In Memory

John Presley Mucklestone - Class Of 1943

John Presley Mucklestone

John Presley Mucklestone was a dedicated father and husband, his family said. When his wife, Patricia, lay in a coma after an automobile accident in 1986, Mr. Mucklestone stayed by her side.

And after Patricia's hair was shaved for brain surgery, Mr. Mucklestone brought in her hairdresser when it began to grow back while she was at a rehabilitation center.

"He would come from the office and the first thing he said to her was 'How's my beautiful wife?' " recalled his daughter, Jeannie Mucklestone.

Mr. Mucklestone became his wife's primary caretaker when she came home. He would dress and bathe her, and prepare her meals. All this while running a successful Seattle law firm.

But it became more difficult for the longtime lawyer to take care of his wife in recent years. He began having a difficult time breathing and needed an oxygen tank just to walk down the hall of his Magnolia home.

Mr. Mucklestone died December, 2003 from respiratory failure. He was 78.

Born in Seattle in 1925, Mr. Mucklestone spent much of his youth in Laurelhurst, where he lived with his brother and parents Stanley and Dorthea. The family moved to California when Mr. Mucklestone was a teen. He graduated from South Pasadena High School.

During World War II Mr. Mucklestone served for the U.S. Army as a company commander in the 11th Airborne Division. After his tour of duty, Mr. Mucklestone returned to the Northwest and graduated from the University of Washington and later the university's law school.

After being admitted to the Washington State Bar in 1952, he met and fell in love with Patricia Shanahan, who was the organization's secretary-treasurer. They married four years later and opened their own law firm, Mucklestone & Mucklestone.

In 1958, at age 33, Mr. Mucklestone was appointed judge pro-tem for King County Municipal Court. Patricia was appointed to the same position a few years later.

Jeannie Mucklestone said her father stepped down after her mother was named to the bench.

"He felt that two Mucklestones on the bench were too many," she said. "He always wanted my mother to shine in the spotlight."

And though Patricia never fully recovered from the accident, Mr. Mucklestone paid her bar dues until she reached her 50th anniversary of passing the bar, becoming an honorary member.

"He kept it active so when she could fully recover, she could practice law again," son John Patrick Mucklestone said.

Besides his wife, son and daughter, Mr. Mucklestone is survived by children Jan Mucklestone, an artist living in California, and James Mucklestone, of Seattle; his brother, Robert; and 10 grandchildren.

Seattle Times, December 14, 2003