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George Edwin Fahey

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George Edwin FAHEY George Edwin Fahey died Sunday, March 27 at his home in Anacortes. Son of Helen deGraaf Fahey and Timothy Philip Fahey, George was born in 1910 at the Seattle house his grandfather built (John deGraaf). As a teenager, George shipped out as a Merchant Marine to China, Japan, the Philippines, and through the Panama Canal. At 19, he purchased property on Cypress Island at a county tax auction. George studied English at the University of Washington where he met Natus Collins (known as Johnny). Both pursued graduate work at the UW School of Social Work. Wed in 1937, they moved to St. Louis, where both had jobs in social work. Returning in 1939, they spent a year on Cypress before settling in Seattle. Son, Stephen, was born in 1940, Nicholas in '43, and Timothy in '44. Timothy died in 1948. Starting as a parole officer, George became Chief Parole Officer for the State of Washington. After his father's death in 1945, he and brother, Philip, took over Fahey-Brockman, the family's men's clothing business - with stores in Seattle, Portland, Denver, and Salt Lake City.They sold the business in 1967. George continued civic work, including terms on the Seattle Park Board (served as president), Seattle Juvenile Court, and Seattle School District (levy chairman). He served as the president of the Seattle Audubon Society, 1931-1933, and remained a member. In the early 1960s, George was asked by United Parcel Service founder Jim Casey to set up the Casey Family Program for foster children. He was a board member into his eighties, working to expand into numerous states and driving recruitment of people of color to the board and staff. Johnny and George retired to a ranch outside Cle Elum. In 2002, they moved to Rosario Assisted Living in Anacortes. Johnny died that year after sixty-five years of marriage. The family spent as much time as possible on Cypress Island, their "old home place." George was instrumental in efforts to stop development on Cypress and ultimately designate 4,800 acres on the island as a DNR conservation area and natural area preserve. In 2009, the family's 100 acres was protected under a permanent conservation easement. George celebrated his 100th birthday in December with friends and family. George is survived by son, Nicholas of Anacortes; grandson, Joseph and wife, Dominique Vaugeois of Séby, France; granddaughter, Anna and husband, Gustav Moore of Seattle; three great-grandchildren, Gabriel, Audrey, and Isaac; and by beloved sister, Florence's and brother, Phil's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. No service, per George's wishes. Memorial donations to your favorite environmental organization. Your thoughts and memories to Anna or Nick. Arrangements are in the care of Evans Funeral Chapel and Crematory, Inc., Anacortes, WA and the San Juan Islands. To share memories of George, please sign the online guest register at www.evanschapel.com.
Published in The Seattle Times on Apr. 5, 2011
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