Remembering Those We Lost in 2021

Before we close out this year, we want to celebrate the lives of several beloved community members: Betty Halfon, Sol Amon, Jerry Antush, Long Casallo, Terry Graves, and Dr. Esteban Ryciak.

Pike Place Market is more than just a Market. It’s a community of diverse people who not only sell their goods at Pike Place Market but strive to make the lives of those around them better.

Read on, as we remember six extraordinary people who were a huge part of our Market Community.

Betty Halfon

Betty Halfon owned Sweeties in our DownUnder for over 25 years, served on the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority (PDA) Council for eight years, and was an overall Market advocate and joy to be around.

She also served as the Pike Place Market Merchants Association Director for a number of years and was an active member of the Pike Place Market Constituency, including being elected by her peers for various roles.

Betty and her dog. Photo via Facebook
Words cannot describe how instrumental Betty was to the Market.

Betty’s influence and passion for the Market Community was evident and she strived to better the Market and its people with every office she took.

Betty was the epitome of a council member and could light up any room. Her passion and love for the Market community was obvious to anyone who had the privilege to meet her.

Betty put her heart and soul into the Market and was beloved by so many. There is not enough praise for everything she has done for the Market and our community.

Pike Place Market committee council meeting – 2019

Solomon Amon

Solomon “Sol” Amon carried on his family’s tradition when he took over Pure Food Fish. He ran the fish market for more than six decades, only retiring last year at 91. That made Sol the oldest vendor in Pike Place Market history. 

Over the years, Sol became a local celebrity. He was known as the “the Cod Father” and the “King of the Market.”

A portion of a painting by Market artist Brooke Westlund.

He was also very generous in supporting the Pike Place Market Foundation and the Market’s social services. The Seattle City Council even recognized his generosity on April 11th, 2006.

Throughout his 64 years working at Pike Place Market, Sol created friendships and connections with his customers from famous athletes to local and famous chefs.

Jerry Antush

Market worker, resident, and host of the Pike Place Podcast.

Jerry Antush embodied the Market. He worked for more than 30 years at various Market businesses, such as City Fish, before retiring.

But in retirement, he cared for the Market. Creating the Pike Place Podcast with Bob Trombley in 2018. The podcast served as an oral history of the Market and showcased a cast of colorful characters and Market businesses.

Jerry loved to talk, tell stories and jokes. His affectionate smile and laugher will be missed.

Long Casallo

Long Casallo created and sold beautiful bouquets along our main arcade for more than 35 years.

She worked for the family farm Mendez Casallo Farm based in Kent, Washington.

Customers and friends could find Long across from Pike’s Pit BBQ and Chicken Valley where she set up daily.

Terry Graves

You might own one of Terry Graves’ cutting boards. Terry made and sold animal and fruit-shaped cutting boards in our Crafts Market for 38 years. He also created handmade wooden toys. 

Terry was a beloved member of the Pike Place Market Craft community since the early 1980s. He started as an agent before launching his own business Raven Mountain Woodworks.

His fellow craftspeople describe Terry as “the good kind of colorful” full of imagination, intellect, and care for his friends and the environment. He drew inspiration from his passion for trees, the wilds, and rain.

Dr. Esteban Ryciak

Dr. Esteban Ryciak practiced naturopathic medicine at Pike Place Market for 39 years. His office, near Cinnamon Works, was frequented regularly by craftspeople and the Market community.

Dr. Ryciak was fluent in Spanish and took great pride and care in treating Seattle’s Latino community and anyone who walked through his door.

In the 1970s, he founded the Latin American Clinic in Costa Rica. That same decade, he started his line of herbal medicines, which were sold nationally for more than 30 years.

Dr. Ryciak had a tremendous heart and cared deeply for the well-being of all his patients in addition to all those in need. During the Aids Crisis in the 1980s, he cared for many AIDS patients with compassion, and again throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, he showed that same level of compassion.

In 1996, Dr. Ryciak was integral in gaining reimbursable naturopathic care for patients in Washington State and was named “Physician of the Year” by the Washington Association of Naturopathic Physicians in 1998.

His passion and generosity will be missed.