August 30, 1999
Otto and Mary Beach (left) were presented with a golden key to the city and certificate of recognition by Mayor Don Brocha for their service to Woodinville over the past 18 years.
Staff photo by Marshall Haley.
by Marshall Haley, staff reporter
WOODINVILLE--A crowd of some 30 well-wishers gathered outside Woodinville's 7-Eleven store to give retiring owners Otto and Mary Ellen Beach a warm sendoff at 11 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 22.
Mayor Don Brocha lured the Beaches outside by telling them he wanted to talk to them about the large firs on their lot, which had posed a potential hazard from falling branches. The surprised couple was "ambushed" with affectionate cheers and three cakes by the crowd waiting at the northwest corner of the store.
After the shock sank in, Mary Ellen Beach walked around the crowd and gave every single person there a big hug and a "thank you." After being hugged, formerly total strangers were heard to say they now understood why so many people were gathered.
"I need a ladder for this, Bob," said Otto Beach, while being hugged by former Mayor and current City Councilmember Bob Miller. Councilmember Barbara Solberg and City Community Services Coordinator Marie Stake were also among the well-wishers. The Beaches were also joined by their youngest daughter and a grandson.
Brocha presented Mr. and Mrs. Beach with a golden Key to the City and a Certificate of Recognition for their 18 years of service to Woodinville. The celebration, initiated by longtime customer Joe Pisconski of Woodinville, marked the couple's last day of store ownership.
"He's quite a guy," said Mrs. Beach of Pisconski. "We made so many good friends in Woodinville during the past 18 years," she said. "I'd like to find another job in Woodinville, after about a month off. I enjoy working with people so much. I'm the type that has to keep working."
The Beaches recently received a $100 gift certificate from Southland Corp. marking their 20th anniversary on July 5th as 7-Eleven franchise owners. They owned a store in Juanita for two years before they were finally able to pressure the corporation into letting them buy the Woodinville store, which was being used by the corporation as a training store. Mary Ellen managed 7-Eleven stores for several years before she and Otto bought their franchise.