August 9, 1944 - October 27, 2015
Noel V. Bourasaw, 71, of Sedro-Woolley died in Mount Vernon, Wash., Oct. 27, 2015, after a long and courageous fight with cancer.
He was born on Aug. 9, 1944, in Middletown, Missouri, the second child of Victor and Hazel (Kirks) Bourasaw.
When he was 4, Noel moved with his family to the Sedro-Woolley area. He graduated from Sedro-Woolley High School in 1962. He went on to attend Western Washington State College (now Western Washington University), where he was elected president of the student body and served as the editor of Western Front, the college's newspaper.
Noel joined the Army and was stationed in Germany circa 1965-1966, working as a foreign correspondent.
After writing for several magazines, newspapers and wine publications, and serving as the first executive director of the Washington Wine Institute, he returned to Sedro-Woolley to care for his mother, Hazel.
Noel was Sedro-Woolley's historian. His presentations about the town's history linked the town's present-day residents with the accomplishments and feelings of its earlier residents.
He had many friends, among them Chaplain Mary Bosell and the nurses at the Cancer Center, whom he regarded as "family." "Noel was one of us," said Bosell. "We miss him these days and feel honored to have known and cared for him."
Noel often said how grateful he was to still be alive 6 years after his diagnosis. "It's been a gift," he said, almost always praising Dr. Houshang Shetabi in the same breath.
In 1967, Noel was married to Alice Alida Van Zanten, and the couple had a daughter Jennifer Johnston. In 1985, he married Terry J. Rustan, and the couple had a son, Maxwell Bourasaw.
He is survived by by his daughter and son and also by two nieces, Germaine Bourasaw and Bonnie "Bonnita" Bourasaw, daughters of his brother Jerry Bourasaw.
Noel was preceded in death by his brother as well as by his parents.
A memorial service for Noel will be held at 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 15, at the Sedro-Woolley Senior Center, 715 Pacific St. Friends are invited to come and share memories about Noel.
Published in Skagit Valley Herald on Nov. 12, 2015.