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King Lysen


1942 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
King Lysen Obituary
King Lysen

Former State Senator, King Lysen, a beloved husband, father and grandfather passed away on March 15, 2017 at his Burien home.

Born March 10, 1942 in Minneapolis, as the eldest of four children to Odell and Mildred Lysen. At 12 the family moved with his father's job to Seattle Washington. He was in the first graduating class of St Francis School, continuing to graduate from O'dea High School and Seattle University (64, 65) where he met his wife, Toni Smit Lysen.

The social justice influence of his Jesuit Alma Matter, was threaded into his teaching career when he first became a union rep for the Teacher's Union, his active opposition to the Vietnam War transitioned him into a political career. He was first elected as the democratic state representative of the 31st (now 34th) district in 1970. He served in the legislature for 12 years as both House Rep and State Senator. During his time in Olympia King fought special interests and was a true voice of the people. His political career was defined as he exposed large special interest activities and government and contractor mismanagement in areas such as Washington State Ferry contracts and Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS). He continued his anti-war efforts by actively protesting nuclear weapons at the Trident submarine base in Bangor. After his political career, King commercial fished in Alaska, and passed on his love of the sea to his sons, who all spent several years commercial fishing in Alaska. At the end of King's career, he returned to his love of teaching, as a drafting teacher at Franklin High School.

His family and friends will miss his wit, humor, generous empathy for the less fortunate, and his strong zest for life. Dad and Mom's devotion to each other, especially in his final years, kept him going until the end.

King is survived by his wife Toni, and their six children; Polly (Neil) Halpern, Zac (Sarah), Josh (Anne), Luke (Jen), Koosje (Jason) Boyd, and Maria (Niilo) Juntunen, as well as 15 Grandchildren and his siblings Kathy Gehring-Waters, Ray (Carol), and Bert (Melinda).

Services will be held Thursday, March 23, 10:30am at St. Francis of Assisi Church, Burien with Burial at Gethsemane Cemetery, Federal Way.

Please visit the online guest book at howden-kennedy.com for more on King's life.

In lieu of flowers the family requests remembrances be made in King's honor to the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (www.theaftd.org), the Fellowship of Reconciliation for Western WA (www.wwfor.org), and the ACLU [action.aclu.org/donate].
Published in The Seattle Times on Mar. 19, 2017
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