Peter and Sally Jarvis, both 82, were known not only as active and engaged residents of Sammamish, but also as a Superior Court judge and an education advocate respectively. Community members shared their experiences working with the Jarvises after they died in a vehicle collision on May 29.
After moving to the area that is now Sammamish back in 1972, they devoted their work to the justice system, schools and to their creation of the city.
Sally Jarvis served as a president of the University of Washington’s Alumni Association and was also a trustee of the Bellevue Community College from 1990 to 1999. She also played an instrumental role in the incorporation of Sammamish as a city.
Former Sammamish Mayor and City Councilmember Don Gerund said Sally was appointed to the planning advisory board, instructed to draft the first comprehensive plan as the city first formed. She was a co-chair of the committee.
“They were wonderful people, very giving of information, and Sally worked hard on the planning advisory board,” Gerund said “When you start a new city, it’s risky business — a lot of things came together and she helped to do that.”
Sammamish Councilmember Karen Moran got to know Sally through her planning advisory board work.
“We were trying to put together a group of all ‘A-personalities,’ environmentalists, developers, every group you could think of,” she said. “It was incredible. She was perfect for the spot. She just shined at it. You couldn’t have had a more difficult group of people to work with, but she found commonality between them and made it work… I heard the eloquence of how she spoke, it was just her knowledge and peacefulness. She was genuinely a peacemaker.”
According to their son Scot Jarvis, Peter worked as an attorney in Seattle before serving as a King County District Court judge. In 1991, Peter became a Superior Court judge and served in that role until 2001.
Peter was also involved in the Issaquah community as a member of Kiwanis and a Salmon Days volunteer.
“He was also the city of Issaquah’s judge for the court there after he retired,” Scot said. “They asked him to come serve once or twice a week until he finally retired in his 70s.”
King County Superior Court Judge James Rogers said his mother knew the Jarvises and added that he once appeared as a lawyer in a court case Peter presided over. Rogers said Peter was an incredibly thorough and fair judge. In a case where much of the record had been destroyed, Peter’s notes assisted in recreating the record.
“What I learned through the process was Peter Jarvis kept thorough notes through the trial — it was really thorough… it was unbelievable,” Rogers said.
In their retirement, Peter and Sally Jarvis moved to Sun Valley, Idaho, in 2015.
A memorial service is set for 3 p.m. on June 24 at Mercer Island Presbyterian Church.