Lila Preisinger left this vale of tears on Father’s Day, June 16, 2013, at 4:15 p.m. at her home in Pacific Beach. She was surrounded by her family and friends in her last days.
Lila was born in Arlington, Washington, to Richard and Violet Howard on August 18, 1956. She spent her childhood in the Stanwood/Conway area of Snohomish County where her father worked as a dairy hand on the surrounding farms. She often worked in the fields with her mother on the farms they lived on.
Because Violet suffered from severe allergies to farm chemicals, she moved with Lila to south Seattle in 1974. Lila attended Seattle Communiy College and earned an AA Degree in Music and Drama.
She went to work as a floral designer in 1976 and worked in the business for 15 years and was an FTD certified designer. Most of those years were with Johnny’s Flowers, a high volume shop in the University District. She married James Preisinger in 1980 and they lived in the home her mother purchased in Rainier Valley. They had two children, Jacob and Jessica. In 1991, she began working in the catering business for a company called Special Events. She was a supervisor when the company catered a BBQ for 10,000 in the Kingdome celebrating the 50th anniversary of Boeing’s B-52 aircraft.
She always wanted to have a home on the beach, so in 1995 the family moved to Pacific Beach. One of the first things she did was join the Pacific Beach Grange, which sponsored the Food Bank. When the Grange closed down she took over the job of keeping the Food Bank operating where there was no one else willing to do it and continued as Supervisor until her last days. She cared for her uncle, Ray June, and her mother, Vi, in the family home until they passed. She worked at the Pacific Beach Resort (Navy Base) for over 10 years and became the wait staff manager.
In 1997, she worked with her husband to open the Wacky Warehouse on Main Street in Pacific Beach. She also led the effort with the Business Association and local “shake rats” to start the annual “Shake Rat Rendezvous” on Labor Day weekend. In 2004, with the help of Kelly Cline (the late Max Better), she helped establish KXPB radio, our local non-profit radio station, the first LPFM station licensed in western Washington.
In 2011, when the Food Bank building was condemned, she was a driving force working with Coastal Harvest in Hoquiam to start the Mobile Food Bank which serves Pacific Beach, Moclips and Taholah. Although there are some who object to helping some of the Food Bank clients because of their lifestyle, she always said, “If I can help feed just one child, it is all worth it”. Her effort to help the North Beach Communities will be greatly missed.
Lila is survived by her husband, James, at the family home; her son, Jacob and Tracy Heyes of Pacific Beach; daughter, Jessica, a school teacher in Wapato, Wash.; brother, Dale Howard, of Glenoma, Wash.; and sister, June and Denny Bohannon of Arlington, Wash.
A potluck memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 7 at Pacific Beach Fire District 8. All are welcome! Rememberances can be made to the Pacific Beach Food Bank or KXPB 89.1 FM. Better yet, volunteer some time for coastal food banks!