Walt Crowley: Editorial remembers his contribution to Seattle

Historians in the News

Is is too hard to imagine saying good-bye to writer and historian Walt Crowley, so let's not. Instead, it would be a far better and more fitting tribute to propagate the broad sweep of thinking with which he approached contemporary issues, and to embrace with renewed vigor his legacy, HistoryLink.org, the online archive of Washington state history.

A memorial service will be held Tuesday for Walt — "Mr. Crowley," as the rules of obituary writing would dictate, seems so alien — but it surely will feel more like a pause than a close, because there is so much more work to do. An election looms, and what would it be without Seattle's historian of wit and grace weighing in?

In fact, Walt left a final column, on our epochal transportation crossroads, which appears on the cover (page C6) of today's Seattle Times Opinion section. He sent it in good spirits, knowing that he would be facing surgery in a few days:

"My cancer has returned and I undergo a major operation this Wednesday. Assuming success, I will likely be unable to respond to any requests for editing or rewrite for at least 10 days. If you only need to perform minor, non-invasive surgery on these (without anesthesia), feel free to do so.

"Thanks for the opportunity to keep my 'voice' out there. Best, Walt Crowley."

Walt had his voice box removed earlier in the year for treatment of cancer of the larynx, a circumstance he approached with aplomb. We shared his anticipation of success from his latest operation — and had no fear his copy would need any degree of surgery, so clearly did he write. We were right about the latter, sadly wrong about the former.

Walt died Sept. 21 following a stroke....
Read entire article at Editorial in the Seattle Times

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