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Everett lifeguard's love of water, family spread far and wide

Life story: Lisa Greenmum

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By Julie Muhlstein
Herald Writer
  • Lisa Greenmun

    Lisa Greenmun

Lisa Greenmun loved the ocean. She spent vacations at Oregon's Cannon Beach. A swimmer, she turned those skills into a 25-year career with Everett Parks and Recreation.
She had a passion for water, but it wasn't her greatest love. More than anything, she loved her family.
Anne and Bob Oman, Lisa's parents, said that from an early age their daughter “mothered” her three siblings. “Lisa's great loves were first and foremost the love of her life, husband Shaun, and children Joe and Melanie,” the Snohomish couple said in an e-mail describing their daughter.
Lisa Greenmun died Feb. 3. She was 44.
Lynnee Taylor, the youngest Oman sibling, said her sister suffered from congestive heart failure, which later brought on liver and kidney failure.
Born April 27, 1965, at Fort Ord, Calif., Lisa moved with her family to Snohomish in 1969. There, she was a member of St. Michael's Catholic Church. She graduated from Snohomish High School and attended Central Washington University before joining the Everett Parks and Recreation staff full-time.
She is survived by her husband Shaun and their children Joseph, 15, and Melanie, 12; by her parents Anne and Robert Oman; sisters Cindy Siebers and Lynnee Taylor; brother Bobby Oman; and by the Renny Greenmun family, the Harold Harkins family, and many nieces and nephews.
Shaun Greenmun, a sergeant with the Mukilteo Police Department, was working as a ranger at Everett's Forest Park when he met his future wife in 1991. At the time, she was a lifeguard at the Forest Park Swim Center.
Lisa's brother-in-law, Chris Greenmun, spoke at her funeral about his brother's stories of their meeting. “Shaun the park ranger and Lisa the lifeguard. It even has a catchy sound,” he said.
Chris Greenmun said his brother had been impressed by the way Lisa made sure kids had taken showers before swimming.
“She'd do it in a nice way,” said Marianne Pugsley, a parks department recreation coordinator. “For the most part, she never had to be strict. She just loved everybody,” said Pugsley, who shared an office with Greenmun.
Pugsley said her co-worker taught thousands of people to swim. And as a recreation supervisor, she mentored young lifeguards. “All those kids, we watched them grow up,” Pugsley said.
“She had a smile and laugh that was so contagious, we could sit and laugh about nothing for hours,” said Karen Emory, who also worked with Greenmun at the Forest Park pool.
Lynnee Taylor said her sister started as a lifeguard at Hal Moe Pool in Snohomish. At Forest Park, “she just naturally went up through the ranks,” Taylor said. In the summertime, her sister worked at Everett's Silver Lake beach.
Jason Brandvold, an Everett firefighter, grew up in Snohomish with the Omans. “At work, she was no different than she was in her personal life. She was kind and caring,” Brandvold said. He added that she showed concern for the lifeguards after they participated in a rescue.
“She liked helping people, and she liked kids,” Shaun Greenmun said, adding that his wife wanted to live at the end of their cul de sac. “She always wanted the Kool-Aid house, where all the kids would come — a safe place,” he said.
Among his favorite memories are vacations to Cannon Beach. “She loved the beach and loved the outdoors,” he said. Her parents said Lisa continued the Oregon coast tradition from childhood vacations. Their daughter, they said, would say, “I go to the ocean to breathe.”
Cindy Siebers, Lisa's other sister, used to follow her big sister around. “She just always took care of me,” Siebers said. “I remember being in junior high, and instead of walking home with my friends I would walk to the high school and wait for her at her locker.”
Lee Ann Leroux Sharpton, Lisa Greenmun's cousin, grew up in Georgia, but the two were always close. “She was the oldest cousin of the clan of 12, and made sure we were all smiling and laughing all the time,” Sharpton said. “Her face would light up when you talked about her children. She had a gift and a light that radiated from her.”
Cathy Brown-Luttinen shared a dorm room with Lisa at Central Washington University. Her easygoing friend was always up for fun, even when others had to study. She'd venture out in a snowstorm to get a Slurpee from 7-Eleven.
“Lisa was a kind, warmhearted, beautiful friend,” Brown-Luttinen said.
Angie Harkins, of Snohomish, said the extended Harkins family has been so close to the Omans they consider themselves “honorary cousins.” Harkins worked as a lifeguard at Forest Park. “Lisa displayed all the best qualities in her roles as a mother, sister, daughter, aunt, cousin, friend — and even as a manager-supervisor,” she said.
Karyn Harkins-Waite knew Lisa from childhood in Snohomish. “She was the warmth you felt when you came into a room and weren't sure where you fit in,” the Tacoma woman said. “You'd just gravitate to her side, awkwardness gone.”
Lisa Greenmun's aunt and godmother, Marguerite Rickerson, of Hilton Head, S.C., remembers her niece this way: “Lisa was not bigger than life, but she brought life, light, laughter and goodness into every room. She was the epitome of love.”
A memorial fund has been established for the Greenmun children:
Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460,
Story tags » EverettMukilteoPeopleParks

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