Lois Hauptli, a former longtime resident of West Seattle and local grassroots activist, died of lymphoma in Seattle on March 10, 2006 at 78.
Born August 21, 1927 in Great Falls, Montana to Christine and Ernest Mhyre, she was raised in Spokane along with her six siblings. Following high school, Lois worked at KXLY radio and the United Press bureau in Spokane before moving to Seattle with her then husband Jack. They moved to West Seattle in 1950 where they raised their three children.
In the early 60's, Lois led a crusade to make shatterproof glass mandatory in all sliding glass doors, after her eight-year-old son Gary was seriously injured walking through a glass door chasing a Frisbee. "Gary's Law" was signed into Seattle city law in 1962. A year later, Olympia lawmakers passed a bill making Washington the first state to require safety glass in sliding doors. Lois' persistence led to a federal law that requires shatterproof glass doors.
Lois involved her children in many civic issues. When developers wanted to build housing on land slated for a park in Highline, her kids were there with signs to protest. Lois also led the drive to make the Admiral Way bridge over the Fairmount gully safer. She worked with city officials to make the pedestrian walkways safer by closing gaps in bridge railings to prevent accidental deaths.
Lois wrote for the West Seattle Herald in the 60's covering news about West Seattle General Hospital. She continued her public relations work at the United Way, before working at the City Council and Seattle City Light. She also was active in the League of Women Voters.
In addition to being an enthusiastic crusader, she was a fabulous cook and an avid fisherwoman. She particularly loved to go salmon fishing out of Westport. We all enjoyed her timeshare condo at Kala Point on the Olympic Peninsula.
Mrs. Hauptli is survived by her son Gary Hauptli (Lee), daughters Jan Sleight and Beverly Hauptli, and grandchildren Shayna, Chris and Alex. She was preceded in death by her granddaughter Heather. A private memorial celebration will be held in her honor.