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Obituary: Laurine Ann Choate

Published on September 12, 2018 12:01AM

Laurine Choate

Laurine Choate


Olympia, Washington

Sept. 28, 1954 — Sept. 5, 2018

Laurine Ann Choate died on Sept. 5, 2018, when she lost her footing and fell while hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail near Snoqualmie Pass. She was with her best friend of 45 years, Karen, doing what she loved most.

Laurie was born Sept. 28, 1954, to Leeland and Virginia Wiegardt of Ocean Park, Washington. She grew up with her three brothers, Fritz, David and Bill, near their family oyster farm in Oysterville.

Growing up, Laurie loved riding her horses Denny and Buck, and spent hours in the barn taking care of them, or riding them on the beach just down the street. Laurie was a runner, and held her high school track records at Ilwaco High School, went on to run for the University of Washington, and completed all 12 legs of the Hood to Coast Relay.

She was a lifelong traveler, and loved family trips to Hawaii and British Columbia, and eventually lived in Australia for four years after college, and completed several multiday backpacking trips in Europe.

Laurie was an active member and volunteer leader of the Olympia Mountaineers. In a statement released from the Mountaineers: “She was passionate about the natural world, joining the Naturalist Committee and leading trips in partnerships with expert ornithologists to better understand the local bird population.

“She was also an active member of the naturalist program and a graduate from Basic Navigation, Alpine Scrambling, Wilderness Skills, Mountaineering Oriented First Aid, and Basic Nordic Skiing. She participated in, or led, more than 50 trips with the Mountaineers in the last two years alone. She was a close friend and respected leader.”

Laurie was a fierce lover of the outdoors, a loyal friend, a champion of her nursing students, and an incredible mother. There will be a service held at First Lutheran Church in Astoria on Thursday, Sept. 13, at 1 p.m., and a celebration of life held at Mount Rainier National Park on Sunday, Oct. 7.

Laurie is proceeded in death by her mother, father and brother; Virginia, Leeland and William Wiegardt. She is survived by her children, John and Kathryn Choates, and brothers, Fritz and David Wiegardt.



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