My Spokane Valley Roots:
In the spring of 1968 our family moved from the north side of Spokane “clear out to the valley”. I remember my grandma wondering if we would be back for the holidays! Across the street from Danelo’s cantaloupe fields, building our new home at Broadway and Flora was a dream come true for my parents. They wanted to raise my two brothers and me in wide open spaces with lots of opportunities for fun and exploring. That first winter we had many adventures and met a lot of folks who came to our door for help in the record snowfall. Dad’s zest to be a “farmer” provided more opportunities to meet our neighbors when our garden produced bushels of tomatoes and dozens upon dozens of corn and the boys sold it for 50 cents a dozen. Yes, Greenacres was the place to be!
Ron and Hazel Hatcher – my parents
Happily married for 69 years this coming August, my parents have provided a strong foundation for my two brothers Lyle and Steve Hatcher and me as we have raised our own families. My dad and mom taught us a strong work ethic, the importance of being someone who can be counted on to do what's right, and how to always have fun. Both retired — Dad as Transportation Supervisor at Supervalu and Mom after 30 years teaching in the East Valley School District—they enjoy keeping up with their six grand and 10 (soon to be 11) great grand children.
Richard “Rich” Thompson—my husband
A retired union carpenter in 2010 and plant services staffer at Gonzaga retired in 2018, Rich and I will have been married for 35 years in November. I love him for his “keep you on your toes” humor, brilliant mind, and personal fortitude. No matter what challenges life throws at us, we always stand strong together. Originally from Dover Idaho, Rich is an outdoor guy who enjoys our backyard pond and birds.
Raising my children in Spokane Valley close to family and friends was as great as I hoped. Both of them enjoyed opportunities to grow and excel in school, in sports/activities and learned the importance of giving back through community service. As University High (U-Hi) graduates Katee (1998) and Nate (2006) both graduated from Washington State University with degrees in Criminal Justice and Business Operations and Management respectively. I believe the Central Valley District education they received gave them a strong foundation for success in school and committed to be lifelong learners.
Katee (Pierce) & Jack Claros—daughter and son-in-law with grandgirls Jaylee and Aubree
Working for Washington State, Katee continues to amaze me as she juggles a fast paced career, having been a military spouse, and, most delightfully, being an excellent mother to my darling grandgirls Jaylee June and Aubree Aliciana. Like so many families, she and Jack have been innovative and steadfast in their support of my grandgirls through home/online schooling during the COVID 19 impact. An identical triplet (we got the cutest one!), our son-in-law Jack graduated from Ferris (1998) before heading to WSU. Joining the Washington National Guard as freshmen Jack and his brothers Joe and Don graduated together as 1st Lieutenants with Katee in 2002. As Vancouver School District's Buildings/Facilities Manager, Jack retired as a Major in the Army National Guard and served as unit commander for deployments in both Iraq and Afghanistan. We love having Jack as our son-in-law!
Nate and Laura Thompson—son & daughter-in-law with grandgirl Tallulah & Baby on the way
Working for an international aerospace supplier, Nate continues to give back to our community with Spokane Rotaract as part of the team that puts on the annual Spokane Junior Lilac Parade. Two years ago he and Laura became new parents to our youngest grandgirl Tallulah with a new baby on the way!
A U-Hi graduate (2008) our daughter-in-law Laura (Leach) (WSU 2012) has enjoyed a great career as a landscape architect and is a sports fitness coach/athlete. She also has been very active with Rotaract and the Junior Lilac Parade. Having Laura in our family is just wonderful!
Lyle and Steve (deceased) Hatcher – my brothers
Growing up with two younger brothers was a blast! From playing basketball in the driveway to riding bikes to the river to being involved in all kinds of sports and activities in school, we had the best childhood any kids could ever want. Central Valley Schools provided us with a great education that supported success in our lives. Lyle, a retired investment broker and author/movie producer, and his wife Maria live in Liberty Lake. Sadly, we lost my brother Steve who was a captain with the Spokane Valley Fire Department in 2015. My sister-in-law Mindy lives just outside of Spokane Valley city limits. Lyle's boys Paul (wife Jenne Dolan was a Bear and they have two children) and Ben Hatcher (wife Mallory Dewitt is a native Texan but she would have made a great Titan or Bear and they have brand new twin boys) were Titans while Steve and Mindy's girls Marissa Fuher (husband Corey was a Titan and they have a boy and a girl ) & Breanne Hatcher (partner Josh Cogburn is from down south and they have a brand new baby boy) were Bears so our family’s allegiance to Central Valley Schools is solid! Our extended family is Spokane Valley Strong!
To honor my brother:
Steve Neil Hatcher – Born 11/5/1957 - Died 8/5/2015
A heart attack took the life of my youngest brother Steve almost six years ago. It is still hard to believe that he won't just stop by. I just can't give him a call or run into him at a yard sale. One of the things I loved about Steve was that he was a 'show up guy'. He just showed up when it was just the right time--to help at family events, on work projects, to fix something he knew needed to be fixed, or just to visit. When I ran for office in 2008 he tried to convince me to use our family name Hatcher so folks would remember me/us from high school or our parents' long time work and involvement in the community. So, to honor my baby brother I am proud to run for and seek re-election to Spokane Valley City Council as Linda (Hatcher) Thompson--you can count me on to 'show up like Steve" as your Councilmember.
Special memorial for my cherished little son--for him I have dedicated my lifework:
Trevor Ford Pierce – Born 9/16/1982 - Died 8/16/1986
On Saturday August 16, 1986 my little three year old son Trevor was sitting beside his paternal grandfather on a pony cart on their way to be in a parade in LA Center WA. My daughter Katee, who was six at the time, was riding behind the pony cart on her horse. Another young woman was behind her on a bike going to the parade as well. At 9:30 on that bright summer day a several time repeat impaired driver came down the road and plowed into them—killing Trevor and the girl on the bike, severely injuring their grandpa but, thankfully, avoided seriously injuring Katee. To honor Trevor I have dedicated my life work to public safety work through the prevention of impaired driving and substance misuse/violence. Sharing his story makes his life count while saving countless others. My hope is that we can make a difference through education, public policy work focused on root causes, reducing the stigma of treatment and recovery so others will not have to suffer the lifelong loss of tragic deaths due to alcohol and/or drugs.