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Les has always been the Pillar of our heritage. He is missed but his commitment lives on for the benefit of generations to come.
Les was a great friend since I arrived in town in 1982 after graduating from law school and joining the Attorney General's Office, Les had just been elected Thurston County Commissioner. He and I worked together to create the North Capitol Campus Heritage Park and helping to save Capitol Lake among many projects to build a more beautiful State Capitol Campus, Capital City, and County Seat. We also had a mutual love of Hawaii where he met my Dad who he called AT1 and me AT2. My Dad and Les enjoyed discussing history and especially my Dad's WW2 adventure when he was interned in the USSR in 1943. Les also taught me how to take defeat gracefully and just to move on to other projects when ideas such as the Olympic Academy which he hoped would be built in Olympia was not successful. Les was a great mentor, a great man, and a great community servant. Love and prayers to Mary and all his family and friends.
Mary and family: I’m so saddened by the loss of ‘our’ Les. What a life he had and what a legacy he leaves for us to enjoy forever. I always smiled when I saw Les. He just brought that light. I enjoyed working with him on Heritage Park immensely. Your family has much to be proud of in all that Les left in this world. He will forever be a smile in my mind.
We've lost a brilliant ray of sunshine. How the man could brighten up a day with his stories and smile. I worked with Mr. Eldridge in book printing with each of his Civil War novels and enjoyed the happiness in his eyes with the completion of each title. A local star with a compassion and wit not often seen. He will be charming the angels now with his incredible tales. Healing hugs to his family and close friends.
I knew Les best when we both worked on growth management. Both when I worked with him and whenever I saw him in the years that followed, he was invariably kind, and joyful and really a sweet person. He always had a warm word, news of his latest projects and real interest in what others had to say. And he could really sing...I was so worried for him when he fought cancer and so glad he had many more years afterwards. But we are all the poorer for his passing. I know I am. Many, many condolences to his wife and family and many friends.
When I arrived at The Evergreen State College in 1980, Les was one of the first people I met. He then left to pursue other interests in about 1982, and I was sorry to see him leave. Subsequently, however, I was delighted at his election to the Thurston County Commission. Les was one of those rare people who are both effective leaders and a complete delight to work with. It was an honor to have had at least a brief opportunity to be working colleagues. Rest in peace, Les. Well done!
I worked with Les when he was County Commissioner and new him when he was at Evergreen. He knew instinctively how to work with people and energize them to take on important work for our community. He also served as a mentor to many of us. As a result of his work and presence he leaves many legacies, that will continue to grow even in his absence.
From David Whyte's poem "The Journey"
the bones of the black
sticks left when the fire
has gone out
someone has written
in the ashes of your life.
You are not leaving.
Even as the light fades quickly now,
you are arriving."
Please know that you and your family are in our thoughts.
I’m so sorry that the end of Les’s life was so hard.
His legacy to our state was wonderful.
May your memories sustain you.
Melanie and Wayne