c. Lawrence Elmer Ingalls, born June 4, 1902. He married Nancy Giles Sept. 10, 1932. They live on a farm in Walworth Township, Wis.
They have three children:
John Charles Ingalls, born October 7, 1933.
Susan Lee Ingalls, born June 23, 1938.
Lawrence Hiram Ingalls, born January 6, 1943.
(descendant of Jacob Ingalls and Susannah Goff)
By Sarah Jackson
It was easy to like Larry Ingalls.
He was warm, friendly, never seemed to speak negatively of anyone and, in case you had any doubt about his nature, he consistently wore a big, wide grin.
His beaming smile was infectious and it always came with an eagerness to help, whether he was working on projects for the city of Snohomish, playing with his grandchildren or planting a garden with his wife, Sandra, at the home they built together on the banks of the Pilchuck River.
But perhaps nowhere was Ingalls, a 63-year-old veteran Mountaineer, more in his element than when he was in the mountains.
He had reached the summit of Mount Rainier several times and he was on his way to climbing Washington's 50 highest peaks. When he was 58, he climbed North America's pinnacle, 20,320-foot-tall Mount McKinley in Denali National Park.
Through it all, Ingalls was adventurous but also a champion of safety, of making "every trip a round trip." He turned back when the weather wasn't right. He selected alternate routes if avalanche danger was high. He carried the right tools for the terrain.
As a longtime volunteer leader and instructor with the Everett branch of the Mountaineers, he taught students how fickle and ruthless the mountains could be to any climber, no matter how experienced.
So when Ingalls died in a 300-foot fall on Lewis Peak on May 18, he left his family and friends, including many in the local climbing community, in disbelief.
Lewis Peak had taken one of their heroes.
"He was, without a doubt, one of the most influential and central people in the entire club," said Andy Boos, a close friend to Ingalls and a member of the Mountaineers since 1988.
Ingalls was climbing with two other men on the west face of the peak when he slipped, fell and died of head injuries.
Since then, family, friends, co-workers and fellow Mountaineers have been sharing their grief and love of Ingalls at a tribute Web site at www.ourfriendlarry.net.
They tell of their favorite alpine adventures with the man, his unfailing energy and his one-of-a-kind idiosyncrasies - his taste for healthy snacks, the delicious pies he brought to events, his positive attitude, his sometimes-corny jokes, but mostly his humble spirit and tenderness.
"He just loved people. And he loved to share and help," said his wife, Sandra Hasegawa Ingalls, who often traveled in the mountains with Ingalls after they met through a Mountaineers scrambling course and later married in 2001. "He enjoyed everything he did."
Hasegawa Ingalls, who is at home this week surrounded by family and friends, said her husband's untimely passing hardly seems real.
"I adored him," she said. "I still don't understand it. He was very cautious. I had a lot of confidence in his skills."
Despite her heartbreak, Hasegawa Ingalls said she won't turn away from the joys of the alpine wilderness. She will scramble again.
It's likely that that's just what Ingalls would have wanted.
"He would be mad at us if he caused us to stop enjoying the mountains because that's what he was all about," said Boos, who leads many Mountaineers trips. "It's going to make us a lot more careful and a lot more aware of what we're doing and why we need to be extra careful."
Ingalls, who grew up on a farm in southern Wisconsin, attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and served in the U.S. Air Force for 25 years before he retired and moved to the Seattle area in 1991. He joined the Mountaineers in 1992 and was active in many areas of the club over the years, earning the group's distinguished service award in 2002.
Ingalls had worked as a project engineer for the city of Snohomish for the past few years and had retired in February.
Though Ingalls enjoyed "collecting peaks," as Boos put it, and even named multiple kittens after various Cascade summits, he wasn't in it for the glory.
"There are a lot of climbers who are kind of in it to go fast and just bag peaks and just add feathers to their caps," Boos said. "With Larry, you could really sense that he just enjoyed where he was.
"Sometimes we might be on a mountaintop, but Larry would kind of go off to the side a little ways away and just go be by himself for a few minutes and just gaze out over this amazing view. You could just tell how he was connecting, how his spirit connected with what was there."
Still, Ingalls' death and deaths like his are tough to take, especially among those who don't venture out.
It might seem like pure selfishness, said Robert Garrison, Ingalls' friend and climbing comrade.
"We all have family members who are not involved with climbing or outdoor activities. They often simply can't understand why someone would go out and put themselves at physical risk," Garrison said. "It's a connection with the deepest parts of your soul. It's such a part of you, you can't deny it."
Ingalls' sister, Susan Anderson of Illinois, considers the manner of her brother's passing fitting, if horribly devastating.
"It's tough on us who are left, but if I had to chose my own death, I'd want it on my own terms. What better blessing is there?"
Hasegawa Ingalls didn't disagree, but added grimly: "I'd rather it happen when he was 150 - not now."
Published: Saturday, May 27, 2006
Reporter Sarah Jackson: 425-339-3037 or email@example.com.
The Daily Herald Co., Everett, Wash.
Contributed by Bruce Ingalls, 9/26/20006
©1999- Madison County, NY and Ingalls Family. All rights reserved.