Members' Milestones


One of our most faithful volunteers is Larry Lazzari. He turned 90 in August 2014. At the tail gate party after our trail work on Anderson Mountain on August 16th, we celebrated Larry and his 90th birthday with cupcakes, watermelon, and a candle ring of 9 candles; each candle represented a decade. Larry is still doing trail work and he continues to ride his bike twenty or so miles several times a week. Long Live Larry!

Larry Lazzari

In Memoriam

Lester Bradford
20 January 1926-03 March 2019

In his retirement Lester did trail work with SWITMO off and on for a number of years. He loved the woods and was very curious and knowledgeable about the plants and animals. We learned that he had been trained in natural science and forestry. When the love of his life Winifred (Winnie) was serving as a doctor in Sierra Leone in West Africa, Lester joined her and they were married. Lester served in Sierra Leone running an agricultural test farm. They were there for seventeen years during which time they had five children and three furloughs in the US.

Upon their return to the United States after seventeen years, Lester studied and got a doctorate in Education with his specialty being forestry. In 1979 Lester and Winnie returned to Africa to the Sudan to help restore extension education there after a civil war.

After retirement he continued to travel overseas for many short-term, volunteer jobs. Lester learned eight languages, besides English, during his lifetime.

Back home in Mount Vernon he volunteered for the First United Methodist Church, Neighbors in Need, SWITMO and Habitat for Humanity.

Lester was an avid hiker. His motto was "Kick the sticks off the trail so that those who come behind won't have to do it."

Photo taken on Lester's 86th birthday. He was 86 feet up in a cedar tree, assisted by Lynn Postler and John Seehorn

Gene Joy
September 1933-June 2018

SWITMO lost its president and faithful volunteer Gene Joy in June of 2018. He passed away at age 84. The Saturday before he died he was at the National Trails Day event which was held in the Swift Creek campground along side of Baker Lake. He enjoyed talking to people and sitting and just looking at the lake, the blue sky with white clouds and snow capped Blum Peak in the distance.

Gene first began volunteering in 1998. He and other Concrete Boys* Don King and Bob Keith, with forest service permission, began clearing the long-neglected Swift Creek Trail that connects the Mount Baker Area with Baker Lake. It is an important link in the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail, the PNT. They were joined by Pat McGovern, another Concrete Boy*, in 2005 and after multiple trips to Swift Creek and many five and six day stays up there, they opened Swift Creek.Trail. Gene and others continued to maintain this trail.

Gene was an expert with equipment. He could splice cables and knew how to use winches and pulleys. He, with help, affixed cables over the Swift Creek Trail so he and other SWITMO trail workers could safely cross Swift Creek. The photo shows Gene using a bosun chair on the cable. Gene could use the two-man cross cut saws which were used in the forest service wilderness where power equipment was not allowed. He was a chain saw expert, know how and where to cut downed logs safely. He split cedar with froe and mallet for bridge decking and puncheon. He fixed broken equipment. He directed projects and located the best route for bypasses to improve a trail. He was always ready to volunteer.

As of July 2018 SWITMO volunteers are working to prepare the groundwork for a new trail that will connect Baker Lake with the Scott Paul Trail near Mount Baker. This will be an important link in the PNT. SWITMO is naming this the Gene Joy Trail and we will work to have that name be given official recognition.

*Grew up in Concrete WA or were related to each other

Gene Joy

Ed Rogers

A longtime SWITMO and PNTA member, supporter and volunteer Ed Rogers passed away August 2016 at age 92. Ed was and his wife Nancy still is a life-time member of the Pacific Northwest Trail Association. Ed loved the outdoors and baseball; he loved hiking and trail work; he loved to tell stories and will be remembered for his phrase “Have I ever told you about....”. SWITMO received over $700 in Ed's honor.

Ed Rogers

Robert “Bob” Matchett 1942-2014

Bob of Guemes Island was a retired agronomist who enjoyed spending time in the rural outdoors. After retirement he and his wife Holiday moved to Guemes from California. In addition to bird watching, hiking, clamming, crabbing, kayaking, looking for agates, biking, helping others, noxious weed removal, breadmaking, beekeeping, planting and caring for his orchards and volunteering at the WSU-Mount Vernon Research Center in the Native Plant Garden and Experimental Orchards, he found time to be a trail work volunteer for SWITMO. His last trail work with us was in February of 2014 at Dugualla State Park on Whidbey Island. Bob’s widow Holiday has been so gracious to name SWITMO as one of the recipients of memorials in Bob’s honor. $1450 has been received. About half of this money is being used for the permitting process for a footlog bridge in Deception Pass State Park on the Pacific Northwest Trail. The permitting process in Island County is very slow. When the permit is granted, work will begin on this footlog. It will be called “The Bob Matchett Memorial Footlog”. Some of the money will be used for a brass plaque. The rest of the money will be used for tools and for a projector screen for SWITMO power point program presentations.

Bob Matchett

Steve Jennison

Steve Jennison died in July 2014 at age 56. Steve devoted 34 years to the Department of Natural Resources, where he became a strong and graceful leader who truly enjoyed his DNR family and loved his job fighting forest fires, laying out timber sales, and scuba diving for geoducks. Most of Steve's time was spent outdoors, hiking at Blanchard, climbing Mt Rainier, taking his family camping on long road trips to Utah and Colorado, mountain biking, relaxing in the hot springs, capturing pictures of all his adventures, discovering the best snorkel spots in Maui, but most of all he loved teaching his daughter Zoe how to snowboard and taking her camping overnight at Mt Baker so they could be the first ones up hitting the slopes.

SWITMO has helped build and still maintains a number of the trails on Blanchard Mountain where Steve loved to hike with his daughter. Because of his love for hiking, a number of memorials have come to us in his honor. $225 have been received.

Steve Jennison

Walter Davis

Walter was a lover of nature and of trails. When he was well, he loved to hike. He also did trail work with the Skagit Audubon Hikers Adopt-a-Trail project. $300 has been received in his honor.

Jim Futrelle

Jim Futrelle, who grew up in East Texas, was an avid outdoorsman who loved the Pacific Northwest. He worked as a forester in the Northwest woods. He was a member of the Skagit Audubon Hikers, SWITMO and the Pacific Northwest Trail Association. He loved to do trail work and he was our "trail-master" and was skilled at laying out the best location for a trail. Whenever one was out on the trail with Jim, it was a learning experience; he knew the trees and the history of the area. Jim passed away in August of 2010 at the age of 84.

Jim Futrelle

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