Ken Applegate, Ph.D.
was a longtime University of Washington research scientist in physical chemistry who worked on a single project, concerning the interaction of fat molecules in the brain, at the UW's Primate Research Lab for over 20 years. Off the job, he was a prominent member of the Seattle Astronomical Society for over a quarter century. In recent years he was also one of the volunteer mainstays at the Seattle Community Network, helping to keep SCN's servers going, and assisting the sometimes less-tech-savvy volunteers running the various activist websites SCN hosts. His e-mail signature became well known among the activists who got his technical advice: "How do you identify astronomers from Seattle? By the windshield wipers on their telescopes!" SCN has put up a webpage memorial to Applegate, at www.scn.org/ken_applegate/
. One of his astronomy-club colleagues, Bill O'Neil, wrote a contribution to the online memorial, calling Applegate "a wonderful friend, a good man, and an unselfish and very giving club member who was also passionate about bringing astronomy to the public.... May his spirit rest in eternal peace among the pristine, powerful, and beautiful stars that he so loved." An editorial in the Everett Astronomy Society's newsletter said, "He was particularly gifted in explaining answers to any questions in a form that was exceptionally simple, clear, and understandable to someone of any level of knowledge, and always with ego-less respect for the questioner." Applegate died on January 29 of unspecified causes.
Mary Lou Dickerson, 74, was the longtime co-owner (with her former husband William) of the 318 Tavern at the south end of the Fremont Bridge. (It was since upscaled by later owners, and is now known as the Nickerson Street Saloon.) Donald G. Scheidt's Northwest Brew Page website remembers the 318 as having been "known throughout Seattle for excellent burgers and fries, and a terrific meatloaf sandwich, served in a mildly dilapidated tavern atmosphere, with mediocre Rainier lager to accompany the good burgers." In a letter to the editor responding to a 2001 Seattle Weekly nostalgia story, Kurt Subderbruch said of the 318, "What a great place! I used to drag friends there and turn them on to the burgers that had to be cut in half, and to the wonderful fries (remember the sacks of potatoes under the pool table?). It was tough to get a seat at lunchtime, but the food, whether it was the special of the day or the burgers, was always worth it." Dickerson (who was not related to Washington State Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson) died February 12 of lung disease.
The La Valise luggage stores in downtown Seattle, University Village, and Redmond all packed their bags and closed suddenly on March 6. The venerable family-owned local chain had fallen victim to the general retail doldrums, as well as the specific decline in passenger travel during the post-9/11 months. There's no word yet about what will become of La Valise's Fourth and Stewart space, or its suitcase-shaped neon sign.