On Wednesday, May 18, 2016 Laura Zalesky passed away peacefully in Everett, Washington. Laura was a kind and talented woman as well as a loyal friend. Laura was born in Klamath Falls, Oregon in 1924 and was the daughter of Warner and Laura Kimball. She was one of five children. Laura met the love of her life, Philip Zalesky, during World War II at a military facility in Tule Lake, California where Laura was a civilian employee and Phil served in the army. They married in January of 1945 and were totally devoted to each other for 68 years until Phil passed away in 2013. After W.W. II, they moved to Western Washington. Following several years with the Sno-Isle Library System, Laura graduated from Western Washington University and became an elementary school teacher. Most of her nineteen year career was spent teaching second graders at Silver Lake Elementary School in Everett. Laura was a highly respected teacher. During this time, Laura returned to W.W.U. and earned a master's degree. Both Laura and Phil were passionate advocates for the environment and wilderness protection, especially within the Cascade and Olympic Mountain ranges. Beginning in the 1950's they were active in several organizations including the Everett Mountaineers, North Cascades Conservation Council, Olympic Park Associates, and Pilchuck Audubon Society, often holding leadership positions. Laura also helped lead the fight to protect critical wetlands and headed up the Snohomish Wetlands Alliance which successfully sought the preservation of much of the Snohomish River Estuary. To learn more about Laura and Phil's achievements regarding environmental wilderness protection visit the website HistoryLink.org
. In retirement Laura began volunteering for the Assistance League, the League of Women Voters, and the Land Conservancy. During that time Laura continued with her love of hiking, birdwatching, and canoeing both in Washington and at their home away from home in Oregon near Klamath Falls. Laura was preceded in death by her husband, parents, and sisters Mary, Lois, and Lucy. She is survived by her brother Warner and numerous nieces and nephews. In accordance with her wishes, Laura was cremated, and her ashes will be scattered in the Washington and Oregon Cascades in places that were special to Laura and Phil. A celebration of Laura's life will take place at 2:00 on Saturday, June 18, 2016 at Knights of Columbus Hall, 2913 West Marine View Drive, Everett, Wash. In lieu of flowers, donations in Laura's name may be made to the North Cascades Conservation Council, Olympic Park Associates, and/or Pilchuck Audubon Society.
Published by The Herald (Everett) from Jun. 5 to Jun. 6, 2016.