* The logging camp in Independence was owned and operated by Wilson Bros. & Co. of Aberdeen. The Wilson Bros. & Co. sawmill in Aberdeen was located in the vicinity of the existing Rotary Log Pavilion, where Wilson Creek empties into the Chehalis River. (My great uncle Dan McGillicuddy was logging superintendent for the company.) From Boats to Board Feet – The Wilson Family of the Pacific Coast, by Emily M. Wilson, 85 and 163. 

In his “Oral History Interview With Alexander Calder at Perls Gallery” for the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, October 26, 1971, Interviewer Paul Cummings, Calder commented “Well I had about four years in a logging camp in Washington State.”

Often visited his sister Peggy Calder Hayes, in Aberdeen.

Russell “Rusty” Callow

Renowned intercollegiate rowing coach for Washington, Pennsylvania, and Navy, and considered to be one of the best rowing coaches of all time. George Pocock, most respected builder of rowing shells of all time said in his book Ready All!: “Rusty Callow had a rare ability to retain the respect of his crews and maintain the rigorous discipline needed for a successful team effort without killing their spirit; rather, he raised it. I know it’s an overworked term, but Rusty Callow was in truth a real leader of men if ever there was one.” – Washington Rowing, with history content by Eric Cohen.

Callow rowed for Washington 1914 to 1915; coached Washington, 1922 to 1927; coached Pennsylvania, 1928 to 1949; and coached Navy 1950 to 1959. After graduation from Washington “…he went back to the woods as a logger operator in partnership with a brother, and did not dream of another life.” – Sports Illustrated, “Mr. Rowing”, by Paul O’Neil, June 5, 1955. At the time he was a partner with his brother A. W. Callow and Frank Lamb in Carlson Logging Company and Wynooche Timber Company, located in Hoquiam and Montesano. – Washington West of the Cascades, Volume II. In 1922 he took the job as rowing coach for Washington.

At Navy his teams had a record of 31 straight victories, and the Olympic Gold Medal in 1952. Ironically, his 1936 crew at Pennsylvania lost the final race for the Olympic tryouts to the Washington crew, coxswained by Bob Moch of Montesano, that went on to win the 1936 Olympic Gold Medal in Berlin. – The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown.

Born in Kamilche, 1890. Lived in Montesano and Hoquiam, 1915- 1922. 

Robert Cantwell

Novelist.  Author of Laugh and Lie Down and The Land of Plenty.

In On the Harbor, John Hughes and Ryan Beckwith write, that in “1935 – Cantwell takes a job as literary editor at Time magazine, becoming one of its top writers.  1956 – Cantwell joins Sports Illustrated, where he eventually becomes senior editor.”

Raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1924.   Was on the staff of the school newspaper, Ocean Breeze.

Casa Mia Pizza

Three time award winner at the International Pizza Expo.

Three Cheese Chicken Pizza, 1996 Top Pizza Festival Honor.  Pizza Sole, 1998 Vegetarian Pizza of the Year.  Potato Gorgonzola Truffle Pizza, 2003 Vege-tarian Pizza of the Year.

Casa Mia Pizza Restaurant was founded in 1952 in Hoquiam by Phil Bellafato, and is currently owned and operated by the Roger Jump family, and the Bob and Sue Knudson family.

The business has several franchised restaurants in Washington state.

Rip Caswell

“Accomplished sculptor Rip Caswell is popular with private and corporate collectors worldwide. He has created more than 200 sculptures of various subjects in both contemporary and realistic styles.  Considered an authority in wildlife art, he is often sought after to judge competitions and present seminars. Several art galleries, publications and television broadcasts have also featured his works.” — Information provided by Karen McDonald Smith.

Sculptor of several prominent bronze statues including Admiral Nimitz in Pearl Harbor, the Ascension at Ascension Cemetery in Kansas City, Governor Tom McCall in Salem, OR, Letters From Home at Veterans Memorial in Vista, CA, The Lionesses, a tribute to women in the military in Springfield, OR, and Major General Eldon Bargewell at Delta Park in Hoquiam. 

Works from his gallery in Troutdale, Oregon.

Raised and educated in Montesano.  Montesano High School, 1981. Earned his Welding and Fabrication Certification from Grays Harbor College, 1983.

Dale Carlson

Dean of Engineering, University of Washington, 1976 to 1982, and Seattle University 1990 to 1992.

Professor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus, University of Washington.  Over 100 publications on environmental management and control. —

Born, raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School 1943.  Grays Harbor College 1947.  University of Washington 1950. City of Aberdeen water engineer 1951-1955.  PhD University of Washington 1960.

Neil “Buzz” Carnes

Captain, US Navy, retired.  US Naval Academy graduate, Nuclear Submarine Commander, CEO of numerous nuclear power plants in the eastern United States.  —  archives of Bob Preble.

Born, raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1957.

Samuel Chamberlain

Considered one of the leading dry point etching artists in the world.  “Published several books containing etchings, pen and ink, and watercolors, as well as graphic arts and illustrations.  Frequently contributed to Gourmet Magazine and created Clementine in the Kitchen, the first book to popularize Country French (sic) cooking in the United States.” —

Four Chamberlain etchings are displayed in the Aberdeen Timberland Library.

Raised and educated in Aberdeen.

George Chemeres

Nationally renowned trainer of world recognized boxers.

Trainer for Pete Rademacher in his Olympic Gold Medal victory in 1956, and Boxing Heavyweight Title Match with Floyd Patterson in 1957.  Managed Harry “Kid” Matthews, Eddie Cotton, Greg Haugen, John Palaki and other boxing contenders.

“Moved to Hoquiam with his family when he was a year old.  He attended school in Montesano before settling in Aberdeen.”  Died  November 15, 2002. “A high school dropout, Chemeres moved to Seattle and fought on the Northwest club circuit for several years.  But later found his true calling as a trainer and manager.” — obituary, The Daily World, November 15, 2002.

Weatherwax High School, circa 1931. Buried in Fern Hill Cemetery, 2002\

Meg Chittenden

Nationally acclaimed murder mystery novelist and speaker at mystery and writer conventions.  Has 33 published novels.

See more on her work at

Worked from her home in Ocean Shores from 1988, to her death in 2016.

Ark G. Chin

Appointed to Board of Regents, University of Washington, for the term of 1998 to 2003.   “Retired CEO and President of Kramer, Chin and Mayo, Inc., a Seattle engineering firm with clients world-wide.” — press release, Office of Governor Gary Locke.   2001-2002 President of the Board of Regents.

He and his wife opened a 100-bed orphanage in China in the fall of 2002. — The Fountain, University of Washington Alumni Association Newsletter, Fall 2002.

Raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1943.

Thomas R. Clark

Retired from US Army in 1968 to take a position as a senior executive at the Atomic Energy Commission.

“Served many positions including Director of Weapons Development and Assistant Director of Military Applications.  Played key rolls in the nuclear weapons development and production.”  — obituary, French Mortuary. Information provided by Jack Bastin.

Born, raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1943.

Clemons Tree Farm

First tree farm in the United States.  The idea was conceived by Frank Lamb and George Weyerhaeuser, and the term “tree farm” was popularized by Chapin Collins, Publisher of the Montesano Vidette.

Chapin Collins served as Port of Grays Harbor Commissioner from 1952-1971. Deceased and buried in Wynooche Cemetery, April 1972.

Beverly Cobain

Registered nurse in psychiatric/mental health nursing.  Author of book entitled When Nothing Matters Anymore: A Survival Guide for Depressed Teens (currently in 4th printing).

Recipient of the Green Ribbon Award in 1999, from the National Mental Health Association for “Excellence in Childhood Education.”

Cousin of Kurt Cobain.  Her website is — information from Karen Rose.

Educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1958.

Kurt Cobain

Songwriter and lead singer for the musical group Nirvana. Revolutionized rock music in 1992, with what came to be known as “grunge music.”  

“Clearly, he was the most famous person in the history of Aberdeen, Washington.”   “Dead at 27: What a waste,”  —  The Daily World, April 10, 1994.

Nevermind — an album that would sell more that 10 million copies, and revolutionize rock and roll.” — cover story, “Cries From the Heart”, by Lorraine Ali, Newsweek Magazine, October 28, 2002.

Nirvana and its members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014 .

Also received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2023 GRAMMYs. When announcing the award the Recording Academy stated, “With a 2014 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and more that 75 million records sold, Nirvana continues to be a singular inspiration for generations of fans and musicians the world over.” –

Born in Aberdeen.  Raised and educated in Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Cosmopolis and Montesano.

Colin Cowherd

Named in 2004 to host of the nationally broadcast daily sports radio talk show called “The Herd,” on ESPN Radio, beginning March 29, 2004.  Heard locally on KWOK Radio, AM 1490. — The Daily World, March 7, 2004.  Also appears for ESPN on XM Radio.

