Sue "Skip" Harlan
Sue "Skip" Harlan, 67, passed away early Thursday morning at St. Peter Hospital in Olympia. She was born in Longview, Washington to John and Caroline (Rohweder) Firmin on July 16, 1935. She graduated from Lincoln High School in Tacoma; she received her degree in Education and Civil Engineering from Washington State College, Pullman and a Master's in Public Administration from Seattle University.
Skip worked for the State of Washington for 25 years in the Department of Water Resources and the Department of Ecology, retiring in 1991. She married Melvin Harlan on June 6, 1958 in Olympia. Skip was an active member in the community, including the P.N.P.C.A. (Pacific Northwest Pollution Control Association), the Children's Hospital Aloha Guild, the Philatelic Association, and St. Benedict's Church, where she volunteered as a cook for Bread and Roses, edited the newsletter, and visited people in the hospital. Skip also volunteered for C.A.B. (Community Accountability Board) with Community Youth Services, and the Good Shepherd Lutheran tutoring program.
Skip's great enjoyments were music, traveling, and her family. She traveled to Mexico, South America, China, and Europe. She was a member of the Olympia Chorale, Masterworks, and the Abbey Players, and sang with the church choir for years. Following her retirement she learned to play the cello at Pioneer Elementary and Washington Middle School. She was a member of the Olympia New Horizons Band.
Surviving her are her husband, Mel; brother, Alfred Firmin; son, Philip, and his wife, Pat (Graham); daughter, Claire; three grandchildren, Ryan, Patrick, and Anne Harlan; and her extended family from Guadalajara, the Ochoas. A Celebration of Skip's Life will be held at St. Benedict's Episcopal Church, 910 Bowker Street S.E., Lacey, on Saturday, March 29, 2003, at 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials are encouraged to be given to Habitat for Humanity, the Heifer Project, or the American Cancer Society. Arrangements with Mills & Mills Funeral Home,Tumwater.
In 1985, Skip was inducted into PNCWA’s Society of Select Sludge Shovelers. In 1998, Skip, along with husband Mel, received the Arthur Sidney Bedell Award.