Obituary: Elder ‘Hoagy’ Eugene Shattuck
On May 12, 1920 Elder ‘Hoagy’ Shattuck was born to John Howard Shattuck and Josephine Ethel Stevens Shattuck in Port Orchard, Wash. He was the youngest of four children with two older sisters, Lucy and Geraldine, and a brother, Wallace (who died when he was 7 years old of appendicitis). Elder’s father was a Washington State Legislator, two-term Sheriff, Washington State parole officer, and superintendent of the State Reformatory at Monroe. Josephine was a secretary for Puget Power and Light and a fine mother and housekeeper. Josephine was also a daughter of one of the founding fathers of Washington State. Elder’s parents were divorced in approximately 1925, and his mother later remarried Jim Endsley. Elder’s half brother, Tom Endsley was born in 1927. Tom and his wife, Margie, still live in Port Orchard.
As a boy, Elder helped around their small farm where they raised pigs, chickens, rabbits, milk cows, and had a garden. He also had a small horse. One of Elder’s favorite childhood pastimes was with the Boy Scouts, and he always played baseball and basketball. While in ninth grade, Elder came down with small pox. He was quarantined for 2½ weeks in a dark room. In junior high, Elder found a catcher’s mitt and from then on, even as an adult, he played the position of the catcher in his lengthy baseball obsession. His favorite baseball hero was Shanty Hogan. This is where Hoagy got his nick name.
Elder was president of FFA at his school and graduated from high school in 1938. Right out of school, he went to work milking cows, making $10 a month and room and board. He also picked strawberries, peeled cascara bark, dug ditches, and helped do carpentry work and laying brick. He was also a Washington State firefighter. He was paid 35 cents per hour.
In 1939, Elder went to California to the World’s Fair on Treasure Island with Harold Nelson. Also in 1939, Elder and a friend were offered jobs in Kodiak, Alaska as laborers for the U.S. Navy. They rode to Alaska on a steam ship for $60 in steerage. They changed in Seward to an Indian Affairs Ship going to Kodiak. The cost to them was $1.50 per day for three good meals and a clean cot to sleep on. When they got to Kodiak, they worked as ditch diggers and common labor for one month before going to work for a survey crew. They did preliminary planning and set up for a future Navy and Army base.
Elder then returned home and went to work in construction and then a donut shop. He went back to Alaska to work on a survey crew on the waterfront. This was all in preparation to construct a major Army and Navy base. Hoagy was in Alaska when Pearl Harbor was bombed on Dec. 7, 1941. Kodiak became a target of interest, and much of the work was done under high alert.
Hoagy returned to the states to work on a survey crew that was trying to locate a meander line. The line petered out down in Key West, Florida, so Hoagy hiked back to the Okanogan to live with the Slim Peasleys. Hoagy went to work for the PUD District and in April 1951, Hoagy and Barbara Lou Bowler were married. All during this time of his life, Hoagy was playing hometown baseball as a catcher for the Omak Orphans.
Hoagy and Barbara got busy and had two girls, Kathleen (Kitty) Brammer, and Susan Diane Connall. They also had two boys in between the two girls, Steven Thomas Shattuck, and Daniel John Shattuck. They purchased a meager fixer-upper on the corner of Pogue and Douglas on Pogue Flat, and settled down to raise their family.
Hoagy stayed very busy remodeling the house, raising kids, working at the PUD, hunting, gardening, surveying, coaching little league baseball, working with the Sheriff’s Posse, bowling league, Rotary club, Elks club, remodeling a cabin on lower Conconully Lake and many, many more committees and projects too numerous to remember them all. Hoagy was very good natured and had a great sense of humor. He was asked to be Master of Ceremonies at many functions because he knew everyone and could really think on his feet. If you were lucky, you had heard him recite his version of “Rinderella and the Two Sod Blisters”.
Hoagy belonged to many clubs or causes and when he became involved, he was committed all the way. Here are just a few of his affiliations: Omak Elks Lodge, Rotary Club, Okanogan County Sheriff’s Posse and Search and Rescue, Little League, President of the Okanogan Valley Officiating Membership, bowling team, golf, Boy Scouts, Ghost Riders, chairman for the drive to raise money for a new Omak/Okanogan Ambulance, Santa Claus, youth sports, church activities, North Central Washington High School Rodeo Club, Episcopal Church Men’s Club, Okanogan County Officials Associates, Little League, Scout Master, County Fair Judge, Public Relations for Elks Lodge, Okanogan County Visitor Information, Omak Stampede Housing, Bishop’s Committee, Bond Drive for Omak School District, Omak/Okanogan Ambulance Drive Chairman, and one of the best, Omak Stampede Director.
Some of Hoagy’s favorite things were first family time, horseshoes and axe throwing at Conconully, fishing with his wife, working thousands of hours on the Stampede, and playing cards with friends – Homer and Jay Carter, Richard Cook, Donna Short, Fred and Leslie Winningham, Bob Moyer, Steve Bartleson, Rocky Ralston, and Doug and Kitty Brammer. His most favorite past time was his family and watching his Mariner’s play ball.
On Dec. 12, 1977, Hoagy was the recipient of the Bill Elmgren Award. This highly regarded award is given to a PUD employee of the state who shows involvement, contribution, and commitment in his community.
Hoagy retired from the Okanogan County PUD in 1980 after 34 years with the PUD. He and Barbara took their motor home and struck out “on the road again” for some well deserved vacations. They even did a nice vacation in Europe.
Hoagy Shattuck didn’t just talk the talk. He worked and walked the talk. He never met a stranger and you could not count the number of his friends, as he was always making new ones and influencing young ones. This man is the reason why we love to live in small town America, and was a man whom you would hope to be a friend with if you were lucky enough. He will be impossible to replace, impossible to fill his generous and loving shoes, and will be greatly missed. They say that you are measured in heaven by how many friends you have. Well, heaven and Earth are full of Hoagy’s friends.
Elder “Hoagy” Shattuck died on June 22, 2012, at 2:14 p.m. He passed away at the Hospice House in Spokane, surrounded by his family. He is preceded in death by his mother, father, step-father, two sisters, two brothers, and Slim and Lottie Peasley.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara Shattuck, at their home in Spokane; a daughter, Kathleen (Kitty) Brammer and her husband, Doug, of Omak; son, Steve Shattuck of Logan, Utah, son, Dan Shattuck and his wife, Sandy, of Deer Park, Wash.; and daughter, Sue Connall and her husband, Alan, of Deer Park, Wash. He is also survived by nine grandchildren, Jessica, Curtis, Derek, Mariah, Luke, Jodi, Katie, Jackie, and Jordin; great-grandchildren, Alie, Hannah, Logan, Brandon C., Brandon A., Riley, Emmitt, and Beck.
The family would like to thank Harmony House Rehab, Hospice of Spokane, and Hospice House. They were so knowledgeable, supportive, and kind when the family needed it.
A memorial potluck picnic will be held at Eastside City Park, Horseshoe Park, on July 15 at 1:00 p.m. Please bring a dish, folding chairs, and stories, pictures and memories. This picnic is for Hoagy’s friends and family. Plan on sharing stories of Hoagy. A short service by Jack Schneider, music by Hoagy’s good friend, Edna Mae Truitt Hinger, good food, horseshoes, pitching quarters and volleyball.
Memorial donations can be made to Hospice House of Spokane or a charity of one’s choice.