Bench dedicated in late volunteer’s memory
A new bench at Rosehill Community Center welcomes visitors to sit and remember the late Jim Brice.
The Friends of the Community Center dedicated the bench in Brice’s memory on July 29 at Rosehill. The group disbanded after the old community center was demolished in 2010, but reunited one last time to honor the longtime Mukilteo volunteer.
“This was a last hurrah for Friends of the Community Center,” said Kathy Wisbeck, past president of the group. “We haven’t been active for about four years, but when I sent out an email to ask if they (the Friends) would like to dedicate a bench to Jim, it was unanimous.”
“Jim was a special person. He always had a smile and hug ready for you, and you felt good after talking with him. He was an inspirational volunteer and person.”
His widow, Ann Brice, two daughters Rhonda Stangeland and Ann Margaret Brice, and one granddaughter Karina Stangeland cut the ribbon at the dedication ceremony.
The bench was installed next to the Christiansen Room at Rosehill, which Brice frequented as a member of the Mukilteo Seniors Association.
“The whole thing was just so great,” Ann Brice said. “It’s something my whole family is going to be able to enjoy, and generationally. I’ll take the girls who live here and go down there to relax, enjoy it and think about him.
“It’s a beautiful bench. I can’t wait to have lunch, drink coffee, read a book or watch the sunset [on it]. It’s going to be really cozy.”
Wisbeck led the dedication of the bench, for which several Friends of the Community Center members contributed the necessary funds and efforts.
“The dedication ceremony was overflowing with friends from the multiple groups he had participated in over the years,” Wisbeck said.
Brice was involved for many years with the Mukilteo Festival Committee, Northshore Christian Church, Mukilteo Seniors Association, Waterfront Wednesdays, Mukilteo Farmers Market, Mukilteo Boys & Girls Luau and Run-A-Muk.
He was most known for driving free shuttles at local events in the Mukilteo Seniors bus.
Brice also served on the city’s Parks Commission for 15 years and the city’s Planning Commission for 19 years until his death last year. He served as chair of the commissions many years.
“Jim was a tremendous asset to Mukilteo, and Friends of the Community
Center was honored to dedicate a bench to him,” Wisbeck said. “The bench is located close to the Senior Room facing our beautiful waterfront. A special location for a very special person.”
The Friends of the Community Center formed in 2002 after it was announced the Rosehill Community Center would close in 2008.
Though the group didn’t preserve the old building, it did bring community attention to the need for a city Recreation and Cultural Services Department.
It also advocated to keep Rosehill open until there was a plan for a new building and to build the new City Hall in the center of town and not next to the community center.
Now, four years later, the members have again left their mark at Rosehill.