Tree will be dedicated to Coach Carl Westling

Carl Westling is coming home again, and this time, he’ll be here to stay.

Friends and family of the legendary track coach will gather today at South Whidbey High School to dedicate a tree in Westling’s honor. The tree, a Japanese oak, has been planted 400 meters from the track and field at SWHS. Members of the classes of 1985 and 1990, which are having reunions today, are also expected to attend the dedication, planned for 2:30 p.m.

Carl and Pat Westling’s daughter, son-in-law and Doug Fulton planted the Japanese oak on June 22. Fulton, a teacher at South Whidbey High School, became the track and cross-country coach after Carl retired.

Carl Westling died last year, but he’s been on the road ever since. One of his parting wishes was to have his ashes spread around the world, and his friends and former students have been taking some of his ashes along on trips. He has since traveled to Cario, Egypt, the Nile River and Patagonia in South America, to name a few locations.

“It’s very inspiring,” said the former coach’s wife, Pat Westling. “It’s great to see a legacy.”

Most of the alumni she speaks with tell her they’re still active and athletic.

“Many of them tell me they still hear [Carl] cheering them on,” she said.

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