Named 2005 Sports Illustrated Radio Personality of the Year. —

Joined Fox Sport in 2015, eventually hosting “The Herd” on Fox Sports Radio, and Fox Sports 1 television. In 2013, Cowherd’s first book, “You HERD Me!” was a New York Times bestseller, spending five weeks on the list in hardcover. –

Raised in Grayland and educated in Ocosta.  Ocosta High School, 1982.

Phyllis “P. J.” Curtiss

She was named “Outstanding Elementary Teacher of America” in 1975, and has received various other honors throughout her career.

“Her 31 year teaching and coaching career began in the Raymond School District.  She also taught at Alexander Young Elementary in Aberdeen for 14 years, Aberdeen High School, Grant Street Elementary in Port Townsend, and McDermoth Elementary, Aberdeen, where she retired in 1991.” — The Daily World, February 2, 2002.

Richard D. Daugherty

Archeologist at Washington State University.  “his scholarly contributions forms a major base of today’s knowledge on ancient Northwesterners has been built.” — “Richard Daugherty: He’s Dug Up Our Past.”  by Ruth Kirk, Seattle Times, March 23, 1980.

“Leading expert on early civilizations in the region.” Aberdeen Daily World, October 22, 1978.

“Marmes Man” and “Ozette Village” were discovered in his “digs.

“In 1977, Daugherty, with co-investigator Carl Gustafson, made another discovery that turned the clock back yet again on human history in the New World, At a site near Sequim, Wash., they identified a hand-made projectile point in a mastodon bone that was dated at 13,800 years old. Los Angeles Times, Thomas H Maugh II, March 2, 2014.

Born and raised in Aberdeen, Weatherwax Hogh School 1940. Deceased 2014.

Reece Dano

Writer and publisher of classical opera and concerto music.  Currently has the rights to write music to the poem Letters to Wendy, written by Joe Winderoth.  Has been asked to write an opera called The Metamorphosis based on an “off Broadway” play and the book The Metamorphosis, written by Franz Kafka.

In February 2005, his piece For Viola and Turntables was presented at the Cambridge University Symposium in New Music in Cambridge, England.

His piece Boulez is Dead was performed by the Analog Art Ensemble in Omaha, Nebraska in September 2004.  Currently writing an opera for presentation by the Portland Opera (Oregon) in 2011.

Studied at Peabody Conservatory of Music, 2000-2001.  Masters in Composition, Johns Hopkins University.  — information from Reece and his mother, Renie Dano.

Born and educated in Hoquiam.  Hoquiam High School, 1995.

Joe De La Cruz

“Considered one of the greatest Indian leaders who ever lived in the United States.” — course outline, The Evergreen State College.

Served 22 years as Chairman of the Quinault Indian Nation.  National spokesman for Native Americans.  Served as President of the National Tribal Chairman’s Association, and two terms as President of the National Congress of American Indians.

Not long after his death, the memory of DeLaCruz was honored when the Northwest Indian Applied Research Institute at Evergreen State College established the Joe DelaCruz Center for Advanced Studies in Tribal Government “to focus its research and educational programs on tribal governance on the ideas and work of The Honorable Joe DelaCruz.” –, Essay by John Caldbick, July 17, 2011

Named to Class of 2023, Native American Hall of Fame at the First Americans Museum, Oklahoma, OK. “DeLaCruz build a formidable record of accomplishments…perhaps most notably the status and role of Native Tribes in the American body politics. He was one of the architects of the Centennial Accord which delineates the government-to-government relationship between the tribes and the State of Washington.”, October 14, 2023.

Raised in Tahola, and resided in Tahola, Moclips and Hoquiam. Deceased in 2000.

Barbara DeLateur, M.D., M.S.

Director of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Johns Hopkins University.  Professor, and Lawrence Cardinal Shehan Chair.  “She has more than 140 publications and is currently the principal investigator for a National Institutes of Health research study, concerning the management of pain in persons with physical disabilities.”

“DeLateur is the third physiatrist* elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (sic).  1998 she received the Distinguished Academician Award from the Association of Academic Physiatrists.”  — Johns Hopkins website.

Born, raised and educated in Hoquiam.  Saint Mary School (Hoquiam), 1942-1950.  Hoquiam High School, 1954.

* Note– “Physiatrist” is a physician specializing in physical medicine — Webster’s Dictionary.

Klancy Clark deNevers

Author of The Colonel and the Pacifist.  “Brilliantly explores the conflicted lives of two Aberdonians during World War II.— US Army Col. Karl Bendetsen, grandson of Lithuanian Jewish immigrants , and Perry Saito, son of Japanese immigrants.” — John Hughes, The Daily World, April 2004.

Aberdeen native, Weatherwax High School, 1951.  Currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Rod Derline

Aka “Rod the Rifle,” was “another star guard at Seattle University who went on to play in the NBA for the Seattle Sonics.  Specialized in long range sharp shooting, thus the name.” — A Seattle Lexicon,

10th round NBA draft pick in 1974 for Seattle.  Played two years with Sonics before a knee injury ended his career.

Elma High School, 1970.

Ryan Dokke

In June 2020, was named CEO of Play It Again Music’s publishing, label and management operations, owned by award winning song writer Dallas Davidson. In 2020, was elected to a two year term on the board of directors of the Academy of County Music. Also serves on the boards of ACM Lifting Lives, Country Radio Broadcasters, and the Gospel Music Association.

He has held “…prominent programming and management positions at a variety of high-profile County stations throughout the years, as well as serving on the National Programming Platform team for Clear Channel, and eventually iHeart Radio. Upon moving to Nashville (in 2011), he worked as Manager/Regional Promotion of Sony Music Entertainment (Arista Records)…”  Before joining Play It Again “…he led a multi-genre roster as Senior Vice President of Curb World Entertainment.”

In March 2022 he joined Big Machine Label Group (BMLG Records) as Vice President, Promotion & Marketing, reporting directly to President/CEO Jimmy Harnen. “Dokke will support the label’s roster, which includes, five-time Grammy award-winning trio Lady A, multi-Platinum-selling vocalist Brett Young, ACM award-winner Riley Green…” —, March 28, 2022.

In 2001 he began his radio career, at age 16, as an intern for KXRO in Aberdeen, and later as a full-time broadcaster.

Raised and educated in Hoquiam, Hoquiam High School class of 2001. 

William “Bill” Donahoe

2002 Top Salesperson Award for the National Association of Realtors.  Associated with Coldwell Banker Bain, Builder Services Group, Bellevue, Washington. — Realtor Magazine, September 2002.

Began his real estate career in 1967 with his father’s real estate company, R. M. Donahoe Real Estate, in Ocean City, north of Ocean Shores.

Attended Grays Harbor College.

Lane “Lanny” Dowell

Track and Field Official.  “One of the premier field officials in the nation.”  Lead hammer official at the 2000 and  2004 US Olympic Trials.

“Field official for the World Veteran Championships — an event for athletes older than 40 — South Africa in 1997 and Australia in 2001.”  — Bremerton Sun, May 2004.Recipient of the Horace Crow Award as the Distinguished Field Event Official in the USA for 2005.  — US Track and Field.

Born, raised and educated in Hoquiam.  Hoquiam High School, 1960.

Sir Francis Drake

Many believe Sir Francis Drake visited the Pacific Northwest coast during his voyage from 1577 to 1580, and was the first European to enter Grays Harbor in the year 1579.

“Just south of Cape Flattery, is a Makah native village called Ozette, which was buried by a massive mudslide in about 1600.  It was excavated by archeologists in the 1970s, and a European bead and brass tacks were among the items found.  It is possible that the bead came from Drake’s ship; certainly the other possibilities seem relatively remote.”

“In 1647, Sir Robert Dudley produced an atlas, Dell’Arcano del Mare, which was published in Florence.  Some of the coastal features on the map of the northwestern coast of America have been compared to modern coastal features, specifically Cape Flattery, Grays Harbor, and the entrance to the Columbia River.” Dudley’s father was one of Drake’s financial backers and in a position to have had direct information from Drake. — Derek Hayes, Historical Atlas of the Pacific Northwest, 1999.

Resided in Grays Harbor, 1579.  (As for me, I’m a believer.)

Aberdeen Elks Band

“The band played at the Elks National Convention in Chicago in 1973, and wowed the crowd.” — The Daily World.  

From 1973 through the mid-2000’s, served as the Elks National Band, performing at the annual Elks National Conventions.

Russ and Diane Ellison

Many times World Champion Log Rollers.  At the World Championships in 1961, Russ and Diane “not only won the Trick and Fancy Division, Russ won the Old Timer Title (over 45 years), Diane won the Women’s World Championship, and Russ’s successful birling protégé, Blair Acker was a runner-up in the Men’s Division.” — Reach for the Sky.

Father and Daughter.  Both born, raised and educated in Aberdeen.

Matthew Harris Ellsworth

United States Congressman from Oregon 1943-1957.  “Appointed by President Eisenhower as Chairman of the Civil Service Commission 1957-1959.” — Biographical Directory of the United State Congress.

