Celebrating life under a maple tree

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Lee and Lisa Gray
Photo by Linda McCune Lee Gray, left, with daughter Lisa Adair
Each of us deals with grief in our own way.  For Lee Gray, she found it hard to part with her late husband’s ashes for three years. Gary Gray fought pancreatic cancer in the usual and stalwart manner with which he approached life but succumbed in 2008. Mrs. Gray was a fifth grade teacher at Hollywood Hill Elementary in Woodinville with 30 years in the Northshore School District. She was Mrs. Rowe before she married Gary Gray.

“Many years ago before I was the volunteer sexton of the Woodinville Cemetery, Lee and I worked together at the school district’s Camp Casey outdoor experience for fifth graders where we taught marine biology,” said Linda McCune, a former marine biologist whose children attended Hollywood Hill Elementary.

Lee and Gary bought a Woodinville Cemetery plot in 1998, never thinking they’d need it anytime soon. They retired to Lynden, Wash., where they remodeled their home and cooked exquisite dinners.

“Lee had a beautiful headstone installed last month on their plot at the cemetery,” said McCune, “and Lee’s daughter Lisa Adair joined her and together we celebrated Gary’s life with a bottle of Pinot Noir that he and a friend bottled in 2007. We added bread and cheese as well as Thai hors d’ouvres from the restaurant across the street.”

Gary’s ashes now rest in the shade of a huge maple tree.

For more information about the Woodinville Cemetery:

‘Chef to Go’ delivers gourmet meals, nutritional support

  • Written by Deborah Stone
Debra Lane and her son Adam Lane, who run Chef to Go Catering, a full service gourmet meal delivery, catering and nutritional support company. Courtesy photo.
When Debra Lane began Chef to Go in 1997, after a long career in the restaurant industry, there weren’t many personal chef businesses in the Seattle area.

Using a portable kitchen, she would go into clients’ homes and cook meals tailored to their nutritional needs and preferences.

“It was a relatively new concept back then,” says the Bothell woman, “and word of mouth was basically the only way people found out about my service.”

Today, however, there are tens of thousands of personal chefs around the country, as the industry has become well-established.

In 2001, Lane adjusted her focus after building a certified commercial kitchen.

She began to prepare meals for delivery and added catering, product development and menu consulting to her repertoire of services.

Her son, Adam Lane, is her partner and together the pair has created a name for themselves, focusing on healthy meals that are not only nutritious, but delicious and aesthetically presented.

“We don’t cut corners on quality,” explains Lane. “Our service is a whole foods based meal delivery. We get organic produce deliveries from a local farm, ensuring that the food is fresher, better tasting and higher in nutrients.”

She adds, “Our meals are low-fat and high-fiber, using lean proteins and heart healthy oils. We make everything from scratch. We even make our own pastas, breads and grind our own flour and flax seed for our muffins that we bake in-house.”

Though there are other meal delivery companies providing similar services, Lane believes her background in both nutrition and restaurants gives her a unique edge.

Her training includes a degree from North Seattle Community College, courses at the UW, certificates from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Academy and an undergraduate diploma from the United States Personal Chef Association.

She also completed 200 hours of additional nutritional training and received her nutritional consultant certification so that she could expand on her knowledge and work with clients with specific dietary needs.

Her restaurant experience is varied and includes stints in a number of Seattle area dining establishments with a total of 17 years in the business.

Additionally, Lane co-founded the Personal Chefs Cooperative, a member owned and run professional trade association for Personal Chefs and Caterers.

Her company has garnered several awards over the years, including the Personal Chefs Network Pacesetter Award and the Personal Chefs Network Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Most recently, it received the Bride’s Choice Award for 2011.

“We’re a smaller scale business,” says Lane. “We do a maximum of 30 deliveries during the week and then we cater various corporate functions, nonprofit events, weddings and other special occasions.”

Those who use the Chef to Go meal delivery service can choose from several online menus that change each week, opting for spa or restaurant size portions that run from $13.50 to $15 per person per entrée.

There are also South Beach and diabetic-compliant customizable menus, as well as menus specifically for XGym members.

“People who use my meal delivery service put a high value on quality of food,” notes Lane.

“They like the diversity of menus offered and the ethnic foods I include. Many tell me that it’s like going to a different restaurant each night.”

The local woman explains that the service is great for those who have busy lives and for whom time is an important factor.

She adds, “The meal delivery makes it easy and efficient for them. It’s very convenient and they don’t have to think about what they’re going to make for dinner each night.

