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Marysville widow hopes to recover late husband's stolen chair

The hand-carved wooden chair stolen off of Marysville resident Kris Raymond
The hand-carved wooden chair stolen off of Marysville resident Kris Raymond's front porch July 24 was part of a custom-made 'his and hers' set that she and her late husband purchased while living in Africa together.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Kris Raymond.

MARYSVILLE — What hurts Marysville resident Kris Raymond the most about the July 24 theft of her late husband's chair isn't the monetary cost, but the loss of something that meant so much to the man she loved.

Kris and her late husband, retired Seattle Police Officer Mike Goetz, purchased a set of "his and hers" hand-carved wooden chairs while they were living in Africa together. At the age of 50, Mike retired after 22 years on the force to move to Zimbabwe with his wife and open a bed and breakfast there. During the next three years, he became the only white American safari tour guide in Zimbabwe, and he and his wife appreciated their view of the African countryside from their 5,000-square-foot home.

"He would just walk up to rhinos and take their photos," Kris said. "He loved showing people Africa."

On the couple's seventh wedding anniversary, Mike was diagnosed with brain cancer and moved to Johannesburg, South Africa, to receive the proper medical care. He fought the tumor for 13 months before he passed away on Aug. 13 of last year. Kris has since transferred management of their bed and breakfast to others and put it up for sale.

The custom-made matched chairs were among the many keepsakes that Kris brought back to the United States from Africa, and she kept Mike's chair on her front porch, to serve as a daily reminder of him.

Kris attended her father's 80th birthday party in Arlington from 2:30-9:30 p.m. July 24, and when she checked the porch the next morning, she saw that Mike's chair was gone.

"I have dogs and they didn't bark at all that night, so I think it was stolen during the daytime," Kris said. "My porch is private and we don't see many cars on our street."

While the dollar value of the chair isn't significant, its sentimental value to Kris is enormous.

"Mike took hold of his dream, and for three years, we were in total heaven," Kris said. "It brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it. He's gone now, and his chair is a symbol of that time we shared. I'm devastated that anyone could be so crass as to steal it."

Those with any information regarding this case are urged to contact Marysville Police Detective Dan Vinson by phone at 360-363-8390 or via e-mail at dvinson@marysvillewa.gov.

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