Born in Hoquiam, September 17, 1899.

H. Stuart Elway

One of the western United States’ most respected pollsters.  Elway is a Ph.D. and heads Elway Research.  — The Daily World, August 29, 2002.

Born, raised and educated in Hoquiam.  Hoquiam High School, 1966.

Jack Elway

College head football coach — Grays Harbor College, California State at Northridge, San Jose State, Stanford University.  Father of John Elway.

Born, raised and educated in Hoquiam.   Hoquiam High School, 1949.  Bachelor Degree and Master Degree, Washington State College.

John Elway

NCAA and NFL football star, and 2004 Professional Football Hall of Fame inductee.

Both his parents were born and raised in Hoquiam.

John lived in Central Park (Aberdeen suburb) as a youngster, and attended kindergarten at Central Park Elementary — information provided by his aunt, Barbara Elway Rottle.

Occasionally returns to the Harbor for family events.

Ralph Faulkner

U. S. Olympic fencer who became known as “Hollywood’s Swashbuckler to the Stars,” after staging a spectacular fencing duel for Prisoner of Zenda (1937), starring Ronald Colman and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.  For four decades he staged the swordfights for movies like: The Thief of Baghdad (1940), The Court Jester (1956), Jason and the Argonauts (1963), and Clash of the Titans (1980).— Les Hammer, Swashbuckler to the Stars.

Moved to Aberdeen in 1907,  Weatherwax High School, 1911.

Rueben Fleet

Airplane industry pioneer.  “In 1918, commanded the unit that flew the inaugural load of US Air Mail from New York to Washington D. C.”   In 1923, he “founded Consolidated Aircraft in Buffalo, New York.  He decided in 1935 to relocate to San Diego.”

Consolidated Aircraft was the parent of Convair, later a division of General Dynamics Corp.  General Dynamics Aerospace Group includes Gulfstream Aerospace which designs and builds the world’s most technologically advanced business jet aircraft — San Diego Biographies, San Diego Historical Society.

The airplane flown in the inaugural postal service flight was a Curtiss JN-4, and its image was used in the 24 cent United States postage stamp first issued on May 10, 1918. In the initial printing of the stamp, the image was printed upside down, and it became known as the “Inverted Jenny” postage stamp. It is one of the most famous errors in American philately.

On November 8, 2023 an original condition “Inverted Jenny” sold on Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries for $2,008,000.00. —

Rueben Fleet and his sister Lillian Fleet Bishop gifted Fleet Park to the  city of Montesano in August 1946. — The Vidette.

The Bishop Center for Performing Arts in Aberdeen was constructed in honor of E. K. and Lillian Fleet Bishop, and initially funded by a contribution from Rueben Fleet. — information from Isabelle Lamb.

Born, raised and educated in Montesano.

Ralph Flowers

The “Bear Man” was known for his “encyclopedic knowledge and understanding of the American Black Bear.”  Best known for his work in bear damage control.  He wrote three books on bear hunting  and bear damage control.

“His career as an animal damage control specialist spanned fifty years, taking bear damage control technology from leg-hold traps and hound hunting to a sophisticated damage identification system and targeted feeding program that nearly halted tree damage in targeted areas without lethal removal. The program is a model of forest and wildlife management, admired and studied worldwide by forest and wildlife managers.” — obituary,, Washington State Society of American Foresters.  Information provided by his wife, Velma Flowers.

Came to Grays Harbor in 1946 upon discharge from the Army.  Lived in Aberdeen.

Will Foster

Recipient of 2001 Design Award for Excellence, National Concrete Masonry Association, for design of his personal residence in Montesano. — The Daily World.

Partner at Street, Lundgren & Foster Architects and Planning Consultants, Montesano.  Currently resides in Montesano.

Lee Friedlander

World-renowned photographer, famous for his use of shadows.

1990 recipient of a John D. and Katherine T. MacArthur Fellowship.

“Lee Friedlander is widely acknowledged as a master of American photography.”   “His first paid job was a Christmas card for a madam in his home town of Aberdeen, a lumber mill town on the Pacific coast in Washington.  Her name was Peggy Plus: the picture was of her dog.” —  essay in catalog for Exhibition, Like a One Eyed Cat, a retrospective of the photography of Lee Friedlander, 1988-1991.

The well known Playboy photos of Madonna were taken by Lee Friedlander. “Madonna, then a cash strapped student, received $25 for the entire photoshoot. Most of the photos were ultimately featured in Playboy Magazine in 1985.” A single 13″ by 8 5/8″ black and white photo from the photoshoot sold at a 2009 Christie’s Art House auction for $37,000. – CNN, February 12, 2009.

Recipient of the 2004 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography. (Sweden)

His photographs have shown in many famous museums, and was featured for the month of June 2005 at  the Museum of Modern Art (New York).

Friedlander is “hailed as one of the masters of twentieth-century American photography. — ”National Gallery of Art , 2001

“… Friedlander is one of the most important America artists of any kind since World War II.” —  Time Magazine, June 5, 2005

Lee’s exposure to photography began in his early teens, when according Frank Garrett of Garrett’s Camera Shop at 113 E. Wishkah, “…everyday right after school he came right down to the store. I figured the best thing I could do was to give him a job.” – The Daily World, John Hughes, June 2005.

Born, raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1952.

Steve Girard

“Girard spent his entire career with Kaiser Corporation, a conglomerate of shipbuilders, aluminum producers, chemical makers, and aircraft manufacturers, among other businesses. When he was 25, he joined Kaiser as a construction superintendent overseeing work on the Grand Coulee Dam.”

“In the 1960’s, he wa president and chief executive of the Kaiser Jeep Corporation , which at the time held the trademark rights to call its vehicle a Jeep. As the chief executive of the Kaiser Industries Corporation… Mr. Girard led the holding company through its final stages of liquidation. Mr Girard then became chief executive of Kaiser Resources, a coal-mining concern, and was chairman, president, and chief executive of the Kaiser Steel Company in the early 1980’s. After retirement he founded Girard Winery, Napa Valley, California. — Business Day by Jennifer Bayot, The New York Times, December 13, 2004.

As CEO of Kaiser Jeep Corporation, “he was instrumental in the design of the Jeep Wagoner. — obituary by Suzanne Hegel, Chronicle Staff Writer,, December 13, 2004.

Born, raised and educated in Hoquiam.  Hoquiam High School, 1933.

John Goddard

Began his cable televison industry career in Aberdeen.  Served in management of Tele-Vue, Cable Division of CBS, and Viacom Cable.  Was CEO of Viacom Cable from 1980 to 1996. — The Cable Center,

2004 inductee to the Cable Television Hall of Fame.

Born, raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1959.

Carrie Goldberg

Founder and lead attorney of her own law firm in New York City, specializing in the field of victim’s rights, particularly in revenge porn, and online abuse.  “C. A. Goldberg, PLLC exists to stop a–holes, psychos, pervs, and trolls from destroying the lives of their targets. It’s our mission to get justice for our clients and restore their safety and privacy.”          

“Carrie Goldberg is a pioneer in the field of sexual privacy, using the law to defend victims of hacking, leaking, and other online assaults…Goldberg grew up in Aberdeen, Washington, the rainy, economically depressed logging town that Kurt Cobain was from. Her father ran a furniture store; her mother, an obituary writer for the local paper, quit to bring up four children. Goldberg, the second child, was an instinctive feminist and a bit of a misfit. “Artsy without the artistic talent,” as she puts it. It was the riot-grrrl (sic) era, and Goldberg was riotous.” – The New Yorker, Margaret Talbot, November 28, 2016.

Born, raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1995

Captain Robert Gray

First American to venture into the harbor, which was named after him by his crew, on May 7, 1792.  Gray stayed in the harbor for four days, and originally named the harbor, Bulfinch’s Harbour (sic).

In the journal of one of his crew members, however, is the following entry: “Named the harbor we had left after our Captain.”  On the first chart of the harbor, as on other charts since, the name Gray’s (sic) Harbor appears. — Francis E. Cross and Charles M Parkin, Jr., Sea Venture, Captain Gray’s Voyages of Discovery 1787-1793.

Sylveanus “Vean” Gregg

“Began his Major League baseball career in 1911 with the Cleveland Naps (Indians). The 26 year-old played for eight seasons on four different teams, and ended his playing career in 1925.” — Baseball Almanac.

Ranked third in the competition for the 1911 American League, Cy Young Award. —

Played for Cleveland Naps (Indians) 1911-14, Boston Red Sox 1914-16, Philadelphia Athletics 1918, Washington Nationals (Senators) 1925.

Ranked in “The 100 Greatest Tribe Players of all Time” by the Cleveland Indians in 2001.  —

By the end of the 1913 season with Cleveland “Gregg had set a mark that has yet to be equalled: By winning 20 games for the third year in a row, he became the only 20th century pitcher to win 20 or more in each of his first three years.” – David Eskenazi and Steve Rudman, Wayback Machine: Sylveanus Augustus Gregg,, 2012

Born in Chehalis.  After his baseball career, he owned and operated Vean Gregg’s – Home Plate Restaurant and Tavern at 710 Simpson Avenue in Hoquiam until his death in 1964.

