SEQUIM — As the wife of a serviceman, Judy Reandeau Stipe spent much of her early adulthood away from her hometown — and yet, for years at a time in the 1960s and 1970s, she would bring her family back to Sequim.
When she and husband Bob Stipe moved back to the area in 1999, she simply felt compelled to give back.
“Coming back to Sequim, I owe them this service,” she said Tuesday.
“I’m astounded by the love in this small town.”
For her years of volunteer work with Sequim Museum and Arts Center and other community projects, Reandeau Stipe was selected the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Citizen of the Year on Tuesday.
Reandeau Stipe was one of five finalists for Sequim’s top civic award, a field that included Gretha Davis, Dave Shreffler, Jean Wyatt and, posthumously, Robert Streett.
“I was stunned because the competition was of such high caliber,” Reandeau Stipe said Tuesday of receiving the honor.
“It was nice to be recognized for the service you owe the community,” she told the appreciative crowd at Sunland Golf & Country Club on Tuesday.
Reandeau Stipe was a finalist for the 2014 Citizen of the Year award and was nominated because of her dedication, enthusiasm and preservation of local history as well as support of the community in her role as volunteer executive director of the Sequim Museum & Arts Center.
Steve Vogel, former Clallam County Fire District No. 3 chief and longtime Sequim resident, nominated Reandeau Stipe.
“I don’t know anyone who puts in more time than she does,” Vogel said.
An author and former volunteer with the American Red Cross, Reandeau Stipe also was nominated for her involvement in the creation of a veterans monument on Sequim Avenue and recent renovations to the Old Dungeness Schoolhouse.
She was instrumental in the recent creation of Sequim Prairie Nights Car Show, a day-long car show and shine in August that benefited nonprofits such as Sequim Museum & Arts Center and the Sequim Food Bank.
“That’s a lot for one person,” Vogel said. “I don’t know how she does it.”
Bill Littlejohn, chair of the Citizen of the Year nomination committee, emceed the event, noting, “There are so many people in this town who go out of their way to help. We had five great nominees.”
Other finalists were lauded by their nominators: Lorri Gilchrist for Davis; Lee Bowen for Shreffler; Deon Kapetan for Wyatt, and Sheena Younger for Streett.
For more about the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce, call 360-683-6197 or visit www.sequimchamber.com.
Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which also is composed of other Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].