“The food is delivered fully prepared and chilled. All they have to do is heat the dishes up. And there’s no clean-up. We use recyclable containers.”

Lane says she has a lot of single clients, some couples and several families who use her service on a consistent basis.

She comments that the kids who have been eating her food for a while generally have wider palettes because the food she prepares isn’t “dumbed down” for children.

Typically, her clients live on the Eastside or in downtown Seattle, within a 25-mile radius from her Bothell-based kitchen.

In the near future, Lane will be starting up another meal delivery business, Fit Lifestyle Meals, with partner Karin Baron.

“It’s all about fitness meals and geared toward those who work out, as well as new moms,” she explains.

“The meals will be calorie and portion-controlled. Karin has a physical fitness and nutrition background so she will be able to contribute her expertise in that area.”

Lane also plans to grow her catering business, with an emphasis on weddings.

Win a Washington wine country trip

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Online retailer, is eager to share the beauty of the Pacific Northwest with wine lovers everywhere. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or just learning about the fruit of the vine, don’t pass up this opportunity for a chance to win an all-expense-paid trip for two to Washington state’s wine country.

Log on to and enter to win two tickets on Alaska Airlines to and from Seattle; accommodations at Willows Lodge in Woodinville, only a walk away from some of the best wineries in the nation; six private tastings at Woodinville wineries, scheduled over a two-day period with transportation provided by Butler Transportation; and the chance to meet Washington state winemakers. (Blackout dates apply.)

Scheduled winery visits include:

Chateau Ste. Michelle: Beautifully situated on 105 acres of woods in Woodinville, Chateau Ste. Michelle makes its wine from some of the oldest and most acclaimed vineyards in the Columbia Valley. The winery combines Old World winemaking tradition with New World innovation and is best known for its award-winning Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Chateau Ste. Michelle is Washington state’s founding winery, dating back to the Repeal of Prohibition. You will love its charming, expansive layout and tasting rooms.

Betz Family Winery:

After a 28-year career at Chateau Ste. Michelle, Bob Betz received his master of wine degree in 1998, becoming one of only 278 to hold the degree in the world. He and his wife Cathy built a state of the art winery in Woodinville in 2005, and two years later he was named Wine Maker of the Year by Sunset magazine.

“Our goal is to produce compelling wines with individual character and intensity, yet elegant.” – Betz Family Winery

Delille Cellars: Set within the confines of a large and beautiful estate, Delille Cellars features Bordeaux-style wines, which have emerged from Washington state due in no small part to the winemaking techniques of owner Chris Upchurch. Striving for something well beyond chemistry, Upchurch believes in handcrafting wines where “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.”

A self-confessed Francophile and a blender, Upchurch prefers not to dissect his wines with component descriptors. Instead he talks about his wines in terms of a “complete wine.”

Mark McNeilly of Mark Ryan Winery was named Seattle Magazine’s 2011 Winemaker of the Year. This recently acclaimed “cult” winery started with its first vintages of Long Haul and Dead Horse that were produced, crushed and pressed in the garages of friends and family, and barrel-aged in warehouses in the Seattle area. In 2003, the winery found its home in Woodinville.

The goal at Mark Ryan Winery is simple: make delicious wines that represent the vineyard from which they come, making every vintage better than the last.

Gorman Winery:

Since 2002, the mission of Gorman Winery has been very clear: make delicious wines, choose the finest grapes in Washington state, use the finest coopers and suppliers, don’t settle and don’t screw up.

Producing approximately 2,700 cases a year, this one man operation is open to the public only a couple of times a year, making these events a hot ticket item.

Januik Winery:

Family-owned, specializing in artisan winemaking, Januik Winery produces acclaimed Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate declares, “Nobody in Washington State delivers more outstanding quality for the dollar than Januik Winery.”

The winning tour will be scheduled to take place during 2012, based on coordination between the winner and the wineries.

MadWine will work with the winner to facilitate the scheduling.

Entries can be sent to Alaska Airlines and MadWine. Winners will be notified Jan. 20, 2012.

Lake Washington Institute of Technology to share in aerospace training grant

  • Written by Deborah Stone
Thirteen Washington two-year colleges will share $1.58 million in Governor’s Investment in Aerospace (GIA) grants to develop fast turnover training in the aerospace industry. Among the institutions selected is Lake Washington Institute of Technology in Kirkland.

