Former Grounds Staff Bios

Skyler Westergard
Grounds Supervisor from 2012-2015

Skyler is as passionate about horticulture as anyone I know, and was fun to work with while he was here on the grounds.  Good memories for sure!  He accepted a job to teach Horticulture at BYU-Idaho and Fall 2016 was his first semester.  His design influence is still alive and well on the temple grounds today in many parts of the landscape. There were many improvements that needed his expertise and vision for making these grounds sustainable for the future. We hope to continue networking with him through the department visits, internships and future help with landscape design projects for the temple grounds.  Good luck professor! 






Skyler's personal blog: http://homegardenplusdesign.blogspot.com/


                                                                                                                                                                   

Daniel Finch

Senior Gardener, Retired January 2019

Dan worked at the Seattle Temple since the late 1990s and has seen a lot happen to the temple grounds until his retirement in 2019.  He has often stated..."I walked around and counted all the trees I have planted over the years... and they are pretty much all on the list, except the ones planted when the temple opened in 1980."  He is originally from Kentucky and brings a lot of his personality into his work from his upbringing in the South.  His charm and detailed knowledge about the landscape will be missed, but he says the sunny shores in Florida have finally called his name.   He has family in Orlando, Florida and Tri-Cities, Washington, so he will be back and forth between both sides of the United States. He received a Bachelors Degree in Horticulture from the University of Kentucky and has done several jobs working for the Church starting out in Kentucky working for the Church FM groups managing meetinghouses.  He heard about the Seattle job and moved his family out here in the late 90's.  As you can see from the pictures, it is never a dull moment with Dan on the crew.  All the temporary workers who worked with him enjoyed their time together and had a chuckle or two.  

Enjoy Retirement in Florida!

Dan on the Red Rocket, his vehicle of choice when moving around the grounds.


Dan-isms  (Comments made by Dan through the years)

  • Waking up on thanksgiving morning as a kid, I'd smell the turkey that had been cooking all night and be thinking -- "I am basically the stuffing inside the turkey"  -- smelled so good!
  • I am not prejudiced toward anyone, I just hate everybody!
  • I could shoot a rifle before I was weened...well, maybe I'm exaggerating just a bit.


                                                                                                                                                                  

David Meek (1946 - 2020)

Dave Meek passed away last month and it feels sad to know someone who worked here for such a long time, has joined his family on the other side of the veil. He worked for the temple for over 30 years!  I enjoyed his visits and he would often come when Dan still worked here.   When Dan retired, he stopped in occasionally but not as often. They were really good friends and worked with each other for close to 15 years. We saw Dave on occasion drive through the temple grounds in his red ford ranger to see what was happening and see him looking at the flowers or grass being torn up.  He was always really kind to us and enjoyed reminiscing about his time working at the grounds.  We wish the best to his wife and family.



David Byron Meek, 74, of North Bend, Washington, passed away Monday, October 26, 2020 at Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue of Interstitial Lung Disease with his wife, Caren and Son Brian by his side.

He was born March 8, 1946 in Coupeville, Washington, to Edward Woodrow and Mary Jane (Smith) Meek. He graduated High School in 1964 in Wenatchee, Washington. He worked for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at The Seattle Temple as a landscape gardener and supervisor until his retirement in 2013.

On June 13, 1971, he and Caren Rose Carlson were married at The Chapel on the Hill in Seattle, Washington. They met October 26, 1970 in Seattle. They would have been married 50 years in June 2021.

In his leisure time he enjoyed hiking, biking, walking the local park trails and watching National Geographic shows. He greatly enjoyed spending time with family and friends.


                                                                                                                                                                  


Sean Clark was a groundskeeper fall of 2015 and part of the summer crew in 2016 before heading off to China with his wife Kim in September of 2016.  They were married in the Seattle Temple only a month before embarking on a "business trip."  They taught English in Harbin, China and had some cool experiences.  It was fun to read about their stories.  Sean has worked as a groundskeeper at the Payson Utah Temple, since leaving seattle and they live in Provo and are completing school and is raising his family there.

You can read all about their adventures here:  https://theclarkspark.wordpress.com/

                                                                                                                                                                   

Colin Hetherington served in the Richmond Virginia mission and returned needing a job about the time I was hiring for the summer positions in April of 2016.  He came on and immediately took on the initiative to make a difference in the appearance of the grounds.  He has an eye for detail and always liked to use the machete whenever he could for a job.  😃 

Colin Hetherington (Pictured far right)
                                                                                                                                                                    



Brighton Lund loved fixing things and was pretty darn good at it.  He came home from the Lubbock- Texas Mission in the fall of 2017 and started blowing leaves with us on the grounds.  Richard contacted him on his mission through email and said if he is interested to let him know.  He wrote back saying he was totally interested.  We benefited greatly having this humble guy on the grounds.  He was a hard worker, willing, and always fun to joke around with.  


Brighton on the Right
                                                                                                                                                                    
Mosese Lolohea is always having a good time.  I don't think I have ever seen him not smile or laugh on any given day while he worked on the grounds. This Tongan was willing to do whatever to get the job done well.  He loves soccer and rugby and pretty much any sport, so I got along with him pretty well.  We brought him on through the Deseret Industries and never looked back.  One thing I always will remember is he always had the grass edging down, and it looked nice after!  He worked from May-August 2017.



                                                                                                                                                                    

Other Guys/Gals I need update from that worked here: Brent Collinswood '14, Ryan McCord '14, Zac Delano '14, Nick Cardon '15, Garrett Campbell '15, Annie Nader '16, Sean Carlson '17-'18, Andy Burrell '17-'18, Amanda Haselden '18, Joseph Rynearson '18... If anyone wants to send me an email with what's going on in their world, send me an email or comment below!

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