Scott Stamnes, boarder, found good everyplace
Seattle Times staff
Scott Stamnes couldn't get enough of skateboarding. He even built a half pipe on his dad's fishing boat--on top of the wheelhouse on the 90-foot salmon and herring tender.
Scott's favorite things were skateboarding and snowboarding, and his fluid style was widely recognized in both sports, said Victoria Jealouse, a longtime friend and one of the top female snowboarders in the world.
"He could be picked out of a massive crowd of boarders because of his style," Jealouse said.
Scott died Dec. 11 in Marseilles, France, where he was traveling with friends. He was crossing a street Dec. 10 when he was hit by a car driven by an unlicensed 14-year-old. Several of his organs--liver, kidneys, heart valves and corneas--were donated.
He was born Jan. 22, 1970, in Seattle, and graduated from Kennedy High School in Burien. He was a natural athlete, said his father, Michael Stamnes.
When Scott was 6, an uncle introduced him to skateboarding, and the youngster would tow the family's dog around the neighborhood.
He skied for a while and started snowboarding at 14, his father said. In eighth grade, he decided to take up golf. He made the varsity golf team his freshman year at Kennedy.
Scott made a living skating, snowboarding and working for his father. He recently finished studies to get a master's license, which would have allowed him to operate fishing boats alone.
"I was getting ready to turn over my two boats to him," his father said.
Joe Baker, a longtime friend, said Scott was so busy that although he slept only three or four hours a night, he said he still didn't have enough time for everything.
"His head was spinning full of ideas," Baker said.
One example is his Kitty Castle. Scott built one to keep their cat in while he and his dad were on the fishing boat. When they got back from their trip, Michael Stamnes found investors and sold the project to pet stores.
Scott and Baker opened a greeting-card business. They sold surf, snow and skate cards, and Scott, who "knew everybody," was its promoter, Baker said.
He didn't do anything in a typical way, friends and family said.
"You'd think he would be killed in an avalanche," Baker said. "He has a skateboard ramp on his dad's fishing boat. Everyone thought he'd kill himself that way."
Material things meant nothing to him, those close to him said, but he taught lessons to those whose lives he touched.
"Be kind to everyone you meet," his dad said. "Love one another. That was Scott. We butted heads at times, but he was a joy."
"No one that I've ever met has been so unconditional and so consistent in their love for friends," Jealouse said. "He never really criticized anything or anyone. He saw the good in everything. He prioritized his life better than everyone I've ever met and put the truly important things first: loving people and animals, appreciating the beauty in every part of life, not wasting any time at all.
"He already knew what it takes most people their whole lives to learn."
When he was participating in a recent skateboard demonstration show at Seattle Center, Scott fractured his hand and should have gone to the hospital right away. Instead he signed autographs for skateboard fans who had come to watch him.
"I can't disappoint them," he told his dad.
His love of skateboarding was obvious. He even signed his driver's license "Scott Skateboard Stamnes."
Besides his father, he leaves his mother and stepfather, Pamela and Stephen Kyle of Bellevue; a brother, Mark, of Seattle; three stepbrothers, Josh McClew and Ryhan and Erik Kyle; and a stepsister, Sarah McClew.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Sacred Heart Church, 9460 N.E. 14th St., Bellevue. The family suggests remembrances go to the Scott Stamnes Give to Kids Fund, c/o Boeing Employees Credit Union, P.O. Box 97050, Seattle, WA 98124-9750.
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