Within the span of a week, two former Peninsula School District board members died.
On Dec. 27, former school board president Geoffrey Baillie, 65, passed away at his home in Longbranch. Former school board member John Earl succumbed to brain cancer on Jan. 3 in Gig Harbor. He was 51.
Baillie was first appointed to the school board in June 2001. That November, he was elected to the board and re-elected in November 2003. He lost a subsequent bid for re-election in November 2007. He served as vice president and president of the board.
Earl was elected to the board in November 2009. He resigned due to health reasons on Nov. 10, 2011.
Peninsula School District Superintendent Chuck Cuzzetto acknowledged both men at Thursday’s school board meeting.
“He had a funny wit about him,” Cuzzetto said of Baillie, whom he said had a passion for equality of opportunity and making sure Key Peninsula schools got their fair share.
Cuzzetto praised Earl as a very intelligent person who was usually one step ahead of everybody else, describing him as “analytical but witty.”
“He was always thinking outside the box,” Cuzzetto said.
“So both of these individuals will be missed.”
Earl, a former high school wrestling referee, also served as a reader columnist for the Gateway, and he was part of a readership panel that gathered input from community members regarding content and design of the newspaper.
Past school board president Jill Uddenberg, who resigned in September after she moved to Colorado, echoed those sentiments.
“Yes, I was saddened to hear the news,” she said. “I worked with them both. They were both kind, caring and intelligent people. Very inquisitive and thoughtful in their roles on the board. They had a heart for children and their community.”Reporter Brett Davis can be reached at 253-358-4151 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_brett.