Danae Morency Larrance was taken from us by a brain aneurysm, at her home in Port Hadlock, on Monday, January 7. She had just turned 59.
Danae was born in Seattle, on Christmas Eve 1959, to Daniel and Mary Ann (White) Morency. After her sister, Teri, was born in Seattle, the young logging family soon moved to Brinnon. Not long after, baby Keli was born.
The three sisters grew up on the Dosewallips River in a house the size of a double garage. With Alaska Native blood on both sides, the dark-haired girls were instantly recognized as Morencys. They were independent and learned to live off the land. Being the oldest, Danae learned to hunt deer and elk. At 11, she shot her first deer. Her sisters did not follow in that footstep.
Danae never missed an opportunity to have fun, often getting into mischief. She was the epitome of a “big sister,” and the glue that held the sisters tight. Even though the three sisters could not be more different, Teri and Keli admired Danae and looked up to her. As a kid, Danae wasn’t very loving to the younger girls and considered them a recurring chore, until they moved out. Then their relationships bloomed. They were the Sis Trés.
Danae was a straight-A student in Quilcene High School’s Class of 1978. She made the honor roll all four years, was a member of the “Society of Distinguished High School Students,” and recognized in the “Who’s Who Among American High School Students.” She was a cheerleader, class officer, in the photo club, editor of the school newspaper and student council officer.
During her junior and senior years, Danae worked at the Quilcene Community Center after school. She helped serve meals to senior citizens and assisted in the food bank.
After graduation, Danae moved to Kelso to attend Lower Columbia College.
Danae met Cliff Larrance, in 1981, while working the front desk at Pacific Western Equipment, a Kent heavy equipment yard. Cliff’s persistence paid off; their relationship blossomed. She moved onto his boat, from where they began to grow his business. With a phenomenal work ethic, Danae soon proved to be an astute businesswoman. Shortly after they married, in 1983, the pair moved to Discovery Bay. From there, Larrance Trucking & Excavating grew. So did a new venture, Shine Quarry, which was one of Danae’s proudest achievements. The pair also developed Olympic Field, the airstrip in Discovery Bay. The annual fly-ins drew pilots, friends and family from near and far. Those gatherings really meant a lot to Danae.
The Larrances were blessed with two children, Ryan (1987) and Danell (1991).
Nellie’s limitations drew Danae to Special Olympics. Danae put her energy and heart into “The Jefferson County Warriors,” encouraging Nellie to try a multitude of sports. Soon Danae was a team manager, then coach, then treasurer. She will be sorely missed by her Warriors.
Danae had a passion for cooking, gardening, crabbing and couponing. Her gardens brought her joy, no matter where she lived. And the Coupon Queen was one you didn’t want to be behind in the grocery store line. Her ability to squeeze a dollar out of a dime was outshined by her extreme generosity.
Danae was careful with her risks—and sometimes it ended with a jackpot. She always looked for four-leaf clovers. The people, who knew her best, know they brought her luck. Danae never truly retired. She enjoyed new adventures and travel opportunities. There was always a new destination in the works.
About five years ago, Mike Groff was doing work on her home, when Danae came out in a slicker and rubber boots, power washer in hand. He was intrigued by her can-do spirit. They went out that night and so began their lasting companionship.
Danae was devoted to her family. From a young age, she would offer the best advice, even if the younger girls didn’t yet appreciate it. Later, Danae was the go-to gal for solid business, personal and financial advice. If she didn’t know the answer, Google was her friend. Her mother and sisters all rest in the knowledge that the last words each had with Danae was, “I love you.”
Danae was predeceased by her father, Daniel Morency, who lovingly nicknamed her Boo; and her husband, Cliff Larrance. Left to cherish Danae’s memory are her mother, Mary Ann; children Ryan (Marianne Madsen) and Danell Marie; sisters Teri Morency-Settje (Larry and children, Casey and Kelle) and Keli Anderson (children, Matthew, Bradyn and Tracyn); her best friends Jeanette Day and Jana Harris; stepdaughter and best friend Caprice Larrance Davis; grandnieces Lila and Nova (Matthew’s); grandnephew Elias (Tracyn’s); stepdaughter Cindy Larrance Hollinsworth (Mike and family); partner Mike Groff (children, Jeremy Groff and Rachel Craig); and Mike’s grandchildren Brayden (Jeremy and Shannon’s), and Ellie and Weston (Rachel and Corey’s).
A celebration of Danae’s life is planned for 1 p.m., Saturday, January 26, at the Elks Lodge. BPOE #317, 555 Otto St., Port Townsend. In lieu of flowers, if friends so desire, please make a donation to our local Special Olympics team. “The Jefferson County Warriors” account is at First Federal, 1321 Sims Way, Port Townsend, WA 98368.