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2010 Worker Memorial Day

Coverage of the event

Thoughts and photos provided by families of workers lost in 2009

Timothy Quinn Brenton, 39, Police Officer

Mr. Brenton was a nine-year veteran of the Seattle Police Department, having followed his father and uncle into law enforcement. He was shot in the line of duty on Oct. 31, 2009. He is survived by his wife, son and daughter.

Jin Chen, 22, Microsoft Program Manager

Of Mr. Chen, Microsoft CEO Steven Ballmer wrote: "His work here was appreciated by all of us. We value his time as an intern during the summer of 2007 and most recently as a full-time employee. The projects to which he contributed will be his ongoing legacy and will be shared by millions of our customers as they use our products."

Roger Kent "Duker" Duke, 61, Firefighter

Mr. Duke began his career as a volunteer firefighter, becoming a professional firefighter and eventually joining the Vancouver Fire Department. Fellow firefighters nicknamed him "Duker" and respected him for his work ethic, outspokenness, sense of humor, willingness to help others and his love of the firefighting profession. He died Jan. 2, 2009, having proudly served as a firefighter for 26 years.

Justin James Florek, 25, Brine Operator

Mr. Florek was a brine operator at Equa Chlor. He died on the job on Dec. 25, 2009. He is survived by his wife, Amber, his parents James and Susan, and his brother David.

Weston Michael Fowler, 28, Crab Fisherman

Of Mr. Fowler, his family said he was honest and hardworking. "A beautiful young man who died trying."

Tina M. Griswold, 40, Police Officer

A 14-year law enforcement veteran, Officer Griswold of the Lakewood Police Department was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 29, 2009. There are few photos of the officer. Said her husband: "Tina hated having her picture taken. She made me erase almost all of them -- hair wasn't right, smile wasn't right or just didn't want her picture taken. She is so beautiful. I'll never understand."

Spencer Clark Harrington, 21, Laborer

Born Jan. 6, 1988, at Tacoma General Hospital, Mr. Harrington grew up to attend Foster High School in Tukwila and later worked at Seattle Bulk Rail. He died July 10, 2009, and is survived by his girlfriend, Karen Joy Wilburn, and their 4-month-old son, Spencer Harrington Jr., as well as his devoted parents, siblings and many relatives.

Warren Hazen, 82, Machinist

Married almost 64 years, relatives said of Mr. Hazen, "He was a fighter."

Kurt Allen Husted, 38, Armored Car Guard

Of Mr. Husted, his family wrote: "Kurt loved life - racing his motorcycle, scuba diving and learning to fly a helicopter."

David H. Jacobs Jr., 58, Battalion Chief

A battalion chief with the Seattle Fire Department, Chief Jacobs spent 26 years with the department. A man of many talents, he was trained as a concert pianist, played several sports, enjoyed four-wheeling and authored several books on topics ranging from home remodeling to auto detailing. Chief Jacobs was well-respected among his colleagues and was named Chief of the Year in 2005. He is survived by his wife, Janna, and their combined family of 13 children and many grandchildren.

Alfredo Jeronimo Reyes, 49, Orchard Worker

Of Mr. Reyes, his family said simply, "Greatest husband, father, and grandpa."

William R. Locke, 61, Engineer/Inspector

Mr. Locke died Dec. 4, 2009. Although an engineer, Mr. Locke also enjoyed home building, hay farming and was known as an exceptional carpenter. He is survived by his wife, Sandy, a son, a sister and numerous nieces, nephews and grandchildren.

Walter Kent Mundell, 44, Sheriff Deputy

A 10-year veteran of the Pierce County Sheriff's Office, Deputy Mundell was shot in the line of duty on Dec. 21, 2009, and died Dec. 28, 2009. He leaves behind a wife, daughter and son.

