Theodora Bandli passed peacefully on March 23, 2012 in Ellensburg, with her daughters at her side. Theo was born September 1, 1922 in Tacoma, WA, twin sister of Dorothea and daughter of Carl J. and Ida Mae (Ries) Gillette. Theo loved being a twin, and that relationship was one of the most important of her life. The family moved several times during Theo's childhood as her dad followed the work. They moved to Fairfax, WA when Theo and Doro were teens and Theo graduated at age 16 from Buckley (now White River) High School in 1939, third in her class. It was in high school that she met John Bandli, but their story didn't really begin until later.
After graduation, Theo worked at Rainier State School before moving to Seattle and living the life of a career girl, working for Isaacson Steel and Boeing. She reconnected with John in 1945 and they married in 1947, the beginning of a lifelong love affair. They had two daughters, Marilyn and Betty Lou, whom they raised in Seattle and Lynnwood. Around raising her children Theo worked at Safeco Insurance with some of the earliest computers and later for 13 years for SeaFirst Bank, retiring in 1980.
After retiring Theo and John moved to the home they had built overlooking the water at Birch Bay and spent 16 happy years participating in community activities, doing volunteer work, walking on the beach, eating crab, and entertaining family and friends, old and new. Theo enjoyed traveling as long as it didn't involve boats or planes, so they traveled extensively, often with friends, in the central and western United States. She especially enjoyed extended winter vacations at Santa Barbara, where the shopping was almost as good as the beach. In 1997 Theo and John moved to Ellensburg to be near their daughters' families. They continued to go and do as much as possible, often in the company of one or both of their daughters and husbands.
Theo was preceded by her parents, older sister Margaret, beloved twin Doro, and, in 2010 her forever love John. She leaves behind her daughters and sons-in-law, Marilyn and Gentry Scott and Betty Lou and Pat Martin; grandchildren Hattie and William Yarwood and Jensen Scott; her sisters-in-law Bernice Williams and Dolores Marquette; all of the cousins, nieces, and nephews in the Gillette, Prestidge, Babcock, Jacobsmeyer, Marquette, and Bandli families; and her dear friends Fred and Jackie Holtz. Theo had some extraordinary caregivers during her later years and the family will always be grateful to them and especially to Claudia, Joann, and Maria, who made all the difference these past 18 months.
At Theo's request there will be no service; her ashes will be buried with John's at High Valley Cemetery later this spring. Steward & Williams Tribute Center are in care of the funeral arrangements.