Mitchell W. Tapia | Obituary

Mitchell W. Tapia | Obituary

Mitchell W. Tapia, 71, of Spirit Lake, ID passed away at home Sunday, May 9, 2021. Principled, loyal, hardworking, and unyielding in his convictions, Mitch was a man of character. As his son-in-law said, “they don’t make ‘em like that anymore.”

Mitch was born to Helen Hicks Aarstad in Seattle, WA on February 12, 1950. He grew up in Kirkland, WA, the middle child of 5 at a time when kids had freedom to adventure.

When he was 17 years old, Mitch enlisted in the US Army, ultimately serving two tours of duty during the Vietnam war as a bulldozer operator in the First Air Calvary HHC 8th Engineer Battalion, building landing zones. Mitch earned an air medal and a bronze star for his service.

Mitch made a career with Graham Steel Corporation in Kirkland, retiring as the shop superintendent. Industrious and always looking to learn something new, Mitch purchased Rose Hill Glass, which he operated with the love of his life, Rebecca. After selling their business, he and Rebecca retired to Spirit Lake, ID where Mitch kept himself busy with projects around his house and yard as well as helping his neighbors with theirs.

Mitch enjoyed country music, a cold beer, and a laugh with friends, reminiscing about the past in the gravelly voice that made the ladies swoon, almost as much as his thick hair. Cancer ultimately took Mitch’s life and his hair, yet he approached this like he approached life, with a practical wisdom and a sense of humor, making sure he always enjoyed the moment.

Mitch was predeceased by his wife Rebecca Tapia (Jones) in 2019, and just like he promised, he cared for and loved his Country Girls, cats Cali and Snookums until the end.

He was also predeceased by his sister Mary Aarstad Pettifer of Kirkland in 2000. Mitch will be missed by his remaining siblings, Rick Tapia of Bellevue, Carla Tapia of Wisconsin, and Ted Aarstad (Lynn) of Spirit Lake, ID.

Mitch leaves behind daughters, Francie Tapia of Auburn, Desiree Richter of Bothell, Elke Sanborn (Ben) of Bellevue, and Kelli Hazelbaker (Chris) of Enumclaw. He also leaves behind nieces and nephews with whom he shared special relationships. Over the years, the lines between Mitch’s friends and family blurred. He was loved by many and loved many in return.

He will be interred with his wife Rebecca, and services will be held at 1:15pm on June 2, 2021 at Tahoma National Veteran’s Cemetery in Kent, WA.




In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Obituaries

Mitchell W. Tapia | Obituary
Mitchell W. Tapia | Obituary

Mitchell W. Tapia, 71, of Spirit Lake, ID passed away at home… Continue reading

Virginia "Ginny" Marie White | Obituary
Virginia “Ginny” Marie White | Obituary

Longtime Alaska resident Virginia “Ginny” Marie White passed away peacefully on February… Continue reading

James Francis Vague | Obituary
James Francis Vague | Obituary

James Francis Vague | Obituary - - - - - - -… Continue reading

Peggy Jo Bailey (McClure) | Obituary
Peggy Jo Bailey (McClure) | Obituary

Peggy Jo Bailey (McClure) | Obituary… Continue reading

Frank Thompson "Tom" Milligan | Obituary
Frank Thompson “Tom” Milligan | Obituary

Frank Thompson “Tom” Milligan | Obituary… Continue reading

James Michael Lloyd | Obituary
James Michael Lloyd | Obituary

James Michael Lloyd | Obituary… Continue reading

Trula Jeen Stafford | Obituary
Trula Jeen Stafford | Obituary

Trula Jeen Stafford | Obituary… Continue reading

James Michael Lloyd
James Michael Lloyd | Obituary

Born in suburban, Portland Oregon on Thanksgiving Day in 1950. Jim was… Continue reading

Frank Thompson 'Tom' Milligan
Frank Thompson “Tom” Milligan | Obituary

Tom was born on January 2, 1938 to Frank Toliver Milligan and… Continue reading

Trula Jeen Stafford
Trula Jeen Stafford | Obituary

Our beloved Trula Jeen Stafford “TJ” passed peacefully on October 16, 2020.… Continue reading

Rebecca Claire Tapia (née Jones)
Rebecca Claire Tapia (née Jones) | Obituary

Rebecca Claire Tapia (née Jones), 66, formerly of Kirkland, WA, passed away… Continue reading

Jeremy Baron Kofoed | Obituary
Jeremy Baron Kofoed | Obituary

Jeremy Baron Kofoed | Obituary