Victor Grinich (Grgurinović)

Electronics industry pioneer.

“One of the eight founders of Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957, which created the first mass-produced integrated circuit, a predessessor of the modern computer chip. After leaving Fairchild, he taught at Stanford  and the University of California at Berkeley.  Co-author of Introduction to Integrated Circuits.” — obituary, The New York Times, November 1, 2000.  Information provided by Tom Seguin, Sr. and Harold Warren.

Fellow Fairchild founder Julius Blank said in an interview, “One of the key roles Victor played was the development of the analog circuit, which is used today in any device requiring an electronic response.  Without Victor we couldn’t have done it.  He was the only engineer in the group.”

In “The 50 Greatest Breakthroughs Since the Wheel,” in position #4 was “Semiconductor electronics, mid-20th century. The physical foundation of the virtual world.” – James Fallows, The Atlantic, November 2013.

He also formed Escort Memory Systems (EMS), which was eventually purchased by Datalogic. EMS was a forerunner in the transponder device development, or RFID.  Although the original devices were used in place of brands to track cows, other uses include ID badges, and toll gate “fast passes.” —  from an interview with his daughter Anita Grinich.

Annually a Grays Harbor College scholarship is awarded in Victor’s name. 

Born and raised in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1942.

Evie Hatfield Hansen

Nationally known writer of books on cooking seafood.  Has published six books, including Seafood Twice a Week.

“Evie Hansen is the nation’s leader in seafood education.  She has written award winning books and teaches year-round about the benefits and delights of seafood.”

“Being a fisherman’s wife, her recipe testing has been done on boatloads of fish and shellfish.” — Evie Hansen & Cindy Snyder, Seafood Twice a Week.

Raised in Aberdeen. Weatherwax High School, 1966.

Harbor Grown Christmas Trees

Hedlund Christmas Tree Farm, Satsop, Washington. Ed, Cindy and Thomas Hedlund.

“Two time Grand Champion Award winners for the National Christmas Tree Association.  Two trees were the official Christmas trees for the White House in 2002 for President George W. Bush, and in 1998 to President Clinton.”

Each year, one tree went to the Blue Room, and the other in the President’s private residence.  — The Daily World, September 29, 2002.

Northwest Plantations Tree Farm, Satsop Valley, Washington. John and Carol Tillman.

2004 Grand Champion Award winners for the National Christmas Tree Association.  The Tillman’s provided three trees from their Satsop Valley tree farm for the White House in 2004.  One for the Oval Office, one for the Blue Room and one for Camp David. — The Daily World, October 20, 2004.

Maranatha Hay

Filmmaker and director.

“World Premiere of “Indirect Actions” from award-winning director Maranatha Hay and producer Ryan Moore. The project is the world’s first immersive documentary feature film… seen as part of the first-ever Dome Series at the Downtown LA Film Festival Opening Gala on Wednesday, October 23, 2019. Director Maranatha Hay says, “I’m thrilled to share this experience through a medium as powerful as the story. It’s an epic saga on the Great Plains that is incredibly relevant in our time—on the biggest screen you’ve ever seen. As a female filmmaker, I’m proud to be pioneering this new cinematic journey where the audience lives in the consciousness of the storyteller’s memory and the dome becomes a sanctuary for this.”, October 18, 2019. (Immersive filmmaking uses several 360° cameras, shooting in every direction, all at once.)

Five-time regional Emmy Award winning director and producer. Executive Director, Tower Films, Venice, California, 2011-2022.

Communications Officer, Grays Harbor Public Health 2020-2021.

Director of Communication, Washington State Department of Health, September 2022 to present. 

Raised and educated in the Wishkah Valley.

David Haynes

“Winner of the NAIA National Swimming Championships in the 100 and 200 yard butterfly events for the University of Puget Sound in 1987.”

2003 inductee to the University of Puget Sound Hall of Fame. — The Daily World, February 3, 2003.

Raised in Hoquiam.  Hoquiam High School, 1983.

Fred Hillier

“Awarded the Institute of Operations Research and Management Sciences 2004 INFORMS Expository Award, for setting an exemplary standard of exposition in his Introduction to Operations Research textbook.” The book has been translated into 15 languages and used by over one million students. — per Fred Hillier

Was inducted into the International Hall of Fame for Operations Research at the 2023 IFORS (International Federations of Operational Research Societies) conference in Santiago, Chile. — per Fred Hillier.

“A Stanford University professor since 1961, and the author or co-author of six books in his field of operations research, which involves the application of mathematical models and techniques to decision making.”  — The Daily World, November 1, 2004.

Born and raised in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, Valedictorian, 1954.

George H. Hitchings

Awarded “Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1988”, which he shared with two others.  “George Hitchings and Gertrude Elion’s research revolutionized both the development of new pharmaceuticals and the field of medicine in general. One of the first drugs produced by the pair was for leukemia and helped many children with the disease to survive. Other drugs fight malaria, infections and gout, as well as help with organ transplantions.”

In an interview after receiving Nobel Prize said, “living in Hoquiam was among the happiest times in my life.” His father was an owner of the Hitchings and Joyce Shipyard (formerly Matthews Shipyard), in Hoquiam’s North End.

After it was announced he had received the Nobel Prize he was invited to Hoquiam, and in May 1990 he was honored as the Grand Marshall of Hoquiam’s Centennial Celebration event, where he rode on a tugboat in the Centennial Boat Parade on the Hoquiam River. – Juli Bergstrom, The Daily World, May 27, 1990.

Born in Hoquiam, April 18, 1905.  Science Degree, University of Washington, 1927.

Pat Hughes

An active business leader with interests in such Washington based companies as American Piledriving Equipment, Renton Concrete Recyclers and Iron Mountain Quarry.

Co-owner, co-founder CEO of American Piledriving Equipment (APE), manufacturer of the largest piledriving hammers in the world. Capable of driving piling up to 98’ in diameter. –

Generously provides numerous grants and scholarships for St. Mary School and Grays Harbor College for the benefit of the youth of Grays Harbor.

Born in Hoquiam, in 1937. Attended St Mary School (Aberdeen) and graduated from Weatherwax High School (Aberdeen), 1952.

ILWU, Aberdeen Local 24

Hosted the first convention of the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union – ILWU in 1938, in Aberdeen. — John Hughes and Ryan Beckwith, On the Harbor.

Albert Johnson

United States Congressman from the Third Congressional District of Washington State from 1912 to 1932.

“History has neglected Congressman Albert Johnson, `Father of the 1924 Immigration Bill.’  The act codified the concept of admitting aliens into the United States on the basis of quotas.”  Jim Scott, Festschrift, 1994.

Owner, Publisher and Editor of the Grays Harbor Washingtonian, Hoquiam, from 1907 until 1934.  Buried in Sunset Memorial Park, Hoquiam.

Christa Johnson

LPGA Tour golfer since 1980.  Winner – LPGA Championship Tournament, 1997.  Member of the 1998 Solheim Cup Team.

Currently competes in the LPGA Tour and the Legends Tour.

All-American at the University of Arizona from 1979-80.

Played as Chris Johnson from 1980 to 2005.

Grandparents, and mother (Ginnie McGillicuddy) were born and raised in Aberdeen.   (It’s a bit of a stretch to call her a Harborite, but she is my cousin.)

Ruth Karr McKee

One of 11 children of pioneer Hoquiamite James A. Karr. Died at age 76 in 1951.

“In 1917 she was appointed to the University of Washington Board of Regents – the first woman to hold that position.  In 1923, when she was elected president of the UW Regents, she was the first woman in the nation to hold such an office at a major university.” — The Daily World, October 7, 2001.

The University of Washington Women’s Dormitory constructed in 1935-36, consisted of four separate 75 student houses, or wings. “The houses were named in honor of important women the state or university history: Eliza Ferry Leary…Catherine V. Blaine…Ruth Karr McKee…and Isabella Austin.” In 1961 the entire structure was named Hansee Hall, and now serves as a coed dormitory. – SAH Archipedia, Susan Boyle.

She is the author of Mary Richardson Walker: Her Book (1945), the story of her great grandmother. She and her husband Elkanah Wallker were one of six couples sent by the Anerical Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions to the Oregon Mission in 1837. – “Guide to the Ruth Karr McKee Paper 1941-1943”. Washington State University Libraries. Information provided by Nancy Cuyle.

Born in 1874, raised and educated in Hoquiam.

John B. Kinne

“Won the Medal of Honor while serving with the First North Dakota Infantry during the Philippine Insurrection of 1899-1901 that grew out of the Spanish –American War.  Pvt. Kinne performed with extraordinary courage as a scout in no less than 25 engagements and also rendered medical assistance to fallen comrades.” — The Daily World, October 7, 2001.

