Everyone has a story about how they discovered the San Juan Islands. For Claire Huckins, it was during a summer visit with her friend Joann Otto, a university professor with close ties to Friday Harbor Labs on San Juan Island. That trip was the first of many for Claire, as she traveled from Texas where she was on the faculty of Baylor College of Medicine.
Claire loved the outdoors, especially her ranch in East Texas, and she came to know and cherish the San Juan Islands. During summer visits, she and Joann enjoyed a friendship with Paul and Ruth Illg, colleagues of Joann’s at the Labs. Claire believed in open space preservation and learned about the Preservation Trust through the Illgs, who were enthusiastic supporters. She became a member in 1993.
When Claire died in 2002, she left a generous bequest to the Preservation Trust. “I think she was particularly impressed that Paul and Ruth decided to leave their beautiful land on the west side of San Juan Island to the Preservation Trust,” Joann said, “and that led her to include the Trust in her will.” The Preservation Trust is deeply honored by Claire Huckins’ generous wish to preserve land in the San Juans and perpetuate special island summers for others.
From our Fall 2003 Newsletter