Jake Goetze, a youth pastor at Overlake Christian Church in Redmond, staged a show Monday that friends and relatives won't forget. They watched as he proposed to Davy Jill Swenson...

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Jake Goetze, a youth pastor at Overlake Christian Church in Redmond, staged a show Monday that friends and relatives won’t forget. They watched as he proposed to Davy Jill Swenson.

“I’m only going to do this once, and I knew it would mean the world to Davy,” he said.

Goetze, 28, bought Swenson, 20, a gift certificate for a massage at a spa in Issaquah. While she was getting the massage, Goetze replaced her casual clothes with an elegant dress.

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“I couldn’t have done this without my army of guys — friends — who dressed up in tuxes and helped,” Goetze said.

When Swenson walked out of the spa in the fancy dress, the first friend intercepted her and directed her to a fancy car, where the music on the CD player was a collection of the couple’s favorite songs. Whenever she asked a question, the friend handed her a card that read, “I’m sorry, Miss Swenson, I’m not authorized to answer questions.”

The friend drove her to Lake Sammamish State Park, where Swenson was invited aboard a boat driven by David Pischelli. Then the plan went a bit awry. High water prevented Pischelli from docking the boat at the planned landing site. He finally jumped into the water and carried Swenson ashore. (She didn’t get wet.)

There a pedicab, a blanket, hot cocoa and a driver waited. That friend pedaled Swenson to a limousine, which in turn dropped her at the Village Theatre in Issaquah, where she was escorted to a seat in a supposedly empty auditorium.

A video made by Goetze began. It combined music and photographs of the couple since they started dating in July 2003. At the end, Goetze came out, escorted Swenson to the stage, knelt in front of her and proposed.

“Davy was crying, she was so overwhelmed,” Goetze said. “We had a moment together and then I told her to look in the balcony. Her family and my family were there, watching the entire thing.

“Family is important to both of us, and I knew she’d want to share the evening with them.”

By the way, their first date wasn’t all that romantic. Goetze needed help painting an apartment he had rented between Woodinville and Bothell. He asked three young women at Overlake Christian Churchto help. Two canceled. Swenson didn’t.

The couple plan to be married next year.


Sad note


The tradition that “the show must go on” comes at a welcome time for Chuck Morgan.

The well-known publisher of a former Kirkland weekly newspaper, The Eastside Journal, lost his beloved wife of 63 years. Florence Morgan died in her sleep yesterday. She had endured Alzheimer’s disease for several years and had lived in an adult family home. Florence was a sweet and gentle soul, supportive of Chuck and his civic work in Kirkland.

Last night, Chuck Morgan had rehearsal for the International Ballet Theatre’s production of “The Nutcracker.” The 93-year-old isn’t a ballet dancer, but he has a walk-on role. “I’m the grandfather, not the godfather,” he said. “Even in the program it is a misprint. I walk on stage, brush snow off, look at my watch and, late for an appointment, I leave.”

The ballet opened at Kirkland Performance Center earlier this month. It plays at Bellevue’s Theatre at Meydenbauer Center at 7 p.m. tomorrow; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; and 7 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and next Thursday. “I’m glad I have the show to keep me busy,” he said.

Florence Morgan’s smile will be long remembered by those who knew the couple.

A memorial service will be held in early January.

Sherry Grindeland: 206-515-5633 or sgrindeland@seattletimes.com