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Alan Stringer

| March 1, 2007 11:00 PM

Alan Stringer, 62, formerly of Libby, died Saturday, Feb. 24, 2007, in Oak Harbor, Wash., after a battle with cancer.

Alan was born May 22, 1944, in Bonne Terre, Mo., to Billy Ray Stringer and Joan Louise Mayo.

He was the oldest of five siblings. He had a sister, Susan Stringer Alires, who preceded him in death.

At a young age, Alan moved from Missouri to Leadville, Colo., where he grew up around the mining industry. It was mining that set the course for his life.

After high school, Alan served his country in the Air Force for four years. After his return from the service, he was introduced to Donna Parker, whom he married in 1967.

Donna and Alan worked together to see that he got his college degree. During that time, they had a daughter, Ann Marie, born in 1968.

Alan graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a degree as a mining engineer in 1971. His first job as an engineer was with Alcoa in Suriname, South America. Alan had fond memories of his experience in South America, and loved to share stories of the family's time in South America.

While living in Suriname, Alan and Donna had their second daughter, Dana.

In 1975, the family moved back home to Leadville with Amax Corp., and they lived there until 1978. Alan then took a position in Ottawa, Ill., with Ottawa Silica Company.

From Ottawa, they left for another mining opportunity and landed in Libby, which Alan always called home. He took a management position with W.R. Grace in 1981 and worked his way up to general manager of the vermiculite mine.

Alan was involved in numerous community improvement activities, served faithfully with the local Catholic parish, and served on the board of directors at St. John's Lutheran Hospital. He was also involved in the Libby Chamber of Commerce.

In 1992, W.R. Grace stopped production of vermiculite in Libby, and Alan was put in charge reclaiming the mine. Over the next couple years, he worked closely with regulatory agencies and contractors to see the project through to completion. He was recognized on numerous occasions for the excellence and professional manner in which he and his company served the community in completing the reclamation.

In 1994, Alan moved to San Juan Capistrano, Calif., in continued service to W.R. Grace as a production and safety consultant on numerous projects in North America and South Korea. Alan loved his time living in California. The weather allowed him to work diligently on his golf handicap and play the game he loved 12 months a year!

In 1999, Alan was called to action to manage the relationship between W.R. Grace, the community of Libby, and the Environmental Protection Agency. He was Grace's point person in Libby. This was a challenge that no one wanted, but he knew he was the right man for the position. Alan served his community, the company, and the government with a commitment to integrity, honesty, and detail that has been recognized by many, and he always put people in his life ahead of everything else.

Alan modeled to everyone around him what it meant to live a life of unconditional commitment to family and friendships. He was often the first one to volunteer a helping hand on a home improvement project or help put out a forest fire. He gave graciously of his time and skills to those in his life. Alan and Donna gave numerous hours to serving the Catholic Church. Alan often was in the background, and never asked for recognition. He had a humility that was always respected by those who knew him.

As much as mining and community service was a part of his life, Alan always held his family closest to his heart, and will be very missed by his loved ones. He is survived by his wife; his daughters, Ann Marie Hadley and Dana Brennan and their husbands, Reid Hadley and Douglas Brennan; grandchildren Allyson Hadley, Jackson Hadley, Colin Brennan, and Emilie Brennan; his mother, Joan Stringer; siblings Jonny Stringer, Deborah Hildebrand, Kevin Stringer, and Kim Herrera; his mother-in-law, Helen Parker; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 2, at the Saint Augustine Catholic Parish in Oak Harbor, Wash.

A memorial will be held in Libby, Montana in April.

In lieu of flowers, the family wishes a donation be made in memory of Alan Stringer to Skagit Valley Hospital Cancer Care Fund, P.O. Box 1376, Mt. Vernon, WA 98273.