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Rotary Club of Chehalis

Club Information

Welcome to our Club


Service Above Self

We meet Wednesdays at 12:00 PM
Chehalis Eagles
1993 S Market Blvd.
Chehalis, WA  98532
United States
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Home Page Stories



James Andrew Vander Stoep

Family, faith, law  and justice, friends, Chehalis, fishing, hunting, Washington State University, dogs, clamming, tennis, Rotary, cards and dominoes - these have been enduring loves of James Andrew Vander Stoep through his nearly 89 years of life. Born on May 14, 1925, Jim passed away on March 8, 2014.

Jim and his family-parents, Dirk Hendrick  and Marion Vander Stoep and sister, Jean - moved from Iowa to Lynden, Wash. in 1929. After graduating from Lynden High School in 1942, Jim enrolled at Washington State College.  In 1943, Jim enlisted in the U.S. Navy and following Officer Training, became an ensign and served in Japan following the end of WW II. In 1946, he returned to WSC, completed his bachelors degree and became engaged to marry Margaret Sue (Suzi) Hayne.

Jim entered University of Oregon Law School in 1947.  Jim and Suzi were married  in Longview, Wash. on June 20, 1948. After law school, Jim and Suzi chose Chehalis where he was hired by the law firm of Hull & Armstrong.  Jim and Suzi believed their marriage was a match made in heaven, as was their match with Chehalis, Westminster Presbyterian Church and this law firm.  Jim practiced law for 53 years and was a member and past president of Lewis County Bar Association. Other accolades in Jim’s law career included Board of Governors (1985-1988)  and then president of Washington State Bar Association (1989-1990),  membership in American College of Trial Lawyers (state chairman, 1992-93). He was a life member of Fellows of American Bar Foundation.

An active citizen, Jim was past president of Chehalis Rotary Club, first chairman of Chehalis swimming pool, co-founder of Chehalis Little League, chairman of Lewis County Republican Club.  He actively supported Chehalis schools and tennis, Pacific N.W. Chamber Orchestra, Lewis County Community Concerts, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts and Vernetta Smith Public Library.

A faithful member of Westminster Presbyterian Church since 1950, Jim was an ordained elder. The congregation of WPC has been Jim and Suzi’s second family and their constancy and support has been a source of great comfort and strength.

Annual vacations to Orcas Island began with Jim and Suzi’s honeymoon. Fishing in Alaska and clamming in the Queen Charlotte Islands were highlights of each year. With his faithful springer spaniels, Jim loved hunting pheasants in the fall. He enthusiastically shared these adventures with family and many dear friends.

Above all, Jim Vander Stoep was a family man.  His granddaughter, Brook, recently gave birth to a son whose middle name is James. She wrote to Jim, We would be so happy if, in giving him your name and having him learn all about his great-grandpa, he could grow up with your honesty, kindness, humor, charm, loyalty, work ethic, and great capacity for love as a guide.

Jim is survived by his treasured wife of nearly 66 years, Suzi; and by daughters, Ann Vander Stoep of Seattle, Johanna Vander Stoep (Eric Cederwall) of Bainbridge Island and J. Vander Stoep (E. Ann Vander Stoep) of Chehalis; six beloved grandchildren, Brook Barajas (Jose Barajas), Roxie Hunt (Jonathan Mobley), Jack Hunt (Tenah Acquaye), Bryn Vander Stoep, Beth Vander Stoep, Isabel Vander Stoep; and by three great-grandchildren, Marley Mae, Selah Sparrow and Sebastian James.  He is also survived by his brother-in-law, Jack Hayne; and by nieces and nephews, Becky, Greg, Grant, Corey, Mary, John, Alice and Nancy.

A man of impeccable ethics, strong faith and boundless kindness, he was beloved and will be sorely missed by many.  Still, we are blessed to have walked this earth with him.  He lives on in our hearts, inspires our actions and we know he rests in peace.

Memorial service  will be 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 15, 2014 at Westminster Presbyterian Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family  would appreciate donations to Westminster Presbyterian Church (P.O. Box 710, Chehalis, WA  98532), University of Livingstonia Foundation (P.O. Box 9276, Silver Springs, MD 20916), or Chehalis Foundation (PO Box 1608, Chehalis, WA 98532








The Chehalis Rotary Club recently hosted a school supply  shopping night for children in the Chehalis School District who are considered homeless.  Forty kindergarten through 12th grade students took  advantage of the opportunity to pick out their own supplies.  On average,   each child spent fifty dollars and left the Chehalis Walmart with a big smile  and ready to start a new school year.  Additional funds will be expended throughout the year to pay for fees and other items that would be difficult for families to cover.  With a total of $5,000.00 available, it is expected that up to 100 students will receive resources to help them with their education expenses this school year.


Fundraising proceeds from the Chehalis Rotary Corn Booth and Golf Ball Drop (both held at the SWW Fair), along with a Rotary District 5020 matching grant were used to fund this event. 




Once again, the Chehalis Rotary Corn Booth at the SWW Fair proved to be a profitable endeavor for our club.  Combined with the 2nd annual golf ball drop and a District 5020 matching grant, we have earned enough seed money to fund back to school shopping for homeless children and scholarships for higher education.






Congratulations to Gail Shaw for being named as the Chronicle's 2012 Person of the Year! The 1/1/2013 edition of the Chronicle includes a full story and several pictures of Gail from various stages of his life.


Gail Shaw


At the first annual Chehalis Rotary Golf Ball Drop on Saturday, August 18, 600+ golf balls were dropped from the Lewis County Public Works Manlift truck on the compacted dirt surface of the fairground grandstand arena.   For just a fleeting moment, it appeared to be snowing in August!  The balls that landed closest to the marker were:
1st place winner (of $1,000): Fred Rapp, 9 3/4 inches from marker
2nd place winner (of $500): Melody Bradley, 10 1/4 inches
3rd place (of $250):  Mark Schweisow, 13 inches
4th place (West Coast Bank Golf Basket): Lois Gueck, 16 inches
5th place (Security State Bank $50 Gift Certificate): Barbara Greatwood, 16 3/4 inches


With a fresh coat of paint and many other improvements, the corn booth looked better than ever at the recent Southwest Washington Fair!   Our members, their families and friends of Rotary really stepped up to cover shifts and do all of the many chores necessary to ensure a successful operation.

Even though the sun was not shining, it was a beautiful day for Twin Cities Youth Football Association when the Rotary Foundation presented them with a check for $29,000.  This, along with other donations, has allowed for the work to begin on the long needed project of making the field behind Olympic School in Chehalis a community recreation site.Image


ImageThe Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce has announced that this year's Grand Marshals for the 62nd Annual Santa Parade will be Jim & Suzi Vander Stoep.  Both have been valuable members of our community for years and are being honored for their service.  Jim has been a rotarian for 57 years, serving as the Chehalis Rotary president in 1959-60.




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Drug wars, financial setbacks no match for Mexico clinic
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