Evelyn Jones — still young-at-heart at 106

  • Written by Shannon Michael Features Writer

Evelyn JonesFrom traveling by horse and buggy to cars and then to airplanes, Evelyn Jones has seen a lot of changes in her life. The Fairwinds-Brittany Park retirement home resident recently celebrated her 106th birthday on July 11.

She was born Evelyn Charlotte Jolly to Floyd and Nell Jolly in 1907 in the small farming community of Leahy in central Washington west of Banks Lake.

Jones’ father was a wheat farmer, so they moved around central and eastern Washington quite a bit, settling long enough near Brewster where she graduated from high school in about 1925.

She was a female athlete, too, playing for the girls basketball team.

“I was very adventurous as a child. I rode horses all the time,” said Jones as she sat in her tidy apartment at Brittany Park, accompanied by her daughter Kay Vea, who helped her answer some of my questions.
Not content to be just a wheat farmer’s daughter, Jones considered herself a bit of trendsetter.

She was an excellent seamstress, so when she saw pictures in magazines of the latest fashions, she was able to make patterns and sew herself clothing much more fashionable than what the locals considered proper.

“She was considered scandalous for the times because she was the first girl to wear pants and shorts when house dresses were the norm,” said her daughter, Kay.

After high school, Jones attended Cheney Normal School, which is now Eastern Washington University. She was only able to attend one year of college.

She remembers the first presidential election she voted in was in 1928. The two candidates were Republican Herbert Hoover and Democrat Al Smith.

“My father was furious that Hoover won,” she remembered, “so I must have voted for Al Smith.”

One of Jones’ many passions was her love for dancing. She would attend the dances every Saturday night at the local community hall. It was at one of those dances that she met Stanley Jones, who would become her husband in 1928.

They raised their family of two daughters, Donna and Kay, on a wheat and beef ranch outside of Almira, Wash., east of Banks Lake. The ranch had been in her husband’s family since his father had emigrated from Wales and homesteaded on the land that became the ranch.

“I would get up at 5 a.m., make breakfast for my husband so he could go to work, and then help my girls get ready for school,” said Jones as she described what life was like living on the ranch.

She made almost all of the family’s clothing, and became an expert quilter, making dozens of handmade quilts through her life until a few years ago when her fingers just couldn’t handle the hand sewing anymore.
When World War II hit, and there was a shortage of manual laborers to help on the ranch, Jones learned how to drive the wheat trucks during harvest time.

She also rode out on a horse with her husband to help drive the cattle when it was time to move them. “But no roping!” exclaimed Jones. She didn’t learn how to rope a cow.

When her husband retired in 1966, the couple moved to a home in the small town of Almira. Jones’ daughter Donna Cochran and her family took over the day-to-day operations of the ranch.

Now Jones’ grandson, Jeff Cochran, is the fourth generation of family to run the ranch.

Jones and her husband were married for 55 years before he passed away in 1983. They went dancing almost every Saturday night throughout their entire marriage.

“‘In the Mood’ by Glenn Miller was our favorite song,” said Jones, her eyes beaming with the memory.
After Stanley died, Jones continued to live in their home until she finally moved to Brittany Park in Woodinville at the age of 98.

Until that time came, she enjoyed traveling all over the world and wintering in warmer climates.
Like any reporter who has  the opportunity to interview a person fortunate to live past 100, I asked Jones what she thought was the reason why she’s lived so long.

“To tell you the truth, I haven’t a clue!” she said.

She says she ate lots of beef and vegetables, exercised a lot because she was always a tomboy, and she only drank alcohol at the Saturday dances.

Today, she tries to avoid sugar. Her dad lived to be 95 years old, her mom until she was 89, and she had an uncle that lived to 104.

At 106, Jones can still walk around fine with the help of a rolling walker. She still makes her own breakfast and lunch, but has dinner made for her.

She was a prolific bread maker until about a year ago.

“She must have made 10 million whole wheat yeast rolls in her lifetime,” her daughter Kay said. It’s a recipe that the family has made sure will be passed down to younger generations.
The younger generations include her two daughters, six grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren.

To keep her mind sharp, she does crossword puzzles every day and reads. She also loves the television shows “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy.” However, she refused to ever learn how to use a computer.
What she really loves, though, are the Mariners, Seahawks and the Washington State Cougars. Some of the Brittany Park staff make sure to talk about the Cougars with her after every winning football game.
Jones doesn’t know if she’s the oldest resident in Woodinville, but she is the oldest at Brittany Park. She finally welcomed another resident to the 100+ Club this year.

