September 13, 1935 – March 21, 2019
Fern Yvonne Kobel (Monnot) passed peacefully from this earth on March 21, 2019, surrounded by her loving family. Fern was born in Snoqualmie, WA on September 13, 1935, to Eugene and Fern Monnot (Dore). She was raised in Snoqualmie where her father worked in the local mill and the family lived in a small mill house. Fern graduated from Mt. Si High School in 1953, where, as a cheerleader, she was described as a “bundle of sparkling energy”. Through hard work, dedication and drive, she earned a scholarship to the University of Washington, attending from 1953 to 1956, majoring in physical education. At the UW she was a Blaine Hall Gal, played on the women’s softball and hockey teams, was a member of the UW Women’s Physical Education Club and the Women’s Recreational Council. She was also a proud member of the “W” Club. College summers were spent as a lifeguard and swim instructor. Fern had a lifelong passion for physical fitness/sports and was an advocate for women’s sports long before Title IX.
It was at the UW that she met her husband, Melvin Kobel. They were married on August 18, 1956 in Snoqualmie and celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary with a family gathering last August. After marriage, they lived for a time in Cheney, WA and then Seattle, where daughter Cheryl was born in 1957. They moved to Port Angeles, WA where son Rick was born in 1958 and daughter Judy in 1960. They finally settled in the Seattle area where their son Mike was born in 1970. Raising her family and participating in their many activities, kept her extremely busy. Some of the best family times were camping and fishing trips to eastern Washington and clam digging at Ocean Shores.
After the kids were grown, she joined a women’s soccer league, where she shared many happy times with her teammates. After Mel retired, they bought an RV and became snowbirds. Fern reveled in the freedom to travel wherever and whenever they wanted. They went on numerous cruises and took memorable trips to Mexico, Hawaii, DC and New York, although her favorite trips were always to Reno to gamble. She enjoyed fishing, golfing, swimming, aerobics, card games, word puzzles, tending her yard and spending time with her kids and grandkids.
“It isn’t the beginning or the end that matters, it is what we do with the in-between”
She will be remembered as a fighter. Fighting to better herself and get into college; fighting for her family, who she always put first. Fighting and beating breast cancer and later, fighting depression, trying every option to get better. Although she eventually lost her battle with dementia, she fought like hell until her very last breath. Through our sadness, there is joy that the fight is done and she is soaring free.
Fern is survived by her husband of 62 years, Mel Kobel and her children, Cheryl Linde, Rick Kobel (Valerie), and Judy Beauseigneur (Larry) of Washington state and Mike Kobel (Damiana) of San Marcos, CA. Her four grandchildren, Amy Linde (Josh), and Jesse, Jake and Leah Kobel and her “adopted” granddaughter, Courtney Sears. Fern is also survived by her sister, Marlene (Ron) Stadick of Issaquah, WA, and sister, Mary Fredell of Kent, WA, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Fern was preceded in death by her parents; a grandson, Daniel Early; brothers Gene and Bud Monnot; sisters Leona Monnot and Louise Martin and best friend and sister, Betty (Toots) Femling.
The family wishes to thank the following people for their support and love over the last few years: Cheryl Linde and Angie Ames, mom’s caregivers, who both went above and beyond. A loving thank you to our Dad for taking such good care of mom and honoring her wish to pass at home. The staff at Kline Galland Hospice. Mom’s doctor, Dr. Nan-Sing Hsu, who was by our side on this long journey. Finally, to her many friends at Brookdale who could always make her smile.
A Celebration of Life will be held on May 18, 2019 at 2:00 PM at the Brookdale Foundation House, 32290 1st Ave S. Federal Way, WA. Donations in her name to the American Cancer Society or to the Alzheimer’s Association.