Dr. Kinne lived in Aberdeen for over 30 years and was a highly respected physician. His time in Aberdeen was interrupted by medical service in France during World War I.“Medal of Honor Recipients from Washington State”,

Buried in Fern Hill Cemetery, Aberdeen.

Tracy M. Kosoff

Captain, US Navy, retired.  U. S. Naval Academy class of 1958.  Served on, and commanded several diesel and nuclear submarines during his 30 year naval career.  Served as director of Computer Systems Department at the Naval War College Center for War Gaming. — obituary, Shipmate, May 2003.

Born, raised and educated in Hoquiam,  Hoquiam High School, 1954.

Peter B. Kyne

“Best selling author of the “Cappy Ricks” stories which first ran in the Saturday Evening Postin 1915.  A subsequent series of novels were best sellers over a quarter century.” — John Hughes and Ryan Beckwith, On the Harbor.

Kyne worked for a time for the North Western Lumber Co., Hoquiam.

During that time he became enchanted by the real-life Ralph E. “Matt” Peasley.  His stories of the ventures of Peasley in the Cappy Ricks novels propelled him to the forefront of American popular fiction.  Although they were fiction, the stories were of Peasley’s life as a sea captain.

By his death in 1957, he had written 25 novels and over a thousand short stories.

His parable “The Go Getter” written in 1921 is still an print, and available on

Lady Washington

Appeared in the Disney movie, The Pirates of the Caribbean, released in the summer of 2003.  In the film, the ship is the “HMS Interceptor.”

In 1994, the ship was featured in the movie Star Trek: The Next Generation.  — The Daily World, September 27, 2002.

Owned by the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority.  Constructed, and home ported in Aberdeen.

Frank Lamb

Botanist, timberman, inventor and founder of Lamb Grays Harbor Company.  With his son George, became world-wide leaders in paper handling equipment.

Pioneer member of the Sierra Club. Was a member of President Theodore Roosevelt’s White House Conference on Natural Resources, in 1908.

One of the key leaders pushing the 1911 Washington State Legislature to adopt the Port District Act. Served as Port of Grays Harbor Commissioner 1911-1951.

The Lamb business has operations in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

World Headquarters, Hoquiam.

Port Grays Harbor Commissioner from 1911 to 1951. 

Isabelle Lamb

Together with her husband George, led Enterprises International, Inc., the Lamb family business and its subsidiaries, becoming its president in 1984. Served on board of US Bank of Washington.

Served as the first female Port of Grays Harbor Commissioner. Served from 1994-2004.

Jerry Lambert

Hollywood television, stage and film actor.

Has appeared in six movies and 46 television shows including Sons and Daughters, Greek, Everybody Loves Raymond, Malcolm in the Middle, and Howie Do It. Appears in a regularly occurring role in American Housewife sitcom, as Principal Albin.

In 2008 was in the cast of Smother with Diane Keaton and Liv Tyler. Featured in many television commercials for such companies as Geico, Lazy Boy, Holiday Inn, and in 2010-2012 as Kevin Butler in the Sony Playstation television and ads.

While on the Harbor, he appeared in summer shows at Driftwood Players and Grays Harbor College, which he attributes to giving him much of the confidence it takes to pursue a Hollywood career.

Raised and educated in Elma and Montesano.  Montesano High School, 1975.

Steve Lamoreaux

1999 recipient of the Frances M. Pipkin Award of the American Physical Society.  “For extensive contributions to precision measurements science, especially searches for a permanent electric dipole moment of the neutron and atoms, measurements of atomic parity violation, and tests of spatial symmetries and quantum mechanics, including observation of the vacuum Casimir Effect.”— from 1999 Frances M. Pipkin Award.

Fellow of the American Physical Society, B.S. in Physics from the University of Washington, 1981.  Doctorate in Physics from the University of Washington, 1986.

Staff Scientist/Laboratory Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1996 to 2006.   Currently a Professor of Physics at Yale University.

Raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1977.

Rudd Lawrence

Executive with FortuneMagazine in the 1940’s.  Pioneered television advertising for NBC in 1950.  — Main Street, November 4, 1953, Ben K. Weatherwax.  Copy provided by Jon Hardy.

Vice President, New York Stock Exchange, 1953 — archives of Bob Preble.

Born, raised and educated in Aberdeen.

Leo Lomski

Known in the boxing world as the “Aberdeen Assassin.”

“Hype Igoe, veteran boxing writer of the New York Morning World, rates Leo Lomski, Aberdeen lightheavy (weight), as the greatest all-around fighter in the world today.” – Tacoma News Tribune, 11/15/1927.

“He came to Aberdeen out of the North Idaho country in 1923.It wasn’t long before he moved up to the big time, dubbed the `Aberdeen Assassin.’  By this time he was a light heavyweight, and barely lost a world title bout with the champion, Tommy Loughran”  at Madison Square Garden.Lomski fought all over the world and lost only 20 of 150 recorded bouts. Died in Grayland in 1979.” — Seattle Times, March 23, 1982.

This interesting article appeared in The Aberdeen World on January 6, 1928.  “The blow by blow returns of the light heavyweight championship fight between Leo Lomski, Aberdeen lightheavy, and Thomas Loughran, Philadelphia, the champion, at Madison Square Garden tonight, will be announced from the windows of the World editorial rooms, facing ‘I’ Street.  Immediately after the contest, The World will issue a complete fight extra.”

Russell V. Mack

United States Congressman from the Third Congressional District of Washington State, from 1947 until he died on the floor of congress in 1960.

Moved to Hoquiam with his family at age 14.

Publisher of the Grays Harbor Washingtonian in Hoquiam from 1934 until 1948. — John Hughes and Ryan Beckwith, On the Harbor.

John Madden

NFL television football announcer.  Former Head Coach of Oakland Raiders, NFL player, and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

In one of his books Madden talks about going to Grays Harbor College. “The football coach, Chase Anderson, arranged jobs for his players. Mine was to sweep out the Mint Cafe in town. The more I traveled, the more I realized later (sic) that almost every small town in America has a Mint Cafe.”

“But the Mint Cafe in Aberdeen had a card room in the back– a few green felt-topped tables where the lumberjacks and fish-cannery workers played draw poker, low ball, and fan tan.”

“(After) My first days there, the boss liked the way I mixed with the poker players. After that I was more of shill than a sweeper. But, that’s where I really learned to play poker, which I still play at a moment’s notice.”— John Madden with Dave Anderson, Hey Wait a Minute, I Wrote a Book, 1984.

Played football for the Grays Harbor College Chokers, in 1956.

McCaw Family

Of fame in the telecommunications industry, the family has roots in Grays Harbor.

W. O. McCaw was the founder of Aberdeen Savings & Loan, now Anchor Savings Bank.

J. Elroy McCawgraduated from Weatherwax High School, circa 1931.  Became a leader in the communications industry, at one time owning WINS Radio in New York, and Channel 13 TV, in Seattle.

Craig, Bruce, Keith and Johnare sons of J. Elroy McCaw. They founded McCaw Cellular (became ATT Cellular), and Nextel Communications. — information provided by Bill McCaw.

Terry T. McGillicuddy

Captain, US Navy, retired.  US Naval Academy class of 1940.  Served as Commanding Officer and Director U. S. Naval Applied Science Laboratory from 1966 through 1971, during development of the navigation systems for Polaris submarines. — information from Gene Woodwick.

While serving in WWII aboard the “USS Pennsylvania”,  “Shortly after midnight on the eleventh of February, 1944, 14″ powder tanks were being taken aboard. One tank had been struck below to the handling room of Turret One and was being lifted across the coaming of an open door into the right service magazine when it exploded. Fire swept over the powder cans stacked in the magazine.”

“Within a few miraculous moments, the lower handling room was entered from the bottom by LT Terry Thomas McGillicuddy, alone and with one firehose.  LT McGillicuddy put out the magazine fire all by himself.  The magazines and others adjacent were then promptly flooded. There were numerous casualties, of whom four died.”

“If it had not been for one man’s action, there could have been scores or hundreds of human casualties.” — The Man Who Gave the Navy a Battleship, Daniel Appleton.

For his action in saving the ship “Terry was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, and, of more importance, the heartfelt thanks of his shipmates.” — The Class of Forty After Fifty Years © W. M. Carpenter 1990. Original text by C. H. Hall and W. D. Lanier.

Born, raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1934. US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Class of 1940.

Richard McLean

World renowned photo realist artist.

London Arts Group describes his work as  “Photo Realism, Post-Pop and Super Realism… The paintings look like photographs.”  They also consider him “Widely regarded as one of the most important photo-realists.”

Born in Hoquiam, 1934.

Steve McPeak

“Currently holds a number of world unicycling records, but also must surely hold the record for breaking unicycle records.  Began unicycling at age 20 while attending Asbury College.  For summer vacation, Steve returned to his home in Hoquiam, Washington, and started working his way upward.” “Among his records are, on November 8, 1975, he gained access to the 1,500 foot cable that suspended 700 feet above Hoover Dam and rode a specially constructed unicycle across.  .he was fined $200.”

