Girl Scout memories of GayLynne Ullerich

GayLynne Ullerich (in red shirt) enjoying a hike with three of her friends, from left: Klari Hixenbaugh of Edmonds, Leslie Kemberling of Brier and Ellen Govan

The passing of GayLynne Ullerich — the Madrona K-8 teacher who died in a car crash last weekend — has inspired numerous comments from readers on the many ways that Mrs. Ullerich touched the lives of so many adults and students.

We wanted to share a tribute submitted this week by Ellen Govan of Lynnwood, who volunteered with Mrs. Ullerich through the YAYA (Young Adults Learning for Adventure) Hikers, a hiking group for Girl Scouts in sixth grade and above.  If you have memories or tributes about Mrs. Ullerich to share, please feel free to send them our way, and we will post them on our new Milestones page,  devoted to milestone events (births, engagements, weddings and deaths) of those in our community.

And a reminder that the memorial service for Mrs. Ullerich will be at 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 6215 196th St. S.W., Lynnwood.

GayLynne, far right, with the YAYA Hikers at Shi Shi Beach Trailhead, Olympic National Park, in May 2009

GayLynne was an active Girl Scout volunteer here in the Cedar and Sound Service Unit, which covers all of the Edmonds School District.  She has been a Girl Scout adult volunteer for six years,  one of the several adults who helped me chaperone YAYA Hikers. She also was a volunteer judge at Cascade Challenge (an outdoor camping competition) for several years, a volunteer  counselor at Cedar and Sound Community Camp for three summers, and assisted with our bike rides for our older girl encamporee (large group camping) events. She and her daughter are registered with troop 41808 in Edmonds.

She was also my friend.  In the Girl Scout world we called her Lighthouse, not because she was tall and stately, but because of her Christian faith. She has been a Girl Scout mom and volunteer alongside her 14-year-old daughter Emily.
GayLynne was an amazing bundle of energy, with a positive attitude that never waivered, and a real McGyver on the trail with gear fixes, and an overall kick in the pants. Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers.
— Ellen Govan
  1. Ellen, thank you for this. I am a friend of GayLynne’s through our daughters. We enjoyed playing cards together. I work with clay and a few years back GayLynne needed to do an art project for a class she was taking. She came to my studio and made a ceramic Lighthouse. I love this image, GayLynne, still a beacon in our lives.

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