John Alan Newhouse, 50, Farmer

Of Mr. Newhouse, his family said: "On May 5, 2009, our world changed forever. Not only an amazing father, son, brother, cousin, Papa and husband, John was an amazing friend. It mattered not who you were or how you knew him, once he had entered your life he held a permanent place in your heart. Every person in his life knew that they had value. His quick wit, charming smile, giving spirit will be forever missed. It was an honor to have been part of his life."

Ronald W. Owens, 37, Police Officer

Officer Owens was a veteran law enforcement officer with the City of Lakewood. Born on Dec. 2, 1971, he was shot and killed in the line of duty on Nov. 29, 2009. Mr. Owens followed his father into law enforcement. He is survived by his mother, two sisters and his young daughter. His sister, Ronda LeFrancois, said, "Ronnie was a kind and gentle man always willing to lend a hand to anyone. He was an awesome father, son, and brother. And will be missed greatly by many."

Matthew C. Peterson, 25, Field Technician Wind Turbines

Mr. Peterson was truly the essence of what "the good in humanity" strive for. An avid outdoors person, he was a diver, rock climber and field leader in the Thurston County Search and Rescue Team through high school. A University of Washington graduate with degrees in physics and earth science, Mr. Peterson served in the Peace Corps from 2005-2007, teaching math and science to middle and high school students in Khorixas, Namibia. He worked for Global Energy Concepts as a wind turbine field technician. Mr. Peterson is survived by his sister, Erica, and his parents, Chris and Judy.

Todd William Powell, 45, Carpet Installer

Mr. Powell died on the job Nov. 12, 2009. He is survived by his mother, Carol Benson, his sons Tyler Powell and Brian Griffith and his daughter, Kayla Powell.

Clifford John Reindel, 71, Pipefitter

Mr. Reindel worked more than 35 years in plumbing and pipefitting. A fine woodcarver, he loved country music, fishing, clamming, crabbing, camping and family picnics. His family said, "Our yard looked like a park. He was a quiet, humble gentleman, and never complained. He made a positive difference in the lives he touched and was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother, brother-in-law, uncle and dear friend to many." Mr. Reindel fought a courageous battle with lung cancer. On Feb. 2, 2009, the gift of sight was given to two people now seeing out of his beautiful blue eyes.

Mark Joseph Renninger, 39, Police Sergeant

Sgt. Renninger was a 13-year veteran of law enforcement who worked with the Lakewood Police Department. He died in the line of duty on Nov. 29, 2009. Sgt. Renninger was a former Army Ranger, decorated police officer and nationally recognized SWAT team trainer. A devoted family man, Sgt. Renninger is survived by his wife, Kim, two daughters, a son, and a large extended family.

Myron Neal Richards, 42, Maintenance Lead Technician

Mr. Richards took his work seriously, but loved home and family, spending every moment away from work with his wife and children. "He enjoyed camping, riding bikes and travelling with his wife on his Harley Davidson. Neal loved making people laugh and had an infectious smile," his family said. He leaves behind his wife Callie, children Tristin and Cameron, and step-children Gretchen, Gavin and Gabrielle.

Brian Keith Shaffer, 36, Sanitation Driver

His family described Mr. Shaffer as a wonderful husband, protective father and loyal friend who loved games, Japanese animation, Star Wars, comics and anything sci fi. "He worked hard and still managed to get dinner started for the family. A devoted father, Brian made countless trips to the swimming pool for his daughter and her friends, taking her shopping for the last-minute birthday gift for the last-minute invite."

Bob R. Stewart, 64, School Teacher

Mr. Stewart was a teacher and coach at Federal Way High School, a former Washington State Coach of Year, and esteemed by colleagues and students. He was still substituting for the school district until 2007, when he became ill. He and his wife, Diana Stewart, were married 45 years and had a son, daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren. "Personally, he was the love of my life, a great father and grandfather and a wonderful friend and husband," Diane Stewart said. "I miss him terribly."

Sharlona Q. White, 33, Business Owner

A daughter, mother, sister, niece, aunt and friend who is truly missed and will always be in the hearts and prayers of her family.

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