By Chris Hendrickson, Contributing Writer
Friends and family of Sky Valley resident Amanda Moody are mourning her loss following a car crash that took the young woman’s life last week.
Moody, who grew up in Gold Bar, was a life-long valley resident and longtime employee of the Sultan Library. The 21-year-old, who also worked for the King County Library System, was involved in a fatal automobile collision after leaving her job at the Woodinville Library on Sunday, Feb. 16. The accident took place at approximately 5:15 p.m. on the Woodinville-Duvall Road, just east of Cottage Lake.
Moody, who had left work shortly after 5 p.m., had only traveled about four miles when she failed to respond to a right hand curve in the roadway, crossed the centerline, and struck an oncoming vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
The other driver, a male, was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure and did not sustain serious injury.
Moody, who went by Mandi, was born on Aug. 25, 1992, and was the oldest of four siblings. Her parents, Scott and Kristi Moody, live in Monroe, having recently moved from Sultan.
Moody, who attended Gold Bar Elementary and Sultan Middle School, spent a year at Sultan High School before briefly moving with her family to Tennessee.
Precocious since a young age, she finished school while she was away, graduating in 2008 at just 15 years old. The family returned to the Sky Valley soon after.
Her youngest brother, 10-year-old Nick Moody, remembered how his sister’s affectionate nature was great for lifting people’s spirits.
“If she gave you a hug when something was up, that would, like, take half of the bad thing away. Or maybe like three-quarters,” said Nick Moody.
Several friends and members of her family spoke of her ability to spread joy with a hug.
“Her hugs were the best,” said her 18-year-old brother, JJ Moody. “If you had a bad day, and she gave you a hug, suddenly everything was better.”
“She would hug you forever if you let her,” added her mom, Kristi Moody. “She would never let go.”
Moody did extensive ministry work through the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witness, spending tireless hours studying the Bible with people and sharing her faith. Her family explained that it was Moody’s compassionate and empathetic nature that made her effective in her ministry work. She was also very adept at listening to people and never passing judgment.
“She would always listen to the other person more than she would talk,” said JJ.
She never outgrew her love for the works of Walt Disney, both the movies and the literature. She especially loved Alice in Wonderland, The Lion King and Brave. Her mom and dad shared that she loved Disney since before she could walk, and even enjoyed listening to Disney music. All her siblings recalled spending time watching Disney movies with her.
“If you said that you were in a bad mood, or you were sad, she would say, ‘Okay, what Disney movie would you like to watch?’” said her 11-year-old sister, Haley Moody.
Moody’s family, friends and coworkers all enjoyed her sense of humor, her great love for books, her generosity, as well as her quirky love for all things Disney. Her favorite places included Barnes and Noble, Starbucks, Disneyland and the Sultan Library, as well as the fictional places she enjoyed reading about like Wonderland and Oz.
“She said if she could go anywhere, it would be Wonderland,” said JJ.
“Or Oz,” said Haley. “She said she would go to either Wonderland or Oz.”
Moody, who moved out of her family’s home last August, lived nearby with friend Kerri Berens. Berens was quite close with Moody.
“If you were her friend, she would do anything,” said Berens. “She would give you the shirt off her back… She would do anything for you. It didn’t matter; just say the word.”
Close friend Malchijah DeGraff confirmed that Moody was a loyal and generous friend, and also very intuitive. She said that Moody could sense when something was bothering one of her friends and would immediately seek to find out what was wrong.
“She knew when something was off,” said DeGraff. “She was very in tune with people.”
The two enjoyed the BBC series Sherlock, complete with Moody harboring a slight crush on lead actor Benedict Cumberbatch. DeGraff explained that they liked watching episodes of the show and then comparing notes on what had happened.
Moody loved Thai food and anything else with a lot of spice. She grew up without exhibiting a real fondness for developing cooking skills; although she had recently taken up baking. Prior to baking, the first thing she really mastered in the kitchen was making sushi.
“She was awesome at making sushi,” said Haley.
