‘Volunteer extraordinaire’ succumbs to cancer


Herald Writer

EDMONDS — Longtime community volunteer and avid golfer Don Bartholomaus died Sunday after a short battle with cancer.

He was 72.

"Everything he involved himself in he did it for the benefit of the community, never for personal glory," said Edmonds Mayor Gary Haakenson, a friend of Bartholomaus.

A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday Dec. 16 at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 8330 212th St. SW in Edmonds. He is survived by many family members and friends.

Bartholomaus was born in Fargo, N.D., on March 17, 1928 to Ed and Rhoda Bartholomaus.

In 1936 he moved with his family to Portland, Ore. After graduation from high school, he served in the Navy for two years. He later graduated from Lewis and Clark College in Portland.

After college he worked as a salesman for Hills Brothers Coffee in Longview. When he later moved to Edmonds he settled into a long career in advertising at The Herald in Everett, where he worked for nearly 20 years and advanced to director of advertising. Several people Bartholomaus hired while working at The Herald are still employed there.

For several years after that, he also worked as advertising director at a Bellevue publication.

Bartholomaus became active in the communities in which he lived early on.

While living in Longview, he served as president of the Jaycees. Later, when he moved to Snohomish County, he served as president of local Kiwanis groups, on committees for the Edmonds School District and was involved worked on political campaigns.

In fact, Haakenson said, Bartholomaus was the one who urged Haakenson early on in 1999 to run for mayor. Shortly after meeting one another, Haakenson and Bartholomaus created a foursome of men who often golfed together.

"It was always a great time golfing with him," Haakenson said.

Many people met Bartholomaus through his work at the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce, where he served as the volunteer director and president.

"When he retired, he dedicated himself to the Chamber and the city," Haakenson said.

In 1994, he and his wife Helen were grand marshals of the Edmonds Fourth of July parade. And in 1999, he was named 1998 Edmonds Citizen of the year by the Sno-King Kiwanis Club of Edmonds and the Edmonds Senior Kiwanis Club.

"If you ever needed something all you had to do was ask and he’d drop what he was doing," said friend Doug Dewar, a certified public accountant in Edmonds.

Dewar said he remembers he and Bartholomaus measuring off the field and marking spaces for the Taste of Edmonds celebration. Bartholomaus was also involved in the Downtown Christmas Tree Program and the Save the Log Cabin Committee.

"He was a gentleman, volunteer extraordinaire and an ambassador for the city of Edmonds," Haakenson said.

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