Lewis County Commissioners Pass Resolution Honoring Gary Stamper; WSDOT Asked to Rename Viewpoint at Riffe Lake


Note: This content was produced by the Economic Alliance of Lewis County as part of the monthly Economic Report supplement published in The Chronicle. To learn more about the Alliance, visit https://lewiscountyalliance.org/.

Lewis County Commissioner Gary Stamper, who passed away in September of 2021, loved his getaway home above Riffe Lake in East Lewis County.

Now the current Lewis County Commissioners want to honor his memory by renaming the Riffe Lake Overlook in his honor.

The county commissioners passed a resolution on Tuesday asking the Washington State Department of Transportation for a name change to the Gary Stamper Memorial Overlook at Riffe Lake.

The Riffe Lake Overlook, located in a pull-out on the south side of U.S. Highway 12, about  0.4 miles east of the Mossyrock Dam, provides views of Riffe Lake, which was formed after the 1968 construction of the dam flooded the site of two pioneering communities, Riffe and Kosmos.

Stamper helped spearhead efforts to remove trees that were blocking the views from the overlook, which is located in his District 3.

According to the resolution, “timber and transportation were two of Commissioner Stamper’s greatest passions during his years in office (2015-2021), and he worked tirelessly with state legislators and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) on several state and federal projects within Lewis County — such as efforts to widen Interstate 5 through Lewis County; efforts to relieve congestion at the Napavine interchange; the Chamber Way overpass repair project; countless fish passage/bridge projects; and the Highway 603, Borst Avenue and Silverbrook Road improvement projects.”

The resolution continues, “Commissioner Stamper established solid relationships with Lewis County’s nine incorporated cities as well as the area’s other governmental entities — such as the Lewis County Public Utility District, Twin Transit, the tribes and the county’s two ports — to develop infrastructure plans for the future while also working alongside private employers and other business leaders to identify transportation needs and develop solutions.”

“With Gary’s commitment to Lewis County and focus on East Lewis County, it is more than appropriate to rename the lookout in his honor,” said Economic Alliance of Lewis County Executive Director Richard DeBolt. “He’s probably looking down at Riffe Lake with a smile on his face today.” 

Stamper was known for being a great leader, career educator, sought after mentor and a soft-spoken, big-hearted family man who had a passion for service. Stamper first grew up in Riffe and then Mossyrock. He was a Mossyrock High School graduate and went on to be a teacher at his alma mater and served as a youth sport coach for years. He was principal for White Pass Junior/High School as well as fire commissioner for District 3.

Stamper was buried at the Klickitat Cemetery in Mossyrock.