A voracious reader since the age of three, Moody was extremely passionate about books. From Doctor Seuss to classic novels like Pride and Prejudice, according to her family, she read them all. Growing up she especially loved the Wizard of Oz, Anne of Green Gables, the Chronicles of Narnia and A Little Princess. She loved those books and many more into adulthood, and never tired of sharing them with others.
With her great love of books, it was naturally fitting for her to seek employment at the local library.
“She loved working at the library,” said Kristi. “She was very happy to get that job.”
“I never knew someone could get excited over the Dewey Decimal System,” said JJ. “I still remember it was six-something that was sports, and she was very proud to know that.”
Sultan Library Manager Jackie Personeus stated that Moody was an exemplary employee from day one due to her passion for books, learning, and the library in general. She was very goal-oriented when it came to her work; along with being a quick learner and an efficient employee. She had been employed at the Sultan Library for nearly four years, having started in the summer of 2010.
“Whatever she was interested in, or doing, she’d put her all into it. I just was so impressed. Her generosity was what struck me the most,” said Personeus. “She was always cheerfully ready to help any of us. She wouldn’t wait for someone to ask, she would come ask us.”
“You just got the feeling that, whatever she wanted to do, she would be able to succeed in it,” she continued.
Personeus and Moody shared a great love for the Hobbit, and she recalled how much Moody enjoyed working on the library’s Hobbit display. She also told of a time when the young woman surprised her with a copy of the 75th anniversary edition of the whimsical tale. Other coworkers remarked on her generosity, as well. Sultan Librarian Emily Felt showed a copy of The Lord of the Rings that Moody had recently given her.
Moody will be greatly missed by Felt, who enjoyed a special closeness with her. They shared many things in common, including their love for tattoos and their appreciation for The Lion King. Felt had recently gotten Moody interested in the television series Game of Thrones, so the two would talk about the series. Felt, who is 27, appreciated Moody’s strength, her kindness and her love for lions.
“I was just so excited to see the person she was becoming; it was really inspiring,” said Felt.
Sultan Librarian Dawn Kaestner very much enjoyed Moody’s wit.
“The thing that strikes me most is that she had a wicked-fun sense of humor,” said Kaestner.
She recalled a mischievous Moody poking a little fun at her and another coworker as they discussed what had happened on a recent episode of The Bachelor. Kaestner laughed as she remembered her response.
“I said, ‘Did I not see you on your break playing Disney games?’”
To which Moody laughingly responded, “Oh touché!”
Moody’s primary responsibility at the library was to put away books, a position referred to as a “page.” Kaestner and Personeus remarked that her love for the library really stood out in everything that she did.
“The library world is really kind of getting shorted because she would have definitely moved beyond the level that she was,” said Kaestner.
Kaestner fondly recalled Moody’s love for a children’s book called Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. Her father also recalled Moody’s excitement about that particular kids’ book during a recent excursion to Barnes and Noble. He commented on his daughter’s eclectic taste in both books and music.
“She had Metallica next to her Disney songs on her iPod,” said Scott Moody. “She loved everything.”
Although she had only worked at the Woodinville Library since December, she still made an impact on her coworkers there, as well as a lasting and favorable impression on her supervisor, Carrie Dumar. Dumar said that she could always tell when Moody had worked on a particular book display by the level of care taken with its appearance.
“I could always tell when she had been there,” said Dumar.
Moody worked during the Super Bowl, and library employees recalled her excitement about the game and her great love for the Seattle Seahawks.
“She was really, really kind,” said King County Library Operations Manager Erin Avery. “She got along with everyone. Everyone liked her.”
The Woodinville Library held a counseling session last week to help employees grieve and adjust to the sudden loss. The Sultan Library will offer employee counseling, as well.
A memorial service for Moody will be held on Friday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Monroe Kingdom Hall. The hall is located at 517 Monroe St. in Monroe.
Her friends find it difficult to believe that she is gone, and her family misses her very much.
“I know from experience that she’s one of the best siblings in the world,” said 10-year-old Nick.