SEQUIM — About 40 people gathered to honor a man known for his smile.
Michael Lovejoy, a Sequim Schools paraeducator who had been on a kidney transplant list, died July 13. He was 51.
One of Lovejoy’s duties for the school district before he became too ill to work had been as a traffic attendant at the corner of Fir Street and Sequim Avenue.
He was known for waving and smiling at each driver.
“He brightened my day and my kid’s day as we drove to school with a wave and a smile. He would wave at every car without fail each day,” said Sheena Younger, who organized the group to wave in honor of Lovejoy before his funeral at the Sequim Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Thursday.
Younger said she was proud of the turnout on Thursday.
According to a GoFundMe site set up to help the family cover funeral and medical expenses, Lovejoy died suddenly at Hurricane Ridge, where he and his wife, Lynelle, were spending time together.
She performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on her husbands until park rangers and first responders arrived. Their resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful.
Lovejoy had been undergoing dialysis at his home, the a GoFundMe site said.
His obituary said he loved working with developmentally disabled individuals and cherished his jobs at the Sequim schools, which included working with youths in special needs classroom.
He and his wife had been married for 20 years.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by five siblings, Howard Tug (Lorri) Lovejoy of Tacoma; Shawna (David) Carron of Jefferson City, Mo.; William Slade (Deborah) Lovejoy of Rigby, Idaho; and Tani Linnea Lovejoy and Loraine (Eric) Lovejoy-Evans of Port Angeles, as well as 12 nieces and nephews.
The donation site, www.gofundme.com/Mike-Lovejoy, which was created July 14, had gathered $4,480 of a $10,000 goal by Saturday.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at email@example.com.