The Rev. Frank Geoffrey Ethelston
February 1927 – December 2015
As an 11 year-old, Geoff went to Bushey, near London, to attend the Royal Masonic School for Boys, where he was later joined by his younger brother Derek. This was followed by three years of part-time study at Liverpool Technical College while he helped to make airplanes for the WWII effort. He had a number of engineering jobs from the late 1940s through mid-1950s, at which time he moved to West London, where he met his wife Jean while playing ping-pong at the company where they both worked. They were married in September 1956 and moved shortly thereafter to Sutton Coldfield for Geoff to take the job of manager of a heat treatment plant in nearby Walsall.
A certified production and metallurgical engineer, Geoff moved with his family to Bellevue in 1967 to take a position with Boeing, where he worked on the 747 airplane. Along with thousands of others, Geoff lost his job at Boeing in the early 1970s. He went on to work in city planning and management, and served as the first city manager of Bothell in the mid-1970s. He retired from the City of Bellevue in 1992.
While at Boeing, Geoff began studying theology part-time and was ordained an Episcopal deacon in 1973 and a priest in 1980. In 1991, Fr. Geoff formed a new mission congregation in Duvall, Grace Church, working in close collaboration with his wife, Jean. He retired in 1996, and he and Jean joined the Church of the Redeemer, Kenmore. As Associate Rector for Outreach at Redeemer, Geoff worked with human service providers in the area, focusing primarily on homelessness issues. Indeed, Fr. Geoff was passionate about ending homelessness in King County, going back to his time as an early volunteer with the FISH organization in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and right up until his death.
A talented painter and chorister, Fr. Geoff sang with both a church choir and civic opera company in the U.K. and continued singing in the choir at Redeemer until recently. Fr. Geoff also had a great sense of humor, as illustrated by the words of one of his favorite songs, “The Hippopotamus” (Flanders & Swann, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjnOj9O16_I). We encourage you to look and (mostly) listen.
Geoff was predeceased by his wife, Jean, after 54 years of marriage. He is survived by his brother Derek (Sue); daughters Sally (Ernie), Caroline, and Ruth (T.J.); son Mark (Sue); grandchildren Andrew (Karen) and Rebecca (Richard); and great-grandson William.
Services will be held at 2pm, Saturday, January 16, 2016, at Church of the Redeemer, 6211 NE 182nd Street, Kenmore (http://redeemer-kenmore.org). Contributions are preferred in lieu of flowers to Hopelink (www.hope-link.org), Northshore Senior Center’s “Adult Day Health” program (www.northshoreseniorcenter.org), and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) (www.doctorswithoutborders.org).