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This week in history - from The Marysville Globe archives

10 Years Ago 1997

It isnt supposed to happen this way. And it isnt supposed to happen again at Sunnyside Elementary School. For the second time this school year, the districts crisis team descended on the school to tell students one of their classmates was dead. We are getting tired of doing this, said Principal Joe Coverson, his voice heavy with the days emotions. Kids are not supposed to die before us. Eleven-year-old Christopher Arocha, a fifth-grader, was found Thursday night about 11 p.m. by his mother Barbara, hanging by a thin nylon string from the top of bunk bed. It was the kind of string used for a cats cradle game and police found a book detailing the game nearby, said Sgt. Jarl Gunderson of the Marysville Police. Arocha was dead when police arrived at the home on the 7400 block of 50th Place NE, Gunderson said. Snohomish County Medical Examiner officials reported the cause of death as ligature hanging, but did not release a time of death. Police continue to investigate whether the hanging was an accident or suicide, Gunderson said. No note was found and the boy did not have problems out of the ordinary, he added. We are going to interview friends and classmates of his to see if we can come up with anything to promote a suicide, Gunderson said. Barbara was checking on Christopher, Gunderson said. She saw the light on and had gone in to tell him it was time to go to bed, he said. Christopher had just finished a school report on deer and participated with his parents in planning a plant design for their backyard, Barbara said. Then he went to bed. The boys father, Pete Arocha, said it was an accident that happened when Christopher got up to use the restroom and got tangled in the string. He said he wanted other parents to be aware of the dangers of the game. Barbara said Christopher was looking forward to the holiday weekend. The family planned to see The Lost World dinosaur movie and Christopher and Pete had plans to go off-roading together, she said. He had everything to live for, she said. Friday, some of his neighborhood friends came to their house, talking about the activities the group of friends had planned, she said. A young neighbor was taking his death hard because he often walked her to the bus stop, Barbara said. Sunnyside students returned to school Tuesday to find the flag at half-mast and police there to talk with them about Christopher. School counselors will be at the school all week. He was a shy and introverted boy, Coverson said, who was well liked by his classmates. On Friday students described him as a good friend, someone who smiled a lot and who helped others with their schoolwork. This was his first year at the school, as the family moved to Marysville in August. School officials called parents of fifth-graders before they told the students of Christophers death, Coverson said. All the districts cellular phones were brought to Sunnyside and volunteers lined up to make the 90 phone calls. Superintendent Dick Eisenhauer stayed at Sunnyside all day. School staff told fifth-graders first and the rest of the students at the end of the day. Letters were sent home with all students. Counselors were available to talk with students, as was the schools DARE officer, a Snohomish County Sheriffs Deputy. About seven or eight students spoke individually with counselors, Coverson said. Sunnyside staff did an excellent job handling the mechanics of the crisis, Coverson said. The emotions are still in many ways more difficult to deal with the second time around, he said. In September, the death of 8-year-old Whitney Graves rocked the school. Whitney was accidentally killed when a 10-year-old playmate found a loaded pistol in his parents closet. Its like our feet are in cement. the weight of the emotions makes it difficult to move forward, Coverson said. Its the weight of another crisis, another child dying. We dont want to do this. Coverson is sure it isnt supposed to happen this way.

