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Ethel Crook Background | Ethel's 95th Birthday Party | Tributes to Ethel Crook
PowerPoint Presentation of Ethel's Life | Ethel Crook's 95th Birthday Party
Ethel Crook's Obituary | Tribute to Ethel Crook by Roger Briggs | Watercolor by Jan Crook Pierson

Lairmont Manor, Bellingham WashingtonOn Saturday, November 5, 2005, the family and friends of Ethel Boynton Crook celebrated her 95th birthday with an open house in Bellingham, Washington. Rain drizzled steadily in south Bellingham as people from as far away as Florida, California, and Arizona, drove into the lush evergreen surroundings of Lairmont Manor.

Once inside this inviting building--and warmed by a crackling fire in the mansion's enormous fireplace--they greeted Ethel and began an afternoon of celebration.

People spent much of the afternoon visiting and enjoying the delightful buffet. About halfway through, several of Ethel's many talented grandchildren performed: Ron Simpson (grandson), Rachel Pierson (great-granddaughter), and Prentice Voetberg, (great-granddaughter). Then David Crook, Ethel's favorite son, gave a PowerPoint presentation that spanned and scanned Ethel's life to date.

Richard A Marshall and Ethel CrookLater that afternoon, violinist, composer, and performer Richard A. Marshall (Swil Kanim) stopped by to pay his respects. Ethel urged him to share his music with those who were left, and much to their delight, he did. But not before he paid an powerful tribute to her for standing up for him twice in his life when it made a significant difference. When he needed an advocate.

Many of us listened with tears running down our faces, because Richard so eloquently spoke of her willingness to be an advocate . . . and an encourager. She always did so as naturally as she breathed. Thanks, Richard, for showing us a different side of Ethel Crook. She's not only clever and talented: she's amazing and authentic.

Prentice Voetberg, who has GG's violinBorn November 7, 1910, Ethel was the eldest of five children born to Susan and Solon Boynton: Hope, Betty, Solon, and Lois followed Ethel. Their father, Dr. Boynton, came to Bellingham in 1903 to establish a medical practice. Ethel is retired from the Bellingham and Ferndale public schools, and Lynden Christian school system.

As the Bellingham Herald said in a recent article, "Although she is no longer fiddlin' around with her violin, she continues to enjoy music, family and friends. A talented great-granddaughter is the fortunate recipient of her violin."

Ethel is a member of Fountain Community Church, Chapter F, PEO, Bellingham Music Club, and is co-founder and member of the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra. Enjoy these candid shots of a very special day dedicated to a very special woman. Plus a few other photos taken around this date!

Special thanks to the following for making the party such a delightful event:

  • Fountain Community Church
  • Joel and Barbara Douglas
  • Betty Grace
  • Marlene Forester
  • Jan Pierson

Ethel Crook with great-granddaughter/pianist Rachel Pierson

Ethel Crook with six-year-old
great-granddaughter/pianist Rachel Pierson

Grandson Ron Simpson performing Ethel on My Mind

Grandson Ron Simpson performing
"Ethel on My Mind"

Jan Crook Pierson, Judy Crook Vorfeld, David Crook, and Carolyn Crook Downing at Judy's birthday breakfast.

Jan Crook Pierson, Judy Crook Vorfeld,
David Crook, and Carolyn Crook Downing
at Judy's birthday breakfast.

Blake Pierson, Laurie Pierson Schissler,
and Julie Pierson Voetberg

Ethel, David, Jan, Carolyn, and Judy

Blake Pierson with his grandmother

Jan Pierson, Bob Downing,
Judy Vorfeld, and Carolyn Downing

Janel Weiss, Jan Pierson, Carolyn Downing
Lindsay Weiss, Judy Vorfeld, and Ethel

Blake Pierson with Lois Boynton Cruea Stevenson

Betty Grace, Jan Pierson, Janel Weiss,
Ethel Crook, and Carolyn Downing

David Crook, Jan Pierson, Carolyn Downing,
Judy Vorfeld, Bob Downing, and Ethel

Three party cakes:
White, Carrot, and Chocolate. Yummy!

Ethel Crook and grandson Marc Downing

Carolyn Downing with Fred and Pat Lund

Casey (Schissler) and Tyler Robinson

Jerry Pierson and granddaughter Prentice Voetberg

Photo of rose grown by Carolyn Crook Downing, photographed by Judy Crook Vorfeld

Copyright Judy Vorfeld.
Any reproduction or editing by any means mechanical or electronic
without the express written permission of the copyright holder is strictly prohibited