Rotary earns national water safety award

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Woodmoor meets JoshPhoto courtesy of Woodinville Rotary Students at Woodmoor greet Josh and the Rotary Otter Spotters Tana Baumler and Eric Greenwood during a presentation at the school.Woodinville Rotary Club has received the national 2013 Rotary Water Safety Advocate Award presented by the Joshua Collingsworth Memorial Foundation.

Woodinville is among Rotary clubs across the U.S. to have introduced the Josh the Otter campaign to impress upon families and young children the importance of being with an adult whenever around any source of water.

More than 700 kindergarten and first graders at Kokanee, Woodin and Woodmoor elementary schools “met our mascot Josh the baby otter in June and pledged to be safe around water,” according to Erv DeSmet Jr., one of the Woodinville Rotary’s Josh Team leaders.

Rotarians made a half hour presentation at the schools which included a reading from a Josh the Otter storybook, a song, the pledge “to be safe around water” and a chance to meet and greet a life-sized Josh the Otter mascot. Rotary sent each child home with a copy of the storybook, the song on a CD, a coloring book and a “sticker” to catch the eye of an adult at home.

“We would like to reach out to more schools next spring,” DeSmet said. “If ever there were a region in this country where water safety is important it would be the Puget Sound.”

Kari Stokes, a Woodmoor kindergarten teacher, coordinated the presentations over two days at her school. Her reaction to the program: “Many of the teachers reported working on the coloring book in class and two of the special education classrooms talked about how it was a great launch for a conversation about water safety among their parent groups. The kids in my class were thrilled to receive the CD ... they loved sharing it with their families and showing them how they could float. The timing couldn’t have been better with summer swimming events so close.

The story and song encourage the children to learn to float.

The Foundation was started four years ago by a Lincoln, Nebraska, couple whose adopted son, Joshua, drowned in the family swimming pool.

No more than six weeks had elapsed after the tragedy when Kathy and Blake Collingsworth had established the memorial foundation to spread the word of the importance of being safe around water. The emphasis is on the fact children can get into trouble around water and in a split second can be in a life-threatening situation, DeSmet noted.

Rotarians Steve Dolan, John Hughes, Greg Riggs and Max Zellweger learned of the program while attending a Rotary International Convention in New Orleans in the spring of 2011. The club enthusiastically adopted the program and set out to reach more than 1,000 children with the message. The club has also made presentations at Children’s Hospital in Seattle, Seattle’s B.F. Day elementary school in the Fremont area, the Northshore YMCA summer program and at elementary schools in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho during a district Rotary conference in May of this year.

“We hope the other 51 Rotary clubs in the Puget Sound area will learn about Josh and how their involvement would have such a positive outcome in the way of community service,” DeSmet added. Accidental drowning is the most prevalent cause of death among children from infant to 14 years, he said.

DeSmet said the club’s Otter Spotter team also includes Tana Baumler, Dianne Silvestre, Anne Waters, Gordy Green, Jeff Lair, Bob Platte, Jeff Samuelson, Eric Greenwood and Carol Lee.

Teacher Stokes said it was particularly meaningful to have first grader Taylen Law on the team. “They loved having an “otter spotter” who was their age,” she said. Taylen is Baumler’s granddaughter and attended each of the nine sessions at the three Woodinville area schools.

To continue the club’s financial commitment to the Josh project, “we will need the community’s support at our next fund raising event,” explained Hughes, the club’s director for fund raising. Rotary will hold its 23rd annual dinner and auction October 19 at the Tulalip Resort and Spa.

The theme is “It’s a W.R.A.P.”, engaging partners in a private-public collaboration to cover unmet needs in the schools and throughout the community.

The DeYoung family has been feeding the area animals since 1925

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

John and Ellen DeYoung moved their family from Kent to Woodinville in 1925 when John DeYoung bought a general store from Clara Teagarden. The general store was located where the Horseshoe Saloon is now. The store sold groceries, dry goods, hardware, animal feed and other supplies that you would find at a general store at that time. Later the general store was moved across the street to the building that now houses Woodinville Florist and the Latino grocery store.

In 1944 Lowell DeYoung took over the animal feed part of the business. He moved across the railroad tracks to a warehouse that had been a produce packing plant for shipping locally grown vegetables by railroad.
An addition was made to the warehouse with milling equipment so feeds could be milled on site in addition to selling feeds manufactured by others.  

