In 1960, pop idol Bobby Vee released a song which opened with the lyrics
"Devil or Angel, I can't make up my mind." Those lyrics came to mind after
reading the obit of Albert Rosellini. As you might guess, he was a
politician - the governor of Washington from 1957 to 1965. Rosellini is
remembered for doing good things, like improving prison facilities, creating the
Medical and Dental colleges at the U. of Washington, and building the SR 520
floating bridge across Lake Washington (Later named after guess who.). But
rumors of improper favors for friends and political supporters were a
constant thorn in his side. When he was past the age of 90 he was implicated in
an illegal campaign contribution scandal.
Whatever he was, devil or angel, his last contribution was a perfectly
legal one-point hit for a couple of perfectly innocent Gamesters. The ace
improved the score of Kiss of Death to 49 & 17. She is in 11th place and her
17 hits is Game high for the season. The team of Rigor Mortals inched up
to 26 & 12. As rookies last season they went 15 & 15, so it is clear they
have a "hit hungry" style of play. Kiss of Death spoiled their bid for a
first ever solo.
What if the 520 bridge failed?
Editor's Note: The New York Times ran the AP obit, we preferred the obit
The Obituary (Washington Post)
Published: October 10
Former Washington Gov. Albert D. Rosellini, whose tenure in office was
defined by efforts to reform state prisons and modernize mental health
institutions, died Oct. 10 in Seattle of complications from pneumonia. He was 101.
The death was confirmed by his daughter Lynn Rosellini.
A Democrat and son of Italian immigrants, Albert Rosellini served as
governor for eight years, ending in 1965.
His first term as governor has been praised as one of the most effective
and progressive in state history. In particular, he was credited with
improving nightmarish conditions in state prisons, mental hospitals and juvenile
At the time, some inmates were still bound in manacles and housed in cells
with buckets for toilets. Gov. Rosellini fought for more modern facilities,
training of staff members, jobs for inmates and forestry camps for
He also helped push for the creation of the SR 520 floating bridge across
Lake Washington, from Seattle to Medina, Wash., that bears his name.
Albert Dean Rosellini, the son of Italian immigrants, was born Jan. 21,
1910, in Tacoma, Wash. His father, Giovanni, opened a saloon but was forced to
close it during Prohibition. The family moved to Seattle’s Rainier Valley,
a neighborhood nicknamed “Garlic Gulch” for its large Italian American
In 1926, his father was sent to prison for a year for trying to smuggle
drugs out of Mexico, a traumatic experience that Gov. Rosellini later said
pushed him to study law.
After graduating from the University of Washington law school in the early
1930s, he was hired by King County Prosecutor Warren G. Magnuson.
Gov. Rosellini was elected to the state Senate in 1938 and served for 18
years. He championed the creation of the medical and dental schools at the
University of Washington.
After losing a race for governor in 1965 to Republican Daniel J. Evans,
Gov. Rosellini went into the beer business, opening Premium Distributors, a
Seattle distributor of Olympia Beer.
Gov. Rosellini was hounded throughout his career by suspicions he was doing
improper favors for friends and political supporters.
It was as a young lawyer that Gov. Rosellini had his first recorded
dealings with strip club magnate Frank Colacurcio Sr., defending him on a
statutory rape charge. Colacurcio Sr. was convicted in 1943 and sent to prison.
Well into his 90s, Mr. Rosellini returned to the headlines for connections
to Colacurcio Sr. and the 2003 campaign-finance scandal at Seattle City
Hall, dubbed “Strippergate.”
Gov. Rosellini personally delivered campaign contributions connected to
Colacurcio Sr. to some Seattle City Council members. The effort came about the
time Colacurcio Sr. was pushing to rezone a parking lot for Rick’s, a Lake
City, Wash., strip club. Gov. Rosellini owned the gas station and carwash
Ethics investigators determined that many of the donations were illegal and
that Colacurcio Sr. had used straw donors to sidestep campaign
Gov. Rosellini dismissed the scandal and was not accused of criminal
wrongdoing. But it led to the defeat of two council members who had sought Gov.
Rosellini’s fundraising help, and criminal convictions for Colacurcio Sr.,
his son and an associate. Colacurcio Sr. died in 2010 at 93.
Gov. Rosellini's wife, the former Ethel McNeil, died in 2002. Survivors
include five children and 15 grandchildren.