Opinion

Mentors left their mark on Kitsap

Kitsap County has taken a double shot to the solar plexus.

With the death last week of ex-Bremerton Mayor Louis Mentor, we have a human, political and economic dent on our soul.

Compounded by the tragic death of his older brother, Joe Mentor, on Sept. 1, not in recent memory has one family tree been bent so hard by the winds of tragedy.

Though brothers of the same gene pool, in temperament and personality, the Mentors were night and day.

Louis was a suave, soft-spoken gentleman even in the heat of political turmoil. He is remembered as almost genteel in demeanor. During a hard-fought 2001 campaign for mayor of Bremerton against newcomer Cary Bozeman, Louis took the high road. He never descended into the negative campaigning, name-calling or muck-raking that small-town politics can often become.

Joe Mentor lacked the flair and deft touch of his brother in the political realm — no one ever left a business fight with Joe without raised blood pressure. Still everyone who knew Joe — friend and foe alike — wishes they had a chance for one last cup of coffee with him. He was prickly, but personable. He was loud, but endlessly loyal to his family, to Kitsap County and to the nation. What more can you say of a man?

That both Mentors are gone in the twinkling of an eye is nearly incomprehensible. Kitsap County is a poorer place, less colorful and less vibrant with the loss of the Mentor brothers whose swath through Kitsap history will be wide.

Our prayers and thoughts are with all members of the extended Mentor family. Our loss is big — yours is huge.

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