Vashon man killed while felling a tree

Curt Noah, a Vashon man with deep roots on the Island, was killed Thursday in an accident that occurred while he was felling a tree in the woods off of Old Mill Road, according to his friends and family.

Noah, 45, whose step-mother and brothers own Uptown Takeout, did an assortment of jobs for a living, including landscaping and tree-trimming. He also sold cords of woods on Vashon.

He was in a 15-acre parcel Thursday afternoon, apparently cutting a tree for firewood, when a limb hit him on the head and killed him instantly, according to his father Rex Noah.

It’s not yet clear how the accident happened, Rex Noah said. The sheriff’s department released few details, noting that an investigation into his death is still under way.

Curt Noah, who went to Vashon High School, lived much of his life on Vashon and in Illinois. For many years he worked at what is now called the Vashon Golf & Swim Club, including one year when he was the greens keeper, his father said. He worked at other golf courses in the Seattle area as well.

“A hard-working boy,” his father said, when asked to describe his son. “He’d always put more than he had to into things.”

Ruben Arnot, who’s known Noah for years, called him a “solid guy” with a friendly attitude. “He had a good spirit,” he said.

The property where Noah died is owned by a family in Billings, Mont., which had not given permission to anyone to cut wood on their land. Barbara Lombardy said her mother Jeanne had the land thinned a few years ago, and some Islanders were allowed to go onto the property to collect some of the downed madronas.

But since then, the property has been posted “no trespassing,” she said, and neither she nor her mother knew people were still walking onto their property to collect wood. “We’re not around, and people take liberties,” she said.

David Warren, who heads Vashon Forest Stewards, a nonprofit organization that sustainably harvests trees on the Island, knows the Lombardys and is familiar with the property; he helped arrange the thinning operation a few years ago.

He got a call Thursday from an Islander who said her renter at a house near the patch of woods, had been hearing chainsaws at the property for a couple of weeks and that it appeared someone had been killed. He decided to stop by; when he arrived, he said, he discovered three police cars at the site and was soon ushered in by a detective who wanted him to take a look at the situation.

Warren said he plans to re-post “no trespassing” signs at the site for the Lombardys. It wasn’t clear to him how Noah was killed, he added, but it underscored for him how dangerous logging can be.

“If anything, I hope people learn that lesson out of this,” he said.



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