Funeral rites set for Rex Hankins, Oak Harbor City Council member


Herald Writer

OAK HARBOR – Funeral services have been announced for Oak Harbor councilman Rex C. Hankins Sr., who died Saturday of pneumonia.

Hankins, 73, was an 11-year resident of Whidbey Island. A member of the Oak Harbor City Council for the past five years, he had been battling cancer and had undergone lung surgery in early January.

Cheri Olney, his daughter, said he became involved in government because he was interested in the environment and wanted to make sure the Whidbey Island shoreline was adequately protected.

A former Edmonds resident, Hankins moved to Snohomish County in 1970 from San Jose, Calif., after a 20-year career with Hewlett-Packard as an electronics engineer.

Hankins also was the former owner of the Totem Tavern, now the Milltown Pub, on Evergreen Way in Everett.

"When we had the tavern, he would sit and talk about faith, about hope; the least likely place you would ever think of," Olney said.

"It’s not that he was preachy, but when people came to dad he told them what he thought."

He remained the same as an Oak Harbor council member, where he earned a reputation as an outspoken, but thoughtful and well-prepared, watchdog.

"He loved it, he was passionate about it. He had more binders filled with RCW codes," Olney said.

"The personal contact with the people of Oak Harbor dad absolutely loved, it was a joy to him," she said.

In addition to Olney, he is survived by his wife, Eleanor, and son Rex Hankins Jr., of Edmonds. Another son, Mark, died in 1976.

"My brother died when he was 22, and my dad emerged from that tragedy full of strength and hope and a strong desire to serve other people," Olney said.

"He was a mentor in this family; he was a very, very strong light," she said.

A vigil service will be 4 p.m. Thursday in the chapel of Beck’s Funeral Home in Edmonds.

A funeral mass will be 11 a.m. July 14 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Edmonds.

You can call Herald Writer Brian Kelly at 425-339-3422 or send e-mail to

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Kim Skarda points at her home on a map on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Concrete, Washington. A community called Sauk River Estates has a very steep slope above it. There is a DNR-approved timber sale that boarders the estate properties, yet they were not consulted about the sale before approval. The community has already appealed the sale and has hired their own geologist to conduct a slope stability report at the site. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Beneath steep slope, Concrete neighbors fear landslides from logging above

Nielsen Brothers plans to cut 54 acres of timber directly behind the community of 83 homes. Locals said they were never consulted.

Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2 killed in waterfront train crashes were near Mukilteo ‘quiet zone’

In June, two people were hit by trains on separate days near Mukilteo Boulevard. “These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett’s mayor said.

Rob Plotnikoff takes a measurement as a part of the county's State of Our Waters survey at Tambark Creek in Bothell, Washington on Monday, July 1, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County stream team bushwhacks a path to healthier waterways

This summer, the crew of three will survey 40 sites for the State of Our Waters program. It’s science in locals’ backyards.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
4th suspect arrested after Mountlake Terrace home robbery

Police arrested Taievion Rogers, 19, on Tuesday. Prosecutors charged his three alleged accomplices in April.

A 10 acre parcel off of Highway 99, between 240th and 242nd Street Southwest that the city of Edmonds is currently in the process of acquiring on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds ditches $37M Landmark public park project off Highway 99

The previous mayor envisioned parks and more in south Edmonds, in a historically neglected area. The new administration is battling budget woes.

Edmonds school official sworn in as Mount Vernon supe

Victor Vergara took his oath of office last week. He was assistant superintendent of equity and student success in Edmonds.

Photos by Olivia Vanni / The Herald
Gabby Bullock sits on her bed in a room she shares with another housemate on June 14 in Everett.
‘We don’t have openings’: SnoCo recovery houses struggle with demand

Advocates say the homes are critical for addiction recovery. But home prices make starting a sober living house difficult.

Melinda Grenier serves patrons at her coffee truck called Hay Girl Coffee during the third annual Arlington Pride event in Arlington, Washington on Sunday, June 2, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Food safety team defends its work: it’s a ‘high pressure, thankless’ job

Management tried to set the record straight about long permit delays in Snohomish County.

Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. (Olivia Vanni/The Herald)
Global tech outage leaves a mark on Snohomish County

The CrowdStrike software update hit some systems at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett and briefly disrupted 911 operations.

Performers joust during the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire at Sky Meadows Park in Snohomish, Washington, on Sunday, Aug. 06, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Royalty and revelry: The spirit of the Renaissance comes to Monroe

The annual Renaissance fair will open its doors every weekend from July 20 to Aug. 18

Trees and foliage grow at the Rockport State Park on Wednesday, April 3, 2024 in Rockport, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
When you get lost in WA, what’s the cost to get rescued? Surprisingly little

Washington’s volunteer search and rescue teams save lives without costly bills.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.