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Lise Kenworthy

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Lise Kenworthy Obituary
Lise Kenworthy

January 26, 1945 ~ January 11, 2013

Lise Kenworthy was born in New York City to Nelson Kenworthy and June Cone Kenworthy. She grew up in Colonia, New Jersey, a rural enclave established by her maternal ancestors. Her childhood memories centered on Colonia; summers at Camp Millbrook, in Maine; and a European trip with her maternal grandmother. She was an AFS exchange student to France, where she became fluent in the language and acquired a deep love for the culture. She was a very proud alumna of Wellesley College (class of 1967); where she made numerous lifelong friends. Following Wellesley she earned a Master of Arts in Teaching at Yale University.

She taught high school history in Bridgeport, CT and Winchester, MA, before enrolling in the Suffolk University Law School in Boston. After receiving her JD degree in 1976, she came to Seattle to clerk for Judge William Beeks of the U. S. District Court for two years. Judge Beeks handled only Admiralty Law disputes, and Lise, somewhat to her surprise, became a maritime lawyer. She met and bonded with a number of fellow young attorneys and law clerks, forming more lifelong friendships. She practiced law in Ballard, initially at Haugen and Thoreen, then at Treece Richdale, and eventually on her own. She loved Ballard, especially the men and women of the working waterfront, and bought a home in the Sunset Hill neighborhood.

Soon after her arrival in Seattle Lise joined Pilgrim Congregational Church (now All Pilgrims Christian Church) on Capitol Hill, and remained a very active member until her death. She served in many church offices, and in 2010 initiated a weekly supper to welcome and feed some of Seattle's homeless, lonely, and working poor.

In 1983 she helped found the Women's Fisheries Network, and for the next seven years served as a mentor and adviser to many young women in the fishing industry. She was a chair of the Seattle Fishermen's Memorial Committee, and was a board member of the Odyssey Maritime Discovery Museum. She started and for many years organized the annual Ship Canal Cleanup.

In 1984 she joined the board of the Seattle Marine Business Coalition (SMBC), and began a secondary career as a volunteer advocate for Seattle's working waterfront and its family wage jobs. She was president of the SMBC from 1992 to 2002, and served on a number of Port and City advisory committees. She was a charter member of the Ballard Interbay Northend Manufacturing Committee, a member of the Duwamish Planning Committee, the Magnolia Bridge Design Advisory Committee, the Ship Canal Advisory Committee, the Seattle Fire Chief Search Committee, the Mayor's Economic Development Task Force, the Port's Taskforce on Economic Impact, and the Port's Harbor Development Strategy Taskforce. She was the SMBC Representative to the Queen Anne -Magnolia District Council, where she initiated the Emergency Planning Committee.

In 1987 she married Tom Dyer, a fellow member of the SMBC board. They had 25 years of very happy marriage. Lise particularly liked entertaining friends with Tom at their home in Magnolia, or aboard their classic wooden boat; creative gardening; theater; and viewing wildlife, especially bears and whales in British Columbia. She had a great love of travel, usually with friends. She delighted in befriending strangers in her travels, using charades to bridge any language gaps. Two of her trips were particularly meaningful to others: a trip to Japan to attend a friend's special anniversary, and another to Africa to assist development in a Kenyan village.

A friend noted that Lise lived many more years than indicated by her mere 68 years on this planet. She was a free spirit, an independent woman, an enthusiast, a creative thinker, and a passionate advocate, but most of all she was a woman with a truly wonderful gift for friendship. She brightened and enriched the lives of many, many people. She lived secure in the knowledge that the world was good and she was loved - and so she was.

Lise was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer in December, 2011, and received a stem cell bone marrow transplant in July 2012. Tragically in December 2012 her cancer progressed to incurable leukemia. She died peacefully, surrounded by family and friends. Lise is survived by her husband, Tom Dyer, of Seattle; her brother Jamie, and his wife Pat, of Anchorage; her grandson, Ben Dyer, of San Francisco; her cousins Ted Ladd Sr., of Dover, MA and Kitty Ward, of Hingham, MA, and their children; and her godchildren Eleanor Parker Clagett of Portland, Liz Parker Clagett of Seattle, Ted Ladd Jr. of Wilson, WY, Nicolas Rasmussen of Seattle, and JoAnna Aulick of Clymor, PA.

Lise's life will be celebrated at 2:00 P.M., Saturday, January 26, at All Pilgrims Christian Church, 500 Broadway East (at Republican), Seattle. A reception will follow at the church. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to Wellesley College, Community Lunch on Capitol Hill, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, or All Pilgrims Christian Church.
Published in The Seattle Times from Jan. 19 to Jan. 22, 2013
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