Jim and Flora Rowe Wichterman
Two individuals who impacted the lives of the young men and women at Camp Westminster in a very profound way, were Jim Wichterman who was born June 6, 1927, and died December 3, 2015, and his wife, Flo, born in 1930 and died June 14, 2015. Having met at camp, they were married in 1952 and continued every summer until 1957. Flo attended camp for 15 years and Jim for ten. Jim was waterfront director, and Flo was a camper, junior counselor, waterfront instructor, Papoose Lodge assistant, and Wildwood leader. One particular program they initiated was Wildwood in 1952. Jim and Flo developed the rustic camp environment where the girls advanced their independent camping and leadership skills by constructing their own site in the woods. They did their own cooking, constructed shelters and necessary furniture, and perfected the art of camp craft. Jim took many ideas for the Wildwood program from his activities as a Boy Scout and his time in the U.S. Marine Corps.
After Camp Westminster, Jim and Flo moved to Lake Sammamish, WA, where Jim taught philosophy at Mercer Island High School and later at Lakeside School in Seattle where he was also Chair of the History Department and Dean of the Faculty. Flo taught physical education at Mercer Island High School. She was a staunch advocate for racial equality, good government, and women’s rights. Flo was a pioneer in promoting a woman’s right to work in traditionally male-dominated fields. After raising her children, Flo became the first female ambulance technician in King County in 1973. She paved the way for more women to enter this vocation. She was also a volunteer firefighter and worked on the National Ski Patrol. The family lived on Lake Sammamish for 41 years. Summers were spent on the front deck entertaining many friends and guests and inspiring their children and grandchildren to master sailing and swimming. In 2000, Jim and Flo retired to Ellensburg, WA, and founded “Ravenshaven”, their place to garden, listen to classical music, read philosophy and enjoy life. Jim was an avid outdoorsman, amateur photographer, and classical music aficionado.
Jim and Flo Wichterman made an indelible impact on Camp Westminster in many ways but most important was the influence they made on the lives of those they touched.