“Rode a 100 foot unicycle on the ground.  Rode a 20 foot unicycle on a tight wire suspended 35 feet above the ground.”—  Jack Wiley, The Complete Book of Unicycling. Appeared on “Wide World of Sports” riding a unicycle up the cable car wire to Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro.

Attended Asbury College, Seattle Pacific College.  Raised and educated in Hoquiam.  Hoquiam High School, circa 1963.

Curtis Messer

“Five time recipient of Northwest Bowlers Association, Bowler of the Year award.”

“He has rolled over 25 sanctioned perfect 300 games and, in 1982, recorded an 877 series without the benefit of a 300 (on games of 279, 299 and 299)” , which at that time, was a world record in the category. — The Daily World, February 17, 2002.

Raised and educated in Hoquiam.  Hoquiam High School, 1980.

Sun Min

One time Associate Producer “for New York-based network television shows “48 Hours,” “20/20” and “PrimeTime Live.”  In 2002, Sun was nominated for a National News Emmy Award for a “48 Hours” story on 9/11 families.  She is also a winner of the Edward R. Murrow journalism award and Cinema in Industry Award.” — Hofstra Law School Internal Community Blog, September 7, 2008.

Began her television career “as a receptionist for Peter Jennings at “ABC News”,…quickly moved up in the field working for the “Barbara Walters Show”.  In 1998, she became Associate Producer for “48 Hours”. — The Pacific County Press, January 30, 2002.

“Nominated for a news Emmy Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences…for her work on the TV show ‘48 Hours.’ The nominated episode was ‘All in the Family’ — about extraordinary families.” — The Daily World, July 26, 2002.

Raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1989.   Law Degree, Columbia University.

Bob “Bobby” Moch

Coxswain on the University of Washington 8-man crew that represented the United States in the 1936 Olympics. The crew embarrassed Hitler by beating the German crew for the Olympic Gold Medal in Grunau, Germany.

On November 7, 1936, the crew was honored by the Montesano Chamber of Commerce at the Odd Fellows Hall.

The #1 Best Selling New York Times best seller “The Boys in the Boat”, a novel by Daniel James Brown is about the crew and Bobby is a featured character. The film “The Boys if the Boat” is directed by George Clooney and due to premier on December 25, 2023, “This inspirational true story follows a group of underdogs at the height of the Great Depression as they are thrust into the spotlight to take on the elite rivals from around the world.”

Raised and educated in Montesano.  His  parents owned a jewelry store.

Walt Morey

Author and creator of Gentle Ben and Kavik the Wolf Dog. In a handwritten note in a book signed by Morey, he expressed delight that the book owner is from his old home town of Hoquiam.

Born in Hoquiam, February 3, 1907.

Robert Motherwell

“…was born on January 24, 1915 in Aberdeen, Washington.  Motherwell is one of the most recognized American Abstract Expressionist painters.” —

In Motherwell’s The New York Times obituary, renowned modern art critic Clement Greenberg commented, “…in my opinion he was one of the very best of the abstract expressionist painters.”

Works displayed at Guggenheim Gallery, Museum of Modern Art, Prado Museum (Madrid), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and others.  Two of his prints are displayed in the Aberdeen Timberland Library.

Awarded the National Medal of Arts by President George H W Bush in 1989. 

Born and early education in Aberdeen.  As a young man spent summers in Aberdeen and Cohasset Beach, near Westport.

“…I grew up in, and always went back to Aberdeen in the summers. We had a barn at the seashore. I’m sure that’s why I go to Provincetown now (Cape Cod)… it’s very much the same kind of life.” – Smithsonian interview 1971.

Allan Mustard

Nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed as United States Ambassador to Turkmenistan in 2014. At the time of his appointment he was the most senior Foriegn Service officer in the Foreign Agricultural Division of the United States Department of Agriculture. — USDA

Retired from the post in 2019.

Born and raised in Brady. Montesano High School 1973. Associate of Arts, Grays Harbor College 1975. Bachelor of Arts, University of Washington 1978.

Gary Nelson

Chairman of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) for the activity year 2019-2020. AAPA represents more than 130 public major port authorities of Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States.

Recipient of a 2022 Distinguished Service Award by Pacific Northwest Waterways Association (PNWA). PNWA supports the navigation, energy, trade and economic development of the Pacific Northwest.

Served as Executive Director for the Port of Grays Harbor, since 2000.

Gloria Nelson-Collins

One of 1,074 pilots to complete training as a member of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during WWII. “The first women trained to fly American military aircraft.”

“The women were trained to fly military aircraft so male pilots could be released for combat duty overseas. They ferried new planes long distances from factories to military bases and departure points across the country. They tested newly overhauled planes. And, they towed targets to give ground and air gunner training shooting – with live ammunition. The WASP expected to become part of the military during their service. Instead, the program was canceled after just two years.” — Susan Stamberg, NPR, “Female WWII Pilots: The Original Fly Girls,” March 9 2010.  

The WASPs were not granted veteran status until President Jimmy Carter signed Congressional Bill HR 8701 on November 23, 1977.

On July 1, 2009, a congressional law was passed authorizing a single gold medal of appropriate design in honor of the Women Air Force Pilots (WASP) collectively, in recognition of their pioneering military service and exemplary record, which forged revolutionary reform in the Armed Forces of the United States of America. The bill was signed by President Barack Obama, and each of the pilots was to receive a bronze replica.

Gloria Nelson was born in South Bend, March 8, 1923. Raised in Tokeland and graduated from Ocosta High School. Worked at Nelson Crab in Tokeland, before and after WWII.

Peter Norton

Software developer, retired.  Originator of Norton Utilities, which was predecessor to Norton Antivirus, etc. Owner of one of the largest modern contemporary art collections in the nation —

Born in Aberdeen, November 14, 1943.

Krist Novoselić

Songwriter and bass guitar player, for the music group Nirvana. Revolutionized Rock Music in 1992, with what came to be known as “grunge music.”

Awarded a 2003 IMPACT Award given by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. — The Daily World, April 3, 2003.

Continues to be involved in the music industry, as well as politics, and maintains a residence in Pacific County.

Nirvana and its members were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.

Also received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2023 GRAMMYs. When announcing the award the Recording Academy stated, “With a 2014 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and more that 75 million records sold, Nirvana continues to be a singular inspiration for generations of fans and musicians the world over.”

Born, raised and educated in Aberdeen. Weatherwax High School, 1984.

W. L. “Lee” Nutter

CEO of Rayonier, Inc. from 1999 to 2007.

Began his career in Hoquiam in 1967, and resided there for many years.

Roger F. Nyhus

On September 20, 2022 he was nominated by President Joe Biden to the post of  United States Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, which includes seven independent democratic nations. On November 16, 2023 he was unanimously confirmed to the post by the United States Senate. His official title is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Barbados, the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Santa Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. — information provided by Roger Nyhus.

Born and raised in Westport, Ocosta High School 1986. Attended University of Washington. Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Washington State University 1990.

Jayce Ogren

Writer of traditional band and orchestra music.  “Awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study at Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Sweden.” He studied “conducting under the internationally esteemed Jorma Panula, a Finn acclaimed as a ‘maestro of maestros’.”— The Daily World, June 6, 2003.

Composer of Symphonies of Gaia, which has been performed extensively throughout the world, and is published by C. Alan Publications.

2006-2009 served as Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra, considered one of the top professional orchestras in the US. Guest conducted the London Philharmonic in 2009-2010. 

“Jayce Ogren has established himself as one of the most innovative and versatile conductors of his generation.” “…he has conducted many of the world’s most prominent orchestras, including the BBC Symphony, Boston Symphony, Ensemble Intercontemporian, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Dallas and San Francisco Symphonies, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.”, Colbert Artists Management.

Born, raised and educated in Hoquiam.  Hoquiam High School, 1997.

Roger “Buzz” Osborne, Jr.

Lead singer and guitarist of the alternative music group The Melvins. Formed The Melvins with bass guitarist Matt Lukin. Lukin later left The Melvins to play with Mud Honey. — information from Teresa Furstenwerth.

Both were born, raised and educated in Montesano.

Doug Osheroff

Awarded Nobel Prize for Physics, 1996.  Dr. Osheroff was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize, along with his two professors, for his discovery of the point at which Helium-3 becomes a super fluid.   The discovery now serves as a model for scientists studying the “Big Bang Theory” of the development of the universe.  Dr. Osheroff credits growing up on the Harbor with providing him with the fundamental skills to perform the research necessary to make the discovery. — interview with Dr. Doug Osheroff.

1981 Recipient of a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship.  Currently Professor in Department of Physics, Stanford University.

Featured speaker at Grays Harbor College Commencement, 1997.

During breakfast at Duffy’s Restaurant on a visit home for his 50th class reunion, Doug told me that during lectures overseas he sometimes has fun with the audience by telling them that Kurt Cobain’s father was one of his classmates. It would often result in several attendees wanting to talk to him afterwards.

