In loving memory of Dar

ELLENSBURG, Wash. -- It was a life to celebrate. A playful spirit that brought unlimited laughter and joy. Dar, a unique chimpanzee was a friend and holds a special place to many.

Mary Jensvold saw Dar every morning for the past 25 years.

"He was really just so funny," said Mary. "He just thought he was the funniest person on the planet."

"He was huge," said Shannon Wallin. "He was a big chimpanzee but he was so sweet and gentle and kind. It was hard not to just fall in love with him."

Dar died of sudden cardiac failure at 36 years old. His memorial was nothing short of loved ones paying tribute to the impact he's made in our community.

"He leaves a big hole in my heart and at CHCI as well," said Shannon.

"You have those moments where you break down and cry," said Bonnie Hendrickson. "Then you remember the rest of the family needs you so you keep going."

Dar lived here at the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute at Central Washington University.

For years, Dar communicated by using American Sign Language. But now that interaction is gone and those closest to him felt a sense of emptiness.

"When I came in the morning and said hello to the chimps, Dar always invited me to play a game of chase," said Mary.

Bonnie, Dar's caregiver said he was the nosiest of the three. Bonnie's favorite memory of him will always be "rolling, somersaulting over and over again and seeing how long he could go and keep you laughing."

He touched the lives of many and has left a legacy that remains in our community forever.