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Jack Webb: One life, two lifetimes of service

POULSBO — Jack Webb spent two careers in public service: one in the Navy, and the other as a volunteer in Poulsbo.

Webb died Saturday at his home. He was 79.

Influential in the Poulsbo Rotary, active in the effort to have Olympic College locate a branch campus in Poulsbo and a steady advocate for Poulsbo-area fire services, Webb leaves behind a long legacy.

"Jack was one of those people that, at his core, was a nice person," said Bob Hawkinson, attorney for Fire District 18, also known as the Poulsbo Fire Department, and a fellow Rotarian with Webb.

Webb died from blood cancer, an illness for which he had been receiving treatment for the last seven years.

Webb's wife, Sarah "Kee" Webb, said her husband took great pleasure in contributing to his community.

"He just had a spirit of helping people," Kee Webb said.

Born in Summerville, Ga., Webb enlisted in the Navy at 19, working his way through the ranks, earning a commission, and retired after 30 years with the rank of commander.

Although he was never attached to a submarine, he spent his career aboard submarines, testing and training, and was assigned as the repair officer aboard the submarine tender Howard W. Gilmore. He was a member of the United States Submarine Veterans Inc.

Kee Webb said her husband loved submarines.

"That was where his heart was and has been all these years," she said.

Bill Hipp of Silverdale was Webb's supervising officer in the 1960s.

"He was very smart, very intelligent and hard working and what more can I say?" Hipps said.

After retiring from the Navy, Webb threw himself into community service with the Rotary Club of Poulsbo-North Kitsap while he and Kee owned and operated a series of clothing stores in the Poulsbo area.

He also was elected to the Fire District 18 Board of Commissioners, and was involved in helping the district absorb the city's fire department.

While in the rotary, he urged the group to commit $100,000 through a 10-year period to help pay for an Olympic College branch campus in Poulsbo. Additionally, he travelled to Olympia to lobby state lawmakers.

Barbara Stephenson, county treasurer, sat on the college's Board of Trustees and remembered Webb as a friend to the college.

"He definitely was really right out front, making sure our legislators knew," Stephenson said.

As president of the Rotary Club in 1985 and 1986, Webb reminded members that caring was integral to service.

"We must care about people and the conditions under which they live," Webb wrote. "We must care enough to look for areas where our services can help even when they are unsolicited. Secondly, we need to remember that working together we will accomplish much more than working individually."

A date for a memorial service has not been set.

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