Nick Petrish died this morning at his home in Anacortes. Nick and I were friends since our days as grade school students at the Whitney Grade school in Anacortes over 70 years ago. We also went through Junior High and High School together.

 At Anacortes, we played on the same football and basketball teams (although he was younger and a betteNICKr athlete than I was). Our lives remained joined since that time. In fact, we ended up spending the majority of adult lives working together.

After college we both came back to Skagit County. Nick became a probation officer in Skagit County and later an Allstate insurance adjustor. I was practicing law in Mount Vernon. On March 1st 1977 I talked him into coming to work with me as the office claims representative.  From that date until his retirement from illness in 2011 we worked together for the next thirty four years. He was an invaluable part of the office. He did everything I did as a lawyer except give legal advice and try cases. But he was present at all of my trials, responsible for the witnesses, investigating cases, dealing with clients and keeping things organized. After we opened our Seattle law office it was up to Nick to maintain the Mount Vernon office with the great staff of paralegals. He was a member of our legal team in every respect and an essential part of our law practice.

His life time accomplishments are too numerous to describe in detail, but his long community service and work on the Anacortes City Council as well as his selection for the Liberty Bell Award stand out.
Nick had many great qualities, but total honesty was one of the primary ones. You always knew how you stood with him because he was always truthful. In fact, the lawyers called him our one person jury because would evaluate our cases and wouldn’t hesitate to let us know what he thought of them,  especially the ones he thought we shouldn’t take.

 When I think of Nick, I will also think of his wonderful sense of humor. He saw the humor in many of the events of life. He made you laugh and his jokes were so well told we once videotaped him at an office party telling one of his stories. 

 He was a friend of everyone who knew him. His smile and easy going manner made friends quickly. People sensed his honesty and trusted him. Everyone saw him as their friend.

His wife Maria was his soul mate and together they were a great team. These past months of dealing with his illness for her and the children have been an enormous challenge and they have stayed the course, supporting him in every way.  They were a true blessing to him.

So I want to say goodbye to my friend and my colleague of so many years. While no man is indispensable, some are irreplaceable and you are one of those Nick. Thank you for your friendship and thank you for making my life, as well as all who knew you, better for having known you. May you rest in God’s peace.

Sometime at eve when the tide is low,
I will slip my mooring and sail away

With no response to a friendly hail
 Of kindred craft on a busy bay.

In the silent hush of the twilight pale
As the night comes down to embrace the day
And the voices call in the water’s flow
 Sometime at eve when the tide is low
I will slip my mooring and sail away.

Sometime at eve when the tide is low
I will slip my mooring and sail away.
A few who have watched me sail away
Will miss my craft from the busy bay;

Some friendly barks that were anchored near,
Some loving souls that my heart held dear,

In silent sorrow they’ll drop a tear.
 But I shall have peacefully furled my sail
In moorings sheltered from storm and gale
And greeted the friends who have sailed before
O’er the Unknown Sea to the Heavenly Shore.
Sometime at eve when the tide is low
I will slip my mooring and sail away.
Elizabeth Clark Hardy (1849-1929)



2 thoughts on “NICHOLAS PETRISH

  1. I just discovered that Nick had passed away this morning when I got the paper. I was so sad to read of it and came to your site to read what you had written. I was working for you the day Nick came to work there. What a great addition he made to the staff. His sense of humor and his honesty as you said were so important in the role he had at your office. I cherish those days working for you and being a part of a great office. I know that Nick will be missed by each and every one who knew him.

    As for you Paul, I hope you recover completely and rapidly from the latest surgery and that all will go well. Give that Lita lady a big ole hug from me. Merry Christmas to you both from the two of us.


  2. Paul,
    Thanks for a rational discourse on an irrational subject. I cannot understand how any thinking person can’t see through the BS spouted by Dems and Republicans, alike. All the posturing and rhetoric are totally meaningless, especially given the current economic situation, and their utter lack of action. It’s easy to see that they’re not interested in solving the problems this nation faces, but are only interested in furthering their respective political agendas.

    When the Republicans sole aim is to get Obama out of office, it speaks volumes about their concern for the nation. The Democrats are similarly weak in their dealings, as well. I will keep on voting against the lot of them.

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