OBITUARY

Leonard Carlyle Champion

April 20, 1932May 9, 2018
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Len left his home on earth on May 9th for the home prepared for him by Christ Jesus in heaven. Len was born on April 20, 1932 in Port Angeles, WA. His parents were Anita Sauer Champion & Leonard Champion Sr.

Len & his family moved to Seattle. As a boy he spent winters in the Forks, WA area on a farm with his aunt, uncle and their family & summers in Seattle. Len thoroughly enjoyed his time on the farm and felt it was a great place for a young man to grow up.

In 1951 he married the love of his life, JoAnn. Len & JoAnn celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary in September. They have 3 children, 10 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. Their oldest child passed on in 2012.

Len drove truck for several years. He later went into the business of remodeling homes and owned his own remodeling business.

In 1976 Len became a volunteer fire fighter with Snohomish County Fire District #1. He soon became a career fire fighter with the district, retiring as captain in 1997.

On April 11, 1977 Len made the most important decision of his life. He gave his life to Christ Jesus. For several years Len led Bible studies in their home. A couple of his favorite Bible Verses were Psalm 121:1&2: “I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help. My help comes from the Lord Who made heaven and earth.”

Len & JoAnn bought a small farm in the Silvana, WA area in 1985. They were living a dream of Len’s. They raised replacement heifers for the local dairy farms as well as pigs, turkeys and chickens. Their turkeys were the talk of the town when they weighed in at 50 lbs. each and had to be cut in half to fit in an oven. It didn’t take long for Len & JoAnn to learn to buy their baby turkey chicks a little later in the season. Following retirement from the fire service in 1997 Len & JoAnn moved to Spokane to be near their son, daughter-in-law & grandchildren who were there. A move they have never regretted.

Len was skilled in many fields from wood working to electronics to farming & gardening & more. He will be remembered as a great story teller with a wonderful memory who would keep his audience’s attention with his life experience stories. He was always ready to lend a helping hand whenever & wherever needed. Len deeply loved his family & is deeply loved by them. He will always be missed.

Len leaves behind his wife of 66 years JoAnn, daughter Susan Cook, son Clint Champion (Vikki), brother Gary Curtis (Carol), sister-in-law Jocelyne McQueen (Mac), step father Chester Curtis (Dolores), grandchildren Tim Cook (Jenifer), Adam Champion (Natalie), Jesse Champion, Elizabeth Ellis (Matt), Benjamin Champion, Sarah Champion, Caleb Champion, Joshua Champion, Anita Champion & Victor Champion, great-grandchildren Link Champion, Emerson Champion, Avery Laine Ellis, Finley Jane Ellis & Oliver Henry Ellis, nieces Melody Lich (Jeff) & Janine Davenport, nephews Dean Whalen (Pam), Jeff McQueen, Dave Appleby (Tracy) & Mike Appleby (Debbie). He also leaves numerous good friends at church, in the fire dept. & elsewhere including wonderful neighbors. Len loved you all & hoped that everyone would come to know the Love of Christ Jesus in a very personal way. Len is with Christ Jesus now.

Services

  • Visitation Wednesday, May 16, 2018
  • Funeral Service Thursday, May 17, 2018
REMEMBERING

Leonard Carlyle Champion

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Steven Wheeler

May 19, 2018

Len's "Champ's" passing has had me remembering the many years that we spent together in the fire station and on our days off. The first time that I met Champ was for my interview to become a volunteer with the fire department. He turned the interview from a stressful situation into what seemed like a friendly chat with an old friend. Champ really had a way with people. One of the many things that I admired about him.

The next time that we met was shortly after I was hired as a career firefighter and was detailed to work with Champ at Station 4 on a two person crew. He greeted me at the door and showed me around the station. Later in the day we got our first call. It was a residential fire alarm and we jumped up and headed for the rig. I got the bay door opened and started the old 1969 Crown fire engine and started rolling toward the street. Champ said "Head for Brownie's and take a right". I hit the brakes, turned to him and asked "What is a Brownie's?". Champ gave me a look that I will never forget! After all, anyone who had ever worked at that station knew Bob Brown and his automotive shop on 100th Ave SW.... He said "You got a lot to learn kid" and he keep teaching me for the next 17 years until he retired. One of the most important things that he taught me was that the public (our taxpayers) always came first. You didn't become a firefighter for the money, you did it to serve your community.

I am so grateful for the time that we spent together. He was more than a co worker, he became a life long friend.

Janis (Champion) Shumway

May 14, 2018

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