By Erich Ebel
Residents of Washington’s 28th Legislative District and members of the public are invited to celebrate the life and legacy of Sen. Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood, on Monday at the state Capitol in Olympia. Carrell, who was laid to rest Wednesday during a small, private ceremony attended by family and close friends, passed away May 29 after complications from treatment he was receiving for a blood disorder.
Carrell’s wife Charlotte and members of their family will be present as the Washington State Senate adopts a resolution honoring Carrell and his nearly 20 years of public service. The 10 a.m. Senate ceremony will be immediately followed by a memorial service in the Capitol Rotunda, at which a number of friends and colleagues will speak and share stories remembering Carrell.
|Date:||Monday, June 10, 2013|
|Notes:||Members of the public are welcome to view the resolution’s adoption from the Senate’s fourth-floor public galleries or on video monitors outside the chamber in the Rotunda.
Carrell was born April 10, 1944. A lifelong Tacoma-area resident, Carrell received his bachelor’s degree in education from Pacific Lutheran University and conducted his post-graduate studies in science. Turning his passion for learning into a career, Carrell taught math and science at the junior high, high school and college level before his retirement.
Making his home in Lakewood with his wife, Charlotte, they raised their four sons to adulthood before losing one son, Mark, to a heart condition at the age of 27. Carrell was first elected to the Washington State House of Representatives in 1994, and spent ten years in the House before being elected to the Washington State Senate in 2004, 2008 and 2012.
During his 19-year service, Carrell was instrumental in passing such legislation as the “Becca” bill to help at-risk youth, prison and supervision reform, “fair-share” offender release, mental health system reform and worker protection, welfare reform, ethics in public service laws, veteran and military benefit improvements, and many more.
Carrell could see history that needed preservation where others saw only dilapidation. This led to his efforts to restore the grounds of Western State Hospital, identify the occupants of thousands of unmarked graves in its nearby cemetery, protect Fort Steilacoom’s historic parade grounds, and restore DuPont’s historic narrow-gauge dynamite train.
A car enthusiast and animal lover, Carrell spent much of his free time restoring his three Triumph automobiles and training his beloved German Shepherds. Carrell was also an avid gardener, maintaining his own greenhouse full of lemons, grapefruits and hibiscus.
After being diagnosed with a pre-cancerous blood condition in early 2013, Carrell returned home to the Lord after a brief but valiant battle with myelodysplastic syndrome. In addition to his wife, Carrell is survived by sons Matthew, Larry and Carlton, and five grandchildren.
Flowers and other remembrances can be delivered to his office at P.O. Box 40428, Olympia, WA 98504-0428.