25 Years Ago 1982

The last few minutes between the final judging event and the announcement of the Strawberry Festival Court seemed like eternity to the 10 finalists. But for the newly crowned queen, Donna Jean Grout, it seemed even longer before she could find a telephone and call her five older brothers, who were patiently waiting for the results. Grout, the 17-year-old daughter of Morris and Joan Grout, will rule over this summers festival, as well as represent Marysville at various cities throughout Washington. She will be joined by Princesses Kris Wilde, daughter of Al and Ruth Furiak and Colette Mitchell, daughter of Dean and Lillia Mitchel. Also chosen at the Marysville Pillchuck Performing Arts Center were Ladies-in-Waiting Mary Jo Hassenstab and Dawn Kopczynski. They are the daughters of Jerry and Mary Alice Hassenstab and Robert and Sheridan Kopczynski, respectively. Grout, who is a junior at M-PHS, is the only girl in the family of six. Her five brothers, who couldnt be at the coronation, were anxiously waiting to hear how their younger sister had fared in the event. Their reactions would probably be much like their mothers, who couldnt contain her excitement or tears at the news. The contestants were judged on personality and their ability to represent Marysville. They were also judged in pre-coronation judging on a two-minute speech on any subject they chose. Contestants were asked to choose their favorite Walt Disney or fairy-tale character and design a costume for Saturday night, as well as model a favorite outfit from their closet at home and to state why it was their favorite. The 24 contestants used their imagination to the fullest in designing their costumes from articles they had at home. Included were a couple of Tinkerbells, Peter Pan, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Snow White, Goofey, Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, Jimney Cricket and Mother Goose. Grout chose Little Red Riding Hood as her costume, stating she liked the character and didnt mind at times being chased by wolves. Her favorite outfit in her closet was her Hawaiian dance outfit, something she wears when performing with the Kauhi Polynesian Dance Studio. Other favorites include pajamas, western attire, jeans and an old sweatshirt and riding clothes. Other awards presented included Miss Congeniality, a much-coveted award chosen by fellow contestants. This years winner was Mary Sadler, daughter of Archie and Georgia Sadler. Deanna Muir, daughter of Richard and Donna Muir and Lana Lee Edwards, daughter of Wayne and Laverne LeDuc, Sr., were recipients of $25 savings accounts for selling the most festival booster buttons. Muir sold 220, while Edwards sold 200. Between the 24 girls, almost $1,000 was raised off the button sales. The queen and princesses were presented scholarships set up as trust funds at Citizens Bank by Vice President Judith Bordner. Judges for the event were Debbie Estes Patterson, former festival queen; Pete Schmuck, representing Marysville Chamber of Commerce; Fran Olson, organizer of the Monroe pageant; Julie Weber, Miss Washington Teenager for 1981; Fred Ingram and Mel Kelln, representing Maryfest, Inc. Last years Strawberry Festival Court made their final appearance as royalty. Outgoing queen Shelley Pearson told the audience she and her court members had an exciting and fun year representing Marysville at the different celebrations and festivals. As tears rolled down her cheeks, she said the experience was one she and the girls would remember for the rest of their lives. She encouraged many to apply in the coming years. The 1981 court consisted of Princesses Helen Brown and Kathleen Sands and Ladies-in-Waiting Lorna Goedel and Trish Teal. Completing the list of candidates for 1982s pageant were Tammi Boutchyard, Lana Lee Edwards, Chris Ewing, Laura Frauenholtz, Dana Grant, Katrina Hawkins, Leslie Hebert, Anne Henderson, Cheryl Hoffman, Liz Jorgensen, Lougene Liefer, Heidi McCrorey, Heather Mrowiec, Deanna Muir, Chris Roach, Mary Sadler, Kathy Sanders, Ann Slinde, Kris Wilde and Cheri Willett.

50 Years Ago 1957

Proclamation for Memorial Day services, Marysville. Whereas, Memorial Day, a day consecrated by the nation in memory of her heroic war dead, falls on next Thursday, May 30th, and Whereas, it has been the custom of the Veterans Club, Marysville Post No. 178, The American Legion Auxiliary, to combine in a joint memorial service each year at the grave of some recently deceased veteran, and Whereas The American Legion, Post No. 178, has caused to be procured and erected a suitable flagpole memorial for the Marysville cemetery, Therefore, be it made known to the citizens of Marysville and vicinity, that services at individual gravesites on this Memorial Day holiday will be suspended from this year on and that henceforth, on each Memorial holiday, suitable memorial services will be held at the site of this memorial flag pole and a cordial invitation is extended to all citizens to attend this public memorial service to pay their respects and honor to the men and women who have given their lives in the service of their country. Signed, Floyd Turner, Commander.

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