Lewis County Commissioner Gary Stamper dies of COVID-19 at 67


By The Chronicle team

Lewis County Commissioner Gary Stamper has passed away.

Her partner Bobbi Barnes announced her death from COVID-19 Wednesday night on Facebook. He was 67 years old.

“As of this writing Gary is in Heaven talking to everyone about a small town halfway between Seattle and Portland and 20 miles east of I-5,” a- she writes. “I can’t thank him enough for being the best friend ever, a fun travel partner and someone who made me a better person just by the way he lived his life. He may have lost his battle with COVID, but he won the lottery with his friends, family and constituents who loved and supported him. Thanks everyone. “

Stamper was on a ventilator at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver as he battled the virus. He had been vaccinated against COVID-19.

“He’s just a good soul. He really is. He’s the best dad ever so we miss him, ”said daughter Sheena Stamper Woods.

A renowned prep basketball coach, he was on the sidelines as the head coach of the Mossyrock girls’ basketball team during their successful run in the 2000s. Coach Stamper’s peaked with a 2B State Championship in 2007 when the Vikings defeated La Salle for the school’s first hoops title.

He was elected Lewis County Commissioner in 2014.

Before that, his career was in public education.

This story will be updated.

Below is a full county press release:

Lewis County mourns the death of our friend Commissioner Gary Stamper

The Lewis County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) is devastated to announce that our friend, our commissioner, Gary Stamper has passed away after a five-week battle with COVID-19.

Gary, who represented District 3 at the east end of the county, died on September 29, 2021 at the PeaceHealth Medical Group in Vancouver, Washington. He was 67 years old.

A former principal, teacher and trainer, Gary had served on the BOCC since January 1, 2015. He prided himself on “defending the little guy”, protecting the region’s timber interests and promoting economic growth while preserving the rural aspect. of the region.

Some of Gary’s most cherished professional accomplishments include:

  • Leading Mossyrock High School’s women’s basketball program to double-digit state tournament appearances, including a 2B state championship title.
  • Advancing outdoor recreation activities throughout the county, including building a park in Packwood and paving the way for the use of wheeled all-terrain vehicles (WATVs) in the eastern end of the county.
  • Advocating for our forest county to receive federal dollars for timber, such as payment in lieu of taxes (PILT) and funding for safe rural schools (SRS).

In his personal life, Gary enjoyed traveling with his wife, Bobbi Barnes, and spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren, whom he called his “top priority”. His travel adventures – or often his misadventures – with his wife have been the source of countless laughs. His family was his world. In addition to his wife, Bobbi, the heart of the county goes to his daughters and their families: Sheena and Emmett Woods (and their children, Rory and Reese) and Michele and Jesse Gore (and their daughters Hadley and Emma); her stepson and family, Tyler and Jessica Walster (and daughters Olivia and Kambree); and her daughter-in-law and family, Kelly Walster and Charlie Chancellor (and daughter Cree).

A self-proclaimed softie when it came to animals, Gary also reveled in helping others. From delivering firewood to a struggling family, shopping for groceries for a complete stranger, or buying shoes for a student in need, the stories community members have shared. on Gary’s kindness and generosity has been heartwarming and generous.

Gary, who grew up in Lewis County, graduated from Mossyrock High School before earning a BA in Political Science from Central Washington University and an MA in Educational Administration from Heritage University.

In addition to a vast network of heartbroken family members, Gary leaves behind countless friends, colleagues, students and staff whose lives he has touched.

The county is planning an informal gathering at 10 a.m. on Friday, October 1 at the main entrance to the historic courthouse (north staircase) at 351 Northwest North Street, Chehalis, to honor our friend.

Cards for Gary’s family can be sent to the BOCC office at:

To the family of Commissioner Stamper

c / o Lewis County BOCC

351 NW North St.

Chehalis, WA 98532

Service plans will be announced in the future.

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