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Pillar in business community to close

As a child growing up in Santa Barbara, Calif., Valley local Sue Beauvais wanted to be a teacher, but stage fright got in her way.

That desire to be involved in the community stayed with her through adulthood, though, as she found volunteering a great way to fulfill that goal, she said.

"I like giving back to the community, for one thing, and I have a few skills that I can put to good use," she said.

Beauvais co-owns Wilderness Glass in North Bend and is active in volunteering, making hers a familiar face in the Valley since she moved here in 1985.

"It's rare that a business owner takes so much interest in making the community in which they do business a better place," said Snoqualmie Valley Record Publisher Jim McKiernan.

Over the years, she has been involved with the Snoqualmie Valley Chamber of Commerce, Tour de Peaks, holiday gala's, the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, the Washington Glass Association, Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theater, Alpine Days, Snoqualmie Valley Arts Live and more.

Beauvais joked that she juggles her responsibilities by not sleeping.

"When I was president of the chamber, it was obvious to me who had the most passion for its mission and people; it was Sue," McKiernan said. "She was always there to lend a hand or let me bend her ear. She truly believes in this community."

Open for 19 years, Wilderness Glass (offering window repair and replacement, mirrors and more) will be closing at the end of May; the property was sold to a retired dentist for private use.

In an e-mail, co-owner Matt Walker noted that Wilderness Glass is not closing for financial reasons, but because after 19 years of physical labor (he's been doing the glass installation mostly himself), his body is tired. The Valley resident intends to move with his wife, Viola, to Costa Rica soon after the store closes.

"It has been a great ride, but the time has come to open another chapter in life," he said. "I want to thank the many customers/friends that have made the experience of living and working in the Valley very special ... I will miss working with Sue."

The business will host a sale of remaining materials and office furniture in its parking lot starting at 9 a.m. on May 26 and 27.

"I have cried a lot of tears over it, but it's necessary and now I'm trying to look at it in a positive way, like my mother always said, 'when one door closes, another opens,'" Beauvais said.

Gloria McNeely has worked with Beauvais on Snoqualmie Valley Arts Live for many years and noted the positive influence Beauvais has had on the community.

"What Sue Beauvais has done is she has shown up for everything and is involved with everything," McNeely said. "I know she has gone above and beyond what I've ever seen any other individual doing ... It's impossible to say enough nice things about Sue because she's a wonderful person."

Beauvais grew up in the glass business and went into it herself as an adult. Working at Bob's Glass in California, she met Walker. When he moved to the area in the mid 1980s, she visited and fell in love with the Valley. She moved to North Bend and worked for a time at Eastside Glass before she and Walker invested in Wilderness Glass.

On the store's final day, Beauvais said that she will probably cry, but she is also looking forward to slowing down a bit after working so hard for so long.

Ever the volunteer enthusiast, Beauvais noted that once the store is closed, "It'll be nice to find other things to get involved in."

Wilderness Glass is located at 43415 S.E. 128th Place in North Bend. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. For more information, call (425) 888-9666.

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