In December 1957 two burglars broke into the mill office and using a torch tried to cut open the safe. They never got the safe open, but did catch the wooden building on fire totally destroying it. A new steel building was rebuilt on the same ground as the burned-down feed mill. This was located across the street from McCorry’s on the Slough.

Through the 50s, 60s and 70s the bulk animal feed business grew and Lowell DeYoung Co. Inc. supplied dairy and chicken feed throughout Western Washington and into Eastern Washington. A small retail store was located at the mill, but in the mid 70s the retail store was relocated to the larger location on NE 175th Street in Woodinville where it is located now.

In earlier years, Woodinville was very much a rural community. It was not uncommon for people to have 5- or 10-acre parcels with homes and cows or chickens or horses or hogs.

The company made and supplied the feed for many of these animals, as well as dog and cat food. Now, with Woodinville becoming more suburban, many of the large animals have given way to homes. The store still sells many brands of pet foods, but not as much of the large animal feeds. However the “urban chicken” is becoming very popular and the store sells all the feeds and supplies needed to raise and feed the hens and roosters.

The owners say they are  fortunate to have a wonderful group of people who work for them. After 69 years DeYoung’s Farm and Garden looks forward to the future and to growing with Woodinville.

SnoRiver Rock Concert and Lighter Than Air Fare

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Sno RiverThe City of Duvall is 100! Join the celebration at the SnoRiver Rock Concert and Lighter Than Air Fare, Saturday, August 3, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Highlights include an all-day rock concert, motorcycle and scooter park & show, beer and wine garden, food and local art merchants, piano drop, and hot air balloon rides in the park. The predecessor to Woodstock happened not far from Duvall in a pasture in Sultan; the Sky River Rock Festival and Lighter than Air Fair took place on Aug 30, 1968. Whether people thumbed rides, drove or arrived on their motorcycles – they came by the hundreds. Local rock bands played into the night, a make shift hot air balloon took flight, and rock and roll was the basis for it all.

During Duvall’s centennial year, we hope to bring some of the fun from the 60s and 70s back during the SnoRiver Rock Concert and Lighter Than Air Fare.

Ride your Vintage Bike, Café, Retro or Rat or any scooter to the concert and get a free souvenir medallion and high profile parking spot at Stephens and Main Street in downtown Duvall.

Just show up on your vintage ride – non-competitive, no fee.

Performers and schedule of events:
Okey Dokey – 11 a.m.
Jack Ballard – 12:15 p.m.
Paradox – 1:30
Alice Stuart and the Formerlys – 2:45
Intermission: Alice Stuart Guitar Solo
Rent Collectors – 4:00
Maltby Crew – 5:30
Lunatic Fringe – 6:45
Jr Cadillac – 8:00 to 9:30
Hot Air Balloon Rides – 6:00 to 9:00
Piano Drop – 7:45

Learn more about the Rock Concert
“Like” us on Facebook for band updates and event info!
Free / Family Friendly / Open to the Public

Local man proves strongman competitions are not for the faint-hearted

  • Written by Deborah Stone, Special to the Weekly

Strongman TirePhoto by Jim Wallingford Photography. Woodinville’s Jimmy McCurry recently took part in the “Kings of Krush Strongman Competition” in Sequim. The strongman competition is designed to test all aspects of strength, including static, grip and explosive strength, speed, endurance and conditioning. To compete in a strongman competition takes more than just pure physical prowess and power.
It also involves incredible mental toughness, fierce will and unshakable confidence in your abilities to undertake what most would deem superhuman feats.

“There is an element of pain involved like no other sport,” explains local strongman competitor, Jimmy McCurry. “It’s not only pushing your muscles, grip, skin and blood pressure to its absolute limit, but you push mental barriers farther than you ever thought possible.

“As a strongman, you have to shut off pain sensors briefly and just get to work.”

He adds, “There is a kind of mental fortitude that kicks in when taking a 350-pound stone from the ground to your chest on a platform after having just loaded four lighter, but still heavy stones onto the same platform. With every stone, you lose a little more strength, wind and skin.”

To the uninitiated, a strongman competition is designed to test all aspects of strength, including static, grip and explosive strength, speed, endurance and conditioning.

