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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.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Skagit Valley Herald on Nov. 12, 2015.
Memories & Condolences
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10 entries
November 16, 2015
He was a true historian. A lover of Skagit County. A sharer of knowledge. A good man.
November 16, 2015
Thank you so much for your unending work and dedication to our local history. Especially 'The Skagit River Journal' Thank you also for your friendship
November 15, 2015
We shared many a good time working for an Army newspaper in Germany. I will miss him.
Fred Hamilton
November 15, 2015
I remember Noel as our student body president at WWU when I was on the student legislature. Noel brought us through some very memorable times at Western.
Phil Cohen
November 15, 2015
Noel carried Sedro-Woolley's narrative in his heart. I always loved his energy for the written word and enthusiastic greetings. In high school he was charming and fabulously original. Always a friend.
Carla Shafer
November 15, 2015
He was my college boyfriend..he was funny and smart..great times.
Vicki Tannere
November 14, 2015
Its my impression that, thanks to Noel, there is a Founders Day in Sedro-Woolley. The town is lucky to have had him here; he worked out of love for Sedro-Woolley's history.
With all respect, C.C. Elian
November 13, 2015
May the God of comfort grant you and your family peace during this time of sorrow.
A. H.
November 13, 2015
Will be forever grateful to Noel for preserving and expanding the Pigg history. Several generations of our family have the story now.
Lenore Paige
November 12, 2015
Noel was a life friend.
Larry Harnden Jr,
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