The Rotary Club of Maple Valley Loses a Very Special Family Member
Our first meeting of the 2014/15 Rotary year began with an announcement that a long time and much loved member of our extended family, Mindy Habenicht had passed away this morning. I have written many times in the last few years about Rotary being more than a club, more than a service organization, more than a charitable foundation. Rotary is truly a family and nowhere in the world of Rotary is it exemplified more than in our club. Rotarians come to be in many ways and from all vocations and stations in life, but once members, we all become part of something much bigger than we knew it was when we were introduced. Rotarians meet weekly as a club but that is not the extent of our involvement. We work on projects that take participation. We form committees that formulate programs and procedures. We attend board meetings to ensure the smooth running of the organization and to oversee the handling of funds entrusted to our stewardship. We do work parties and service events. But most important to us is the camaraderie between members and their families for, you see, Rotary is a group of hard working dedicated individuals AND their families, many of whom work right alongside us. We volunteer together, we hang out together, we form lifelong bonds, and we become one big, extended family. Long time Rotarian, Gary and his wife Mindy Habenicht are the quintessential Mom and Dad to so many from our Rotary family, to their church family, and to the community at large. High school sweethearts who stayed in their hometown and enriched it by raising four amazing children and passing their strong values of commitment to family and community, hard work, being there for anyone who needs them, and leaving a place better than they found it, they are looked up to by so many. Their son, Brett followed Gary’s footsteps as a Rotary President and his daughter, Lindsay is a member of Rotaract at Seattle University. Their daughter, Kristin has spearheaded several fundraising events in the community and all of the members of four generations of the Habenicht family can be found rolling up their sleeves and working for the betterment of their hometown and beyond.
Mindy Habenicht, from sweet little girl who came to live on the river, to the town sweetheart, to matriarch of a family with Service Above Self as an identity and friend to hundreds, to Mom of Maple Valley, Ravensdale, and Hobart, thank you for your love, your caring, and your example of a life well lived. You will be forever loved and missed.
by Sandra Hixson-Matthews