Fishing hole brings 3 friends together again —

Fishing hole brings 3 friends together again

By Mary Swift; April 22, 2007 © Seattle P-I

April 22, 2007

Renton's Harold "Ted" Marney loved fishing.

But as the old joke goes, the best catch of his life was his wife, Sally.

He was 18 when they married, she, just 17. But youth aside, some things are meant to be and their marriage was one of them. Together they forged a good life, raising three children who gave them six grandchildren.

Ted spent 36 years at Boeing and, when he retired, turned his attention to fly-fishing, something he'd always dreamed of doing. He took classes in fly-fishing and fly tying at the Kent Senior Center.

In July 2002, Ted -- 65 -- flew to Alaska on a fly-fishing trip with a group from the center.
It was 3 a.m. when he left his home, 10 a.m. when he called Sally from Anchorage.

"It was a clear, beautiful day. He was so excited," she remembers.

Then he and two friends, Melvin Daniel, 79, of Renton, and Daniel Maret, 70, of Black Diamond, boarded a small plane for a flight to Lake Iliamna.

Sally was getting ready for bed that night when the phone rang again.

Ted's plane was missing.

Her family gathered. And waited -- for two days. Hoping. Praying.

Then word came: The wreckage of the plane had been found. All aboard were dead.

"It had burned," Sally says. "The only way they could identify him was through his teeth."

The deaths stunned the Kent Senior Center community. The center held a memorial service for the three friends.

But the best memorial may be what happens at 3:30 p.m. May 8, when the city of Kent dedicates a new 3-acre park on the Green River at South 196th Street and 58th Place. It's dubbed Three Friends Fishing Hole in honor of the men and includes a wheelchair- accessible fishing platform.

In October on Make a Difference Day, Sally and her family joined other volunteers in planting the site.

Ted would be pleased, she thinks.

She should know. After all, they were married 47 years.

On the morning he left, she says, Ted did something unusual.

He'd kissed her goodbye, then came back several more times more to kiss her and tell he loved her.

Call it a final, poignant memory of love gone right.

"That," she says, "is something I'll never forget."

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