Lucille Josephine Bangs passed away Jan. 9, 2006, peacefully in the company of her family after a long illness. Lucy was born March 3, 1927, in Stillwater, Minn. She survived the scarcity of the great depression to become a spirited and independent young woman. At age 17 Lucy entered college, eventually studying social work in graduate school in Minneapolis.
She then moved to Los Angeles, where she worked as an EEG technician at a hospital and earned her pilot’s license before marrying William John Bangs and becoming stepmother to his five-year-old son, Young Bill, in 1949.
Seeking a safe place to raise their children, Bill and Lucy moved with six children — Felix, Tracy, Philip, Margaret, Josephine, and Cornelia — to Orcas Island in 1957. Over the next 12 years they had four more daughters — Abigail (who died at age two), Alexandrina, Ursula, and Helen.
While her husband Bill worked off-island as a physician, Lucy used her seemingly boundless energy caring for the children, gardening, raising Scottish Highland cattle, and managing the family businesses, including the Villagers Inn, the Cottage Gift Shop, and the Orcas service station. Lucy also pursued her life-long love of building and interior design, with projects including several island homes and the Victorian Valley Chapel. Lucy loved good food and good company; she is remembered for lively parties filled with thoughtful conversation and joyful laughter.
After marrying Harold Asper in 1976, Lucy continued her busy life devoted to family and home, caring for her aging mother, Jennie Rouse, and her three youngest daughters while managing her farm with cattle, goats, pigs, sheep,
chickens, geese and gardens.
In 1986 Lucy retired from the complexity of farm life to the ease of living in a condo on the Seattle waterfront, where she enjoyed the art galleries,
opera and theater. Lucy also refurbished a historic home in Seaview, Wash., while taking the opportunity to hike the sandy beaches of the Pacific coast.
In her later years, living close to daughter Ursula in Ballard, Lucy enjoyed the company of her children and grandchildren; she also grieved the loss of two adult sons, Felix and Tracy.
Lucy is survived by her step-son, Bill Bangs, of Fullerton, Calif.; son Philip Bangs, of Bremerton; and daughters Margaret Bangs, of Port Angeles;,
Cornelia Cohen, of Buford, Georgia; Josephine Bangs and Rena Patty, of Orcas Island; Ursula Bawden, of Seattle; and Helen Asper, Portland, Ore.; plus many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A service was held for Lucy in Seattle on Jan. 15, 2006.
Lucy will always be remembered for her vitality, her love of beauty and her unconditional love for her many children. We will miss her greatly.