It’s one of 11 community and technical colleges that is part of the Aerospace Consortium for Employment (ACE), a group formed to meet urgent workforce needs with short-term training programs in the areas of precision machining, machine maintenance, fiber optics and quality assurance/inspection.The consortium worked with The Boeing Company to identify areas of immediate need in the aerospace industry and identified two to six month training program opportunities to meet those needs.

“We all got together and applied for this GIA grant,” explains Bob Monroig, interim dean of industrial technology at Lake Washington Institute of Technology. “The thinking was that we could each benefit by collaborating instead of competing against one another for the money. Getting a smaller piece of the pie is better than not getting any of it at all.” He adds, “With state funding for education way down and most likely not returning to previous levels in the foreseeable future, it’s incumbent on colleges to look for other avenues of support. I believe this collaborative mode is the wave of the future.”

According to Monroig, the grant process was short and intense due to a quick deadline for applications.

Each school looked at how they could use the money in the most effective way to develop programs that retrain or enhance skilled aerospace workers in the designated areas. Lake Washington, which was awarded $172, 431, plans to utilize the funds to develop curriculum, hire new faculty and purchase equipment. The college currently offers programs in precision machinery, welding, electronics and building plant and maintenance.

Beginning winter quarter, it will add two new certificated programs specifically focused on the aerospace industry: computer numeric control and machine operator. “These programs will take two quarters to complete,” explains Monroig. “Their content will be directed towards meeting the skillset necessary for the aerospace industry. Students, depending on which program they complete, will be able to get a job operating CNC machinery or doing routine maintenance and repair of the equipment.”

Monroig notes that the current and future growth of the aerospace industry in the state bodes well for program graduates. He says that over the next twenty years, the industry will need about half a million or more employees.

Overall, the college has an employment placement success rate that averages between 83 and 86 percent. Monroig expects that the new programs, on their own, will produce a rate somewhere between 80 and 90 percent. He adds, “Although Boeing is the first company that comes to mind when people think of aerospace in Washington State, the reality is that there are hundreds of subcontractors and vendors in this industry that need and will need workers.” Monroig comments that the governor’s intent with this grant is to “overcome inertia” and get things moving now. The hope is that the programs created will become self-sustaining over time. He says, “Whether this is through additional state or federal funding or from the aerospace industry itself via a tuition reimbursement situation for example, the goal is for the programs to be able to stand on their own.”

Joining Lake Washington Institute of Technology in the GIA grant award are: Bates Technical College, Bellingham Technical College, Columbia Basin College, Everett Community College, Green River Community College, Olympic College, Shoreline Community College, South Puget Sound Community College and Yakima Valley Community College.

Woodinville resident played on PGA Tour

  • Written by Derek Johnson, Special to the Weekly
Frank Harned today. Photo courtesy of Ginette Didomenico

He rubbed elbows with 20th century icons

A young Frank Harned eagerly bought a copy of the Erie News-Times, anxious to read the latest story about the great golfer Ben Hogan. As a little boy growing up during the Great Depression, that newspaper was his only connection to the outside world, and to his hero. Hogan was dominating the U.S. Open during those years and thrilled spectators with his astonishingly accurate short game.

Harned obsessed over Hogan, and even cut out a large picture of the golfer to tape to his bedroom wall. In time, Harned’s life journey eventually led him onto the PGA Tour. He would cross paths with icons of the 20th century like Jack Nicklaus, Joe DiMaggio, Tony Bennett, Joe Louis, Arnold Palmer… and even Ben Hogan himself.

Now at 84, Harned resides at The Creekside retirement community in Woodinville.  At 6 feet tall and burly, Harned still looks strong. But old age has taken its toll on his legs, robbing him of the mobility needed to play golf. As he gingerly takes a seat and begins recalling his early playing days, his eyes are alight with the same fire and determination that sparked him in his youth.

“My father gave me my first set of golf clubs when I was twelve. I would walk about five miles to the Glenwood Golf Course. I would caddy for golfers for 65 cents a round. And then I began playing. I knew I was going to be good, because I had five or six close friends of mine, and we pushed each other in competition. We met every day at the corner field next to the reservoir. We played tackle football, baseball, basketball against the garage, and that’s why I got good when I took up golf, because I had gotten good at the other sports. I always tell people that when you play several sports it helps you become a good golfer.”

The future seemed bright for Harned, because by his mid-teens he was already one of the best players in Erie. People took note of his exceptional play around the greens; the chipping, putting, pitching and sand shots. He seemed destined for golf, but life had other plans for him.

