It is with great sadness that the family of Kirsten Gleb share news that she passed away peacefully on August 27, 2019.
She battled her long illness bravely for many years, fighting with grace and dignity. But finally, her determination to vanquish her foe was not enough, and she succumbed, at the Ocean Park home she loved, surrounded by many who were closest to her.
Kirsten was born June 10, 1964, in Greeley, Colorado. She was the fourth child of Phillip Leslie Gleb and Elaine (King) Gleb. Soon after her birth, the family – including Kirsten’s older siblings Heidi, Lesa, and Todd, moved to Vashon Island, Washington. The move brought the family back to Phil’s childhood roots, and closer to Kirsten’s Gleb grandparents. This also commenced her lifelong connection to Ocean Park and the Long Beach Peninsula of Washington, where the history of her maternal family extended back nearly a century.
Kirsten loved growing up on “the Island” surrounded by farms, gardens, livestock, friends, and family. She especially enjoyed her time as a volunteer firefighter with Vashon Island Fire and Rescue during her high school years. After attending Burton Elementary and McMurray Middle School, Kirsten graduated Vashon Island High School in 1982 and later graduated from the University of Washington.
Her volunteer fire fighting as a youth eventually became a career focus for Kirsten, and she spent many years as a firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician at The Boeing Company. She had a love of service and for helping people, which was evident in her vocational choices. She later enjoyed a second career with the King County Library System, from which she retired in 2018.
Kirsten’s many interests included gardening and home canning, fiber arts, and bookbinding, printing, and restoration. She loved creating and preserving – in so many different senses of those words. She was deeply involved in Camp Victory in Ocean Park, which supports abused youth. Kirsten’s fondness for animals, particularly dogs and bats, was well known. She had many wonderful and well-loved companion dogs over the course of her life. Kirsten served as past president of the Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue organization, and she also supported bat rescue efforts in Australia.
Kirsten spent most of her lifetime in the greater Puget Sound area, including West Seattle where she restored a vintage bungalow, as well as time in Stanwood, Marysville, and Sultan. She also lived in a small historic town in Montana. Kirsten had stewardship of a longtime family home in Ocean Park, and loved the area deeply. A part-time resident for well over a decade, she became a familiar fixture and continued the family history of public service and activism. She recently retired full time to Ocean Park and spent her last month at “King’s Haven” – the charming and historic home she had loved so dearly and for so long.
Kirsten leaves behind so many close friends, and family, including her brother Todd Gleb and wife Deanna (Couto) of Maple Valley, Washington; sisters Lesa Gleb of Seaview, Washington and Heidi Gleb of Busan, South Korea: step-mother Mary (Miles) Gleb of Lacey, Washington; uncle Dinny Gleb and wife Joan (Henderson) of Gig Harbor, Washington; aunt Penni (Gleb) Rucker and husband Larry, also of Ocean Park; aunt Audrey (Lindberg) King of Walnut Creek, California; and beloved nieces and nephews Clay, Colin, Caroline, and Christina Gleb, Jack Lorence, and Brook and Cale Couto. Kirsten was predeceased by her parents, Phillip Leslie Gleb and Elaine Gleb; her grandparents Edwin and LaVerne (Yansen) Gleb of Ocean Park, Washington, Douglas and Marcel (Villiger) King, also of Ocean Park, Washington; and uncle Douglas King of Walnut Creek, California.
Service details are pending, and memorials are suggested to: Camp Victory, P.O. Box 711, Ocean Park, WA, 98640, campvictoryforchildren.org.