Born, raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1963.

Edward M. “Ed” Orkney

Founder and former CEO of G. I. Joe’s Department Stores.

While he was still residing in Hoquiam, “Back in 1952, a clever pilot, back home from WWII bought 2,000 mummy sleeping bags for $1.50 each.  He set up shop under a tent pitched in a field in Portland, Oregon, and quickly sold all his merchandise reaping a modest profit.  That young Army Air Corps pilot, Edward M. Orkney, then set up shop in an old building in North Portland.” —

Born, raised and educated in Hoquiam.  Hoquiam High School, 1933.

Rose Papac

Renowned oncologist and professor at Yale University of Medicine, 1963-2006.

First woman admitted to St. Louis University Medical School, and first woman intern at the school’s hospital.  First American to take a fellowship at the  prestigious Chester-Beatty Institute in London, England.

“Became a pioneer in the study of tumors and their treatment, including becoming involved in groundbreaking research during the infancy of chemotherapy.” — The Vidette, Tommi Halvorsen Gatlin, April 10, 2008.

Born, raised and educated in Montesano.  Montesano High School, 1945.

Ralph E. “Matt” Peasley

Legendary sailing ship captain along the Northwest coast and the South Pacific.  His sea ventures were the basis of the “Cappy Ricks” stories by Peter B. Kyne, which first ran in the Saturday Evening Post in 1915.

Subsequent novels were best sellers over a quarter century. — John Hughes and Ryan Beckwith, On the Harbor.

Served as Port of Grays Harbor Commissioner 1933-1946.

Peasley came to Montesano in 1889, and died in Aberdeen in 1948.

Denne Bart Petitclerc

Journalist, war correspondent, novelist, producer and screenwriter.

He created the NBC series Then Came Bronson and High Chaparral. Became a close friend of Earnest Hemingway and adapted Hemingway’s novel and wrote the screenplay for Islands in the Stream.

“Ernest Hemingway’s widow, Mary called Petitclerc, her husband’s only real protégé.” — obituary Idaho Mountain Express, February 22, 2006.

At the time of his death he was working on Papa, a film based on his relationship with Hemingway.

Born in Montesano, May 15, 1929.

Benson Porter

Served as President and CEO of BECU from 2012 through 2022, formerly known as Boeing Employees Credit Union. BECU is currently the largest nongovernment employee credit union in the United States, and the fourth largest of all US based credit unions. “His dad and grandfather were the kind of small business owners who valued community involvement. Working in the store as a teenager, he developed a fondness for being the little guy.” Lawyer (Seattle University School of Law), Spring 2017.

Born, raised and educated in Aberdeen. Weatherwax High School, 1983. Whitman College. Seattle University School of Law.

Posey Manufacturing Company of Hoquiam, 1908-1997.

Supplied piano soundboards for major piano manufacturers such as Steinway, Baldwin, Wurlitzer, Yamaha and Kimball. Including a twelve-foot soundboard in a grand piano made for Paul McCartney. Posey also made guitar tops (soundboards), and was producing 500,000 annually during its height in the 1960s. The Guitar – Tracing the Grain Back to the Tree, Chris Gibson and Andrew Warren.

In a The Daily World interview on April 1, 2019, author Chris Gibson said “It’s almost certain that Posey guitar soundboards were in guitars used by Bob Dylan, (and) Elvis, the absolute cream of the crop musicians.”

The spars, or wing beams, for the Spirit of St. Louis, flown by Charles Lindberg in the first non-stop flight from New York City to Paris, also listed as the first solo transatlantic flight, were made from spruce timbers furnished by the Posey Manufacturing Company of Hoquiam. — The Daily World, May 25, 1927.

On September 14, 1927, Charles Lindberg did a “fly-by”,  and dipped his wings over the Hoquiam plant during a United States tour. While circling over downtown Aberdeen he dropped a “parchment wrapped in canvas on to the street…congratulating Aberdeen upon its interest in aeronautics…” — “The  Lindberg Connection” Benn’s Bulletin, Roy Vataja, January 2008.

The “parchment” was passed down through members of the Aberdeen Active Club, and donated to the Aberdeen Museum in late 2007.

Marcus E. Raichle

Pioneer in medical imaging.  Uses “functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) (sic) and Position Emission Tomography (PET) to study human brain organization and function in health and disease.”

“1998 recipient of the Karl Spencer Lashley Award from the American Philosophical Society for his contributions to brain imaging.  His imaging is used to create maps to tell how the brain and behaviors are related, and how diseases such as stroke, depression, anxiety and Parkinson’s disease affect the brain’s function.” — website Washington University in St. Louis.  Information provided by Leif Tangvald.

Raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1955.

Jay Ellis Ransom

Freelance Author.  Has written “more than 400 magazine and journal publications in some 100 periodicals, 10 major books… and 76 professional publications.”

His main “Harper Collins books embrace the fields of geology, paleontology, mines and minerals, gemstone and gold hunting,” and wildlife identification.

Although out of print, many of his publications are still available through

In 2006, at the age of 92, he “completed his latest book The Poets Club, the story of the “Poets Club” of Weatherwax High School, 1929-31, and its creative teacher and sponsor Mr. Vincent Hill.”  (originally compiled in 1936.)

Information from resumé provided by Mr. Ransom.

Attended Weatherwax High School, and Grays Harbor College.

Richard V. Reynolds

Lieutenant General, US Air Force, retired.  Commander, Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, 1998-2001

Commander, Aeronautics Systems Center, Air Force Materiel (sic) Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, 2001-2003.

Vice-Commander, US Air Force Material Command, 2003-2005.

Born, raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1967.

Howard P. Roberston

Professor of mathematical physics at Princeton and CalTech.

A memoriam published by CalTech stated, “Early in his career he gave the solution of Einstein’s cosmological equations for the case of a homogeneous and isotropic universe. By bringing to bear his great mathematical skill on the two-body problems in general relativity he succeeded in obtaining its solution, a task which before him had been unsuccessfully tried by almost all the best specialists.”

In addition, a telegram of condolence received by the Robertson family included this from President John F. Kennedy. “As a scientist and teacher, foriegn secretary of the National Academy of Sciences, member of the President’s Science Advisory Committee, chairman of the Defense Science Board, scientific advisor to SHAPE, and in other key roles he has left an enduring contribution at home and abroad. Please accept our deepest sympathy.” – “In memoriam: Howard P. Robertson.” The Summer at Caltech. October 1961.

Born in Hoquiam in 1903. Raised and educated in Montesano. Graduated from Montesano High School class 1919, as president of his senior class.

His father died in WWI, and his mother Anna raised the five surviving children while postmistress in Montesano.

Don Root

Chairman, CEO and majority shareholder of GM Nameplate in Seattle, with plants in California, North Carolina, Oregon, Singapore, and British Columbia.

“Most people don’t realize it, but each day they may come into contact with a multitude of things made by Seattle’s GM Nameplate.  The touch-pad on a microwave; the instrument panel on a car dash; bold graphics on the trucks and buses; screen printing and foam backing on a mouse pad — these may be made by GM Nameplate, whose markets include the computer, aerospace, automotive, appliance and medical electronics industries.” — Puget Sound Business Journal, June 20-26, 2003.

Born, raised and educated in Hoquiam,  Hoquiam High School, 1953.

Rudolph C. “Rudy” Rÿser, PhD

A leading international authority on American Indian and indigenous peoples affairs.

“He began his career as economic development director at the Quileute Tribe. Later served as specialist on the Federal Administration of Indian Affairs on the American Indian Policy Review Commission, and authored the Federal Administration Task Force Report Issued to the Commission in 1976… In 1979, began serving as Special Assistant to the World Council of Indigenous Peoples President George Manuel. Was appointed acting director for the National Congress of American Indians in 1983. He conceived of and developed the strategy for tribal self-government and, together with Joe DeLaCruz, President of the Quinault Nation, provided the genesis for tribal “government to government” relations with the United States government.”  

In 1979, Rudy and Chief George Manuel founded the Center for World Indigenous Studies (incorporated in 1982), as a think-tank of activist scholars where for over 40 years he served as board chair, executive director and editor of the Fourth World Journal. He contributed for more than 25 years to developing the U. N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Following UNDRIP, he established the International Covenant of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to address UNDRIP limitations…His work established the framework for Free, Prior, and Informed Consent…Recipient of the 43rd Annual Rights Award, United Nations Association in 1986.” — “In Memoriam: Dr Rudolph C. Rÿser, Founding Chair, CWIS,”, October 16, 2023. Much more information can be found in the above article.

Born in Elma, raised in Ocean City and Hoquiam. Hoquiam High School class of 1964. Bachelors degree from Washington State University. PhD in International Relations from Union Institute and University in 1996.

Special tanks to Judy Sajec Reames and Jack Durney for leading me to the international significance of Rudy Rÿser.