As Harned came of age, World War II still raged on. He went to Mississippi to train as a pilot, but before his training was complete he was shipped to the Philippines. For the next few years, he served as a sergeant and saw friends killed in action. But finally Japan folded, and Harned returned to Pennsylvania to spend three years at Gannon College, with an education sponsored by the U.S. Military.

While dominating on the Gannon golf team, people recognized his skill level as being on par with that of the world’s best golfers. When someone told him how great a place Miami was to live and play golf, Harned transferred to the University of Miami. The kid from Pennsylvania climbed aboard a bus and two days later found himself in the warm Florida sunshine.

“Oh, I had a ball,” Harned recalls. “They had no idea how good I was, but they quickly found out. We went undefeated that year and won our conference championship. It was such fun. Miami had everything. Sunshine and beautiful girls. I was so involved in sports though that girls came a little lower on the priority list.”

When his time at Miami came to an end, Harned began teaching and playing sectional tournaments. For several years he won with regularity throughout Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. He took club pro jobs at a few country clubs. He made a name for himself. And finally, the opportunity to play on the PGA Tour arrived. At the age of 27, Harned was invited to play in the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif., with another surprise in store.

“I saw that I was paired with Ben Hogan [for the opening round],” Harned says. “I couldn’t believe it. He had been my childhood hero. I had his picture on my wall above my bed all those years. And now I was going to get the chance to play with him.”

But as Harned nervously approached the first tee to begin that day’s round, he quickly saw the experience would be bittersweet.

“Hogan never said one word to me, not hello or goodbye. Not one damn word. I was trying to talk to him and he wouldn’t say anything. His mind was strictly on Hogan, nothing else. I was terribly disappointed. But I was a stranger to him. To me he was the number one man. He was the best. It was such a disillusion to be with him on the course and yet be ignored. But he was such an exceptional golfer. His short game around the green was as good as anybody’s.”

Harned made the cut and played all four days, shooting a 311 and finishing 43rd. For his efforts, they awarded him a check for $180, a far cry from today’s PGA winnings. On the other hand, Hogan ended up in an epic 18-hole playoff for the title, finishing second to little-known Jack Fleck in one of the biggest surprise wins in golf history.

Over the next decade, Harned played in many more tournaments and was considered one of the top 100 golfers in the world. He played in The Masters and finished 55th in the 1960 PGA Championship. It was rarefied enough air that he got to rub elbows with some of the most famous people of the 20th century. He became friends with golfing icon Arnold Palmer, and got to play with such legends as Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino.

“Sam Snead said a few words to me,” Harned recalls. “He made me feel better than Hogan did. You just played along and maybe have a drink with him after and have a few words then. I played with Nicklaus. I was paired with him. That’s when he was ‘Fat Jack’. He was powerful. He outdrove me by 30-40 yards. He wasn’t much of a talker either. Now Lee Trevino, he was known as ‘The Merry Mex’. Now he was a talker! That guy loved to joke around while he played golf.”

The galleries in those days were smaller and the crowds would walk down the fairway right behind the golfers. Sometimes famous dignitaries would accompany them or schmooze at the club house afterwards. Harned met the likes of singer Tony Bennett, baseball legend Joe DiMaggio, and the iconic boxer Joe Louis, The Brown Bomber.

“Joe Louis was a very nice man,” Harned says. “Tony Bennett was my favorite singer and it was great to meet him. And Joe DiMaggio, he was married at the time to Marilyn Monroe. He was very gracious.”

Once Harned’s PGA days were over, he became a club pro and taught lessons for the next two decades at $50 an hour.

“I loved playing golf any time of day. Early morning or into the dark. It’s a wonderful game.”

Harned moved to Woodinville recently to be closer to his daughters on the west coast.

Sometimes when golfers ask him for advice to help their game, Harned offers up an unconventional gem.

“I tell people if you really want to be a good golfer, get some clubs, but don’t hit a ball for a month,” he says. “With a ball in front of them their mind is completely on that ball.

“But if they practice without a ball, their focus will be on the follow through. There is no ball to distract them from focusing on what’s important. A good golf swing is no different than life in general; you need to have proper follow-through.”

Derek Johnson is the author of Husky Football in the Don James Era, Bow Down to Willingham and The Dawgs of War, which tells the story of the Rose Bowl season of Woodinville’s Marques Tuiasosopo. These books are available at

His latest book, Bow Down to Willingham, is now available for Kindle at for $9.99.