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Lowell_Skoog

Dave Mahre dies at age 77

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I received this in an e-mail from the AAC Cascade Section:

 

Dave Mahre of Yakima climbed his last mountain last Saturday. He was a climber of the old school and mentored many younger climbers in the Northwest to achieve more than they might have ever thought they could. He has been a member of the AAC on and off throughout the years.

 

His formal service will be a Catholic Mass held a Holy Family Catholic Church in Yakima, WA. It will start at 1100 AM Thursday 28 July 2005. In addition to his funeral service, there will be a separate mountain celebration at the White Pass Ski Area on Saturday 6 August 2005. There is a Mahre family reunion planned for the date anyway so we are taking advantage of the gathering. The family wants the greater community to understand that everyone is welcome to come and spend the day and that there will be some kind of program/structured remembrance at 1500 (3pm) at the White Pass Day Lodge. There is a dinner planned at 1800 on the 6th and people are welcome to stay for that as well.

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I'd like to here express my admiration and respect for Dave and others from the entreprenureal generation of ski area people. Having come from both the era of the Great Depression and the infancy of mechanized skiing they could do so very much with so very little. I learned a lot from guys of that generation and will miss them a great deal.

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Sad. Challenge of Rainier recounts Mahre's first ascent of Little Tahoma, N Face. Because of copyright, I won't paste it here, but one of Molenaar's sketches is of a climber crawling along a snowy ledge high on the face during this climb. This is what I always have, and always will think about when I hear the name of this man who I never met but admired. Grab a copy of the book and relive this adventure in memory of Dave Mahre.

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I never met Dave Mahre and am sorry I didn't. The thing that always struck me about him was that he did such a magnficent job of balancing his love of the outdoors and of his family. He wasn't just a climbing hardman. What an inspiration!

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It appears that reports of a Memorial at White Pass were incorrect:

 

 

Subject: Dave Mahre Memorial Information

 

Dave "Spike" Mahre, White Pass Mountain Manager (ret.), passed away this

weekend.

 

Dave had been a key figure in the development of skiing at White Pass since

the 1950's and his dedication to the area along with his contribution to the

sport is unmatched. Dave served as Mountain Manager from 1962 through 1993

and he continued to contribute to the daily operation of the ski area

despite his "retirement". Dave defined retirement as an opportunity to

spend more time helping others while continuing to make sure the ski area

was operating smoothly. It's difficult to imagine a season without

him; however we expect that his legacy and his tremendous spirit will live

on at White Pass. We know that you, our extended White Pass family, will

miss him as much as we do.

 

Dave is survived by his nine children, twenty grandchildren, and one

great-granddaughter.

 

A vigil will be held at Holy Family Catholic Church on 56th and Tieton in

Yakima Wednesday July 27th at 7 p.m.

 

The funeral will be held at Holy Family Catholic Church on Thursday July

28th at 11 a.m. and will be followed by a reception.

 

There will not be a memorial at the ski area on the weekend of July 30 and

31st as reported in some newspaper accounts of Dave's passing.

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It appears that reports of a Memorial at White Pass were incorrect...

 

I think the date must have changed. A friend e-mailed me a copy of the paid obituary that was published in the Yakima paper (yesterday, I think). It says there will be a White Pass celebration on August 6. The on-line copy has a couple of nice photos of Dave Mahre.

 

http://www.yakima-herald.com/paidobituaries.php

 

David R. Mahre

 

Keith & Keith Funeral Home

 

YAKIMA - It is with sadness and peace in our hearts we will remember our father, and brother, Dave Mahre. We would like to think that he climbed and summited his last mountain' and the view from heaven must be spectacular! He is with his Lord and all those he loved who went before him.

 

David R. Mahre born August 8th, 1927, was raised and lived the majority of his life in the Yakima Valley. His formal education may have ended with graduation from Cowiche Tieton High School, but as an avid reader and philosopher he continued to question, learn and educate himself in many areas. After graduation, he served in the Merchant Marines during WW II.

 

His faithful and happy forty-five year marriage to Mary Ellen Chott in 1947 resulted in 9 children. Dave and Mary parted temporarily at her death in July of 1993. He worked as an orchardist in Yakima and Ellensburg until he took a job as Area Manger at White Pass Ski Area in 1962. The management of the ski area was a labor of love and joy for 30 years. He stepped down from that position in 1992, continuing on at the ski area as a right hand man to his son-in -law until his death. During those years he also pursued his love and passion for mountain climbing, scaling the many peaks of the Cascades with numerous 1st ascents, rescues and just fun times with climbing buddies. He made two attempts on Mt. Everest and a successful summit of Denali ( Mt. McKinley). A man of simple means, he loved his children and family. He always found time to help with the yearly hop harvest on the Gamache farm, play slow pitch softball, and play horseshoes with brothers and sons. His love of family did not stop his dedication to his community by performing jail ministry with parish priest Fr. George Purdy. There was always time for all in need and keeping in touch with numerous friends.

 

He is survived by his children: Kathee Forman of White Pass, WA, Christine Gamache, David Jr., Phillip and Steven Mahre of Yakima, WA, Ruth Mahre of Wenatchee, WA, Paul Mahre of Newport, WA, Roberta Mahre of Minneapolis, MN, and Jackie Murphy of Gig Harbor, WA, twenty grandchildren and one great -granddaughter; and his siblings: Patricia Erickson of Spokane, WA, Jack Mahre of Bothell, WA, Tim Mahre of Ellensburg, WA, and Bill Mahre, Peggy Urlacher, and Sally Atterberry of Yakima, WA.

 

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Holy Family Catholic Church, 5315 Tieton Dr. Yakima at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, July 28, 2005. Rosary/Vigil will be held Wednesday, July 27th at 7 PM at Holy Family.

 

In conjunction with the Mahre Family reunion, a 'Celebration of Dave's Life' will be held at White Pass Ski Lodge at 3 PM on Saturday, August 6th. Any and all are welcome.

 

In place of flowers contributions may be made through Keith and Keith Funeral Home at 902 W. Yakima Ave. Yakima, WA, 98902 to: Boys Town, Disabled American Veterans, Mary Ellen Chott-Mahre Education Fund or St. John's Catholic Church or a charity of your choice.

 

And so it comes to pass, a life is far more than dates and facts. It is a piece of a wonderful puzzle, without which God's universe is not complete. Dave came, Dave touched, Dave impressed, Dave left his piece of God's plan in place; secure forever affecting that which is to come. Though it is beyond our ability to understand, we know that in his passing his unique piece of the puzzle is not lost.

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I had the pleasure of meeting Dave Mahre on his 70th birthday. He was sitting on top of Mt. Stuart telling stories!

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Not only was Spike a friend and inspiration to many, he was also a staunch supporter and silent benefactor of our Central Washington Mountain Rescue unit. We all miss him. God bless you, Dave. wave.gif

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