MONTESANO — Lori Mellquest, the activity director of the Montesano Health & Rehabilitation Center, died unexpectedly on Saturday, July 13.
Mellquest was 55 years old. She was having some kind of health issues and went into Grays Harbor Community Hospital’s critical care unit, but she wasn’t able to be stabilized and died at about 11 a.m. on Saturday. Grays Harbor Coroner Dan Burns says it was a natural death, but the circumstances are still being determined.
Mellquest was the author of the popular Montesano Health & Rehabilitation Center’s Communicator page, which appears monthly in The Vidette.
She worked at the rehabilitation center for at least 25 years and helped coordinate all of the activities and social events at the center. In 2007, she was named Washington State Activity Director of the Year, according to the rehabilitation center’s website.
“Lori enjoys planning and doing activities with our residents,” the website biography states. “She strives to ensure all activities are meaningful, fun and has purpose for the residents. When not working, Lori enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Her interests include going to the beach, casino, reading, decorating and cooking.”
Amy Shoopman, the business office manager at Montesano Health & Rehabilitation center, said Mellquest’s death came as a shock for her and other employees.
“She was great, energetic and bubbly,” Shoopman said. “Everybody just loved her.”
Mellquest was single and had no children. She had two sisters, Mary Flannery and Sandy Garske, and two brothers, Frank Mellquest of Redmond and Bill Main of Bellevue.
She was born and raised in Redmond and moved to Montesano to take a job, and eventually was employed by the Montesano Health & Rehabilitation Center, according to her family.
“She just liked to take care of the people,” her sister Mary said. “She was just a very people person. That was her life. She just liked to take care of the people. She was just a very people person. That was her life.”
A celebration of life pot luck is set for 2:30 p.m., Saturday, July 20 at the rehabilitation center, 800 North Medcalf in Montesano.