City flags to be lowered in honor of former governor

Flags to be flown at half-staff through Tuesday.

Gov. Jay Inslee has directed that Washington state and United States flags at all state agency facilities be lowered to half-staff on Friday in memory of former Gov. John Spellman, who passed away Jan. 15 at the age of 91 from pneumonia.

In accordance with Inslee’s directive, flags at city of Federal Way facilities will remain at half-staff until close of business on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

Spellman, a World War II veteran who served in the Navy, was Washington’s last Republican governor and the first King County executive.

As King County executive from 1969 through 1980, Spellman helped put Seattle on the sports map with the creation of the Kingdome. As governor, he stood up to his own party in blocking a proposed oil pipeline under Puget Sound.

His accomplishments as governor also included getting voters to approve tax-free bonds for industries that created jobs in the state.

“John Spellman was a key piece of our state and King County history,” Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell said in a media release. “He was also a big-hearted Irish-American who reportedly liked to regale the state Legislature with a song or two every St. Patrick’s Day.”

Memorial services for Spellman will take place at noon Monday, Feb. 12, at St. James Cathedral, 804 Ninth Ave., Seattle. Following the service, a celebration of life for Spellman is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at the Bell Harbor Conference Center, 2211 Alaskan Way, Seattle.

Call 253-835-2411 for information about the flag lowering.

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