Strongman events typically involve a variety of implements such as large stones, truck tires, makeshift barbells for overhead pressing, bars connected to cars for dead lift, squat types of exercises and beer kegs, trucks or other large machinery that are lifted and moved from one point to another.  Though participating in a strongman competition is not for everyone, spectating at these events has proven to be very popular.
At the recent “Kings of Krush Strongman Competition” in Sequim, people showed up from all over the area to watch men and women titans undergo tests of their strength.

McCurry, one of the competitors, placed third in his weight class.

A personal trainer at both Personalized Health and Fitness in Woodinville and the Harbor Square Athletic Club in Edmonds, McCurry entered the show for the experience and the challenge.

Prior to “Kings of Krush,” he had only competed in one other strongman competition.

“While at Western Washington University, I competed in ‘Western’s Strongest Man’ in 2011 and placed third out of four people in my weight class,” he says. “I also competed in bodybuilding in 2010, which as most strongman competitors will tell you is not even close to the same thing.”

The Woodinville man, a 2007 WHS grad, studied kinesiology while at Western and after graduating with a degree in the field, he became nationally certified as a strength and conditioning specialist.

“I initially became a personal trainer for selfish reasons,” explains McCurry. “I wanted to learn the best way to train myself for bodybuilding and strength. I loved being in the gym so I had to figure out a way I could be in the gym all day long.”

He adds, “I was first introduced to strength training through my wrestling coach, Ryan Hitzemann, and that’s when it all changed for me. I became stronger, leaner and better than I had even been at wrestling and I attributed that to my strength training. I wanted to figure out how to get better at it and becoming a personal trainer just made sense.”

McCurry notes that he derives great pleasure from being a trainer. He enjoys the personal relationships he builds with his clients.

“I really get to know someone, in and out, as they get to know me through the intimate, challenging endeavorthat it is to change someone’s body,” he explains. “It brings me so much joy when I hear from successful clients from years ago and they are still on the right track and they say something like, ‘if it wasn’t for you …’ – that just makes me feel so good.”

A back injury prevented McCurry from pursuing any competitions for over a year, but once it was healed and he was able to work through his posture issues, he decided it was time to get back into training for a strongman show.

“This type of event is fun for me because I get to be primal and yell and scream and show off my strength in a way that’s also fun for people to watch,” explains McCurry. “It’s also a way to see how I stack up in the world of strength and to see how strong I really am. And I love the structure that it brings to my life.”

The Woodinville man started his training regimen nine weeks prior to the “Kings of Krush” competition, working out at Seattle Strength and Power with another local strongman, Pete Marcoff.

“In training for a strongman, you have to get comfortable with the implements,” says McCurry. “For the ‘Kings of Krush,’ there was a 231-pound axle press for reps, a 700-pound Conan’s Wheel, 750-pound tire flips, 500-pound deadlift for reps and a stone loading series where the lightest stone is 240 pounds and the heaviest is 350 pounds.”

In order to prepare for these activities, McCurry spent two days a week training with weights to work on pulling and overhead pressing movements, along with the deadlift.

He then allocated another two days to split up the events and train for each one specifically.
“The hardest part about training is to make sure you’re not training too hard all the time,” he notes. “You have to take a break sometimes and if you do, you’ll realize that you’ll be stronger for it.”

The local man also dieted for several months in advance of the show. He normally weighs about 250 pounds and in order to compete in the middle weight class (231.5 pounds), he had to lose a considerable amount of weight.

For McCurry, the most challenging event was the axle press, which he had expected going into the show.
“You have to lift a two-inch thick bar loaded with 231 pounds from the ground overhead as many times as possible in a minute,” he explains. “I thought I might be able to do two to three reps, but I only completed one. I almost completed three more, but I just couldn’t lock out the axle.”

Ironically, McCurry’s best event – the Conan’s Wheel –was the one he had practiced the least.
What surprised him most was the pace of the show.

He comments that it was fast, especially the transitions between the events, but he admits this made the experience much more exciting.

Although he did not do well enough at the show to qualify for Nationals in October, the local man was satisfied with his performance. He felt he was as well prepared as he could have been considering the fact he had only seriously trained for two months.

“I realize I have a ton of work to do over the next year if I want to be a national caliber competitor,” adds McCurry. “I know I need to train with implements much sooner and keep them in my program all year, as well as train more volume and a little less intensity.”

In the coming year, McCurry hopefully plans to enter more competitions, while working on gaining admittance into a graduate program for physical therapy.

He says, “I would love to one day own and operate my own rehab and training facility that work off of each other so that there is a place for everyone, from the elderly to the hard core strongman.”