George Scott

Worked  for 36 years in engineering and management at General Electric.

Holds 13 patents, one of which is the basic patent for the self-cleaning oven.   Awarded Master Design Award in 1966 for his work in design of  the self-cleaning oven.

Project engineer that developed the first GE microwave oven, and had the first prototype model in his home.  — information provided by Mr. Scott and Jack Bastin.

Raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1943.

Emisire Shahan

“As a young Union Corporal in the Civil War, won the Medal of Honor for single-handedly capturing the flag of the Georgia Infantry.  His act was credited with breaking the morale of a formidable unit of the Confederate Army. “

“Shahan ended up homesteading on the Satsop River, and when he died in 1919, was buried with full military honors at the Masonic Cemetery near Elma.”  — The Daily World, October 7, 2001.

Fawn Sharp

President of the Quinault Indian Nation 2006 – 2015.

In 2011 was appointed by Interior Secretary Kennith Salazar of the President Obama administration to chair the five-member Commission of Indian Trust and Administration. The commission was charged  to “convene hearings, conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the Interior Department’s trust management system and procedures, and to provide recommendations for improvement.” The Daily World, Angelo Bruscas, November 20, 2011.

In December 2019 she was elected President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). The oldest, largest and most representative American Indian government organization in the country. —

Born in Aberdeen in 1970, and raised in Tahola. High school at Lighthouse Christian Academy, Tahola. Bachelor degree from Gonzaga University, 1990. University of Washington Law School, 1995.

Pat Simmons

The driving force, and the only remaining member of the original Doobie Brothers musical group.  Contributed many of the classic Doobie Brothers hit songs.

“…was born in the rainy western coastal town of Aberdeen, Washington on October 19, 1948.  Since his parents were both school teachers, five year old Patrick spent time after school with a babysitter, who just happened to be a piano teacher.  This sparked an interest in music, which has continued throughout his life.” —

Doobie Brothers was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020.

Born in Aberdeen, October 19, 1948.

Bruce Snell

“One of three trainers for the U.S. Soccer Team during the 2002 World Cup.”  “…also a trainer for the U. S. Men’s Olympic Soccer Team in 2000.” — The Daily World, June 2002.

Trainer for US Men’s National Soccer Team 2008.

Born, raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1976.

Terry Snell

U. S. Foreign Service.  Professional diplomat for 30 years.

Former Acting US Ambassador to Greece, 1999 and Germany, 2001.   Deputy Chief of Missions, U. S. Embassy, Berlin, Germany, 2001-2004. —  information from his mother, Shirley Snell.

Held three senior office director positions in the Department of State, and was the political advisor to the US European Command. — biography at

Born, raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1966.

Roxanne Sparks

Winner of several karate competition awards including; nine gold medals at the AAU National Junior Olympics, Des Moines, Iowa; gold medal at the 2004 World Karate Federation World Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada; 2004 Presidential Medal from President George W. Bush.

She has also appeared in three movies, and several television shows. — information provided by Gene Sparks, her father.

Born July 25, 1996 and resides in Hoquiam.  Attended St. Mary School, Aberdeen.

Freddie Steele

Boxing Middleweight Champion of the World, July 1936.

“Successfully defended the title 5 times.  Recognized as one of the greatest middleweight boxers of all time.  133 fights with only 5 losses.”

“Retired from boxing and became a Hollywood actor.  Appeared in such films as Deep Purple, Gentleman Jim Corbett, G. I. Joe, and Hail the Conquering Hero.” — Dan Cuoco, The Career of Freddie Steele Revisited.

Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, June, 1999.

Opened Freddie Steele’s Restaurant in Westport, 1960.   Died in Aberdeen, 1984.

Paul Stritmatter

Nationally acclaimed attorney.  One of five finalists for 1991 National Trial Lawyer of the Year.

Founding member and Past President of Trial Lawyers for Public Justice (National), 2002-2003.

Recipient of the 2003 Pursuit of Justice Award by the American Bar Association.

Featured attorney in Fighting for Public Justice. Listed in Best Lawyers in America.  — biography at

Listed as one of the “500 Leading Litigants in America” by LAWDRAGON , Spring 2006 and September 2007.

Born, raised and educated in Hoquiam.  Hoquiam High School, 1961.  Offices in Hoquiam and Seattle.

Ray Sundquist

NCAA First Team All-American Basketball, 1941-42, Washington State College.

Born, raised and educated in Hoquiam.  Hoquiam High School, 1936.

Ann Swanson

Nationally acclaimed amateur golfer.  Ten time Washington State Women’s Amateur Golf Champion.

Winner of the 2005 Senior Amateur Championship of America at Sea Island, Georgia.

Qualified to play in 25 USGA Championships, including three USGA Women’s Opens.

Member of Grays Harbor Country Club and Sand Point Country Club in Seattle.

Born, raised and educated in Aberdeen.  Weatherwax High School, 1963.

Milton Towne

Brigadier General, US Army, retired.

In 1980, Governor Spellman, appointed Colonel Towne as Assistant Adjutant General, Commander, Washington Air National Guard. He was selected for promotion to Brigadier General by the Air Force Promotion Board, Pentagon, nominated by President Reagan for promotion. In 1988 he retired at the rank of Brigadier General, United States Air Force. — The Daily World, September 7, 2003.

Born raised and educated Hoquiam.  Hoquiam High School, 1948. Upon his retirement he moved to Westport WA. His cremated ashes are inured at Sunset Memorial Park, Hoquiam.

Kurdt Vanderhoof

Lead guitarist and songwriter for the rock music group Metal Church.

Born in Hoquiam.  Raised and educated  in Aberdeen.

See for story on how the band started at the D&R Theater in Aberdeen, with other “Harborites”; Kirk Arrington, Craig Wells, Duke Erickson, and Mike Murphy.

Bruce Avery Van Voorhis

Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient, 1943.

US Navy aviator who was shot down in the Pacific Theater during World War II.   The US Navy destroyer Escort USS Van Voorhis (1957-1972) and the airfield at Naval Airstation Fallon are named after LCDR Bruce Van Voorhis. — Arlington National Cemetery Website.

Born in Aberdeen, January 29, 1908.  He grew up in Nevada, and that state also claims him as the only Medal of Honor recipient from Nevada.

Max Vekich

On June 23, 2021 Max was nominated by President Biden to serve as a member of the Federal Maritime Commission. The commission is comprised of five members, appointed for five-year terms. Mission is to ensure a competitive and reliable international ocean transportation supply system that supports the U. S. economy and protects the public from unfair and deceptive practices. On February 11, 2022, his appointment was confirmed by the US Senate for a term running through on June 30, 2026

Four term member of the Washington State House of Representatives.

Past recipient of the Washington State Historical Society, Robert Gray Medal.

Born, raised and educated in Aberdeen. Graduate of St Mary School, Weatherwax High School, Grays Harbor College and University of Puget Sound.

Marvin “Bud” Ward

“Won the United States Amateur Golf Championship in 1939 and 1941, and was on Walker Cup Teams in 1947 and 1948.” — Seattle Times, Craig Smith, May 6, 1998.

Washington State Amateur Golf Champion, 1938 and 1946.

“Marvin ‘Bud’ Ward learned his game on the Harbor and caddied at the Grays Harbor Country Club.” — Member’s Handbook, Grays Harbor County Club.

Born and raised in Elma.  Eventually resided in Olympia.

Westport Shipyard

The business was started in the 1960’s by Charlie Quigg, Jim Quigg and Ted Holand, as a small boat-lift operation.

Was eventually sold to Randy and Rick Rust, who were the driving forces in making the Westport Shipyard one of the leading manufacturers of luxury yachts in the world.  Randy has retired.  Rick is currently active in the business, along with other owners.

In 2008 the business had in excess of 600 employees in Westport and  Hoquiam, with over 1,300 company wide.

The business regularly ranked in the “Top 20 Builders” of yachts in the world, according to data released in the annual Showboats International Global Order Book.


I hope you’ve enjoyed reading The Harbor — A Culture of Success, and will contribute to its ongoing presence.

Please make yourself a pledge that you’ll forever sing the praises of Grays Harbor County, and continue to nurture the great minds produced in this wonderful part of the world.

It is very gratifying to interview the people listed in the booklet, and hear them tell what an important role living in Grays Harbor played in whatever success they have had.

For instance, Major General Eldon Bargewell, a highly decorated leader of Delta Force, US Army commented, “ Hoquiam and Aberdeen may not be the center of the universe for business and entertainment, but it is a  place where you can rise to success if you have the motivation.”  — The Daily World, March 13, 2006.

Another is Trisha Brown, 2002 National Medal of Arts recipient, who still refers to the Harbor as “very dear to her heart,” and her dances often include references to Grays Harbor.

Thanks to all who contributed information.  And a special thank you to the people of Grays Harbor, for their contribution to the success of those listed in the booklet.

Feel free to contact me with your comments at

Thank you Windermere Real Estate Aberdeen for hosting this website.

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