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Roadside memorial vandalized

This roadside memorial on U.S. Route 30 west of Rainier dedicated to Jacob Allen Thompson-Welter, who died in 2003, was vandalized and displaced last week.

In July 2003, when he was only 19, Jacob Allen Thompson-Welter died in a car accident on Rainier Hill. Ever since, his family and friends have tended a memorial to him set up along Highway 30 just west of town.

“I’ve seen people stop there (at the memorial) during the summer. I stop by every six months and make sure it’s well cared for,” his friend and classmate Jaclynn Davids said Monday.

On Thursday, she learned that someone had trashed the memorial, which consisted of a cross and silk flowers.

Things got even worse Monday, when Davids was replacing the memorial and found a derogatory note underneath a rock.

The note read: “Your loved ones are not here. They are with God. Their remains are in the cemetery. And their memories are in your heart. You don’t ruin the scenery with your trash. Donate to a charity instead.”

Davids said she was shocked and appalled.

“It’s devastating,” she said. “This is someone who made such an impact on the community that we’re still taking care of the memorial 12 years later. How do you disrespect the memory of someone who mattered so much to the community?” she said.

Thompson-Welter was a construction laborer and enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, fishing, motorcycles and working on cars, according to his Daily News obituary.

She filed a police report Monday about the memorial, which was located about eight feet off the highway’s eastbound shoulder, near the base of a cliff.

“I hope this never happens again,” Davids said.

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Contact Daily News reporter Shira Moskowitz at 360-577-2542 or smoskowitz@tdn.com.

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