Ben Boardman and Lilly Blackburn will take over the business in August. Photo: Julie Boardman

Tom and Julie Boardman have operated Master’s Dry Carpet Cleaning as a husband and wife team for nearly 20 years and are getting ready to turn their business over to their son, Ben Boardman, and his fiancé, Lilly Blackburn, Aug. 1. Ben and Lilly are planning an August wedding. Julie and Tom will remain involved in the business as consultants and advisors, filling in as needed for the next generation.

Tom and Julie moved to the Key Peninsula in 1998 to start Master’s Dry Carpet Cleaning. Tom is originally from Burien and, after serving in the United States Army, he worked at both Kenworth Northwest and PACCAR before establishing the cleaning business with Julie. Julie earned an early education degree from Olympic College and did some teaching before she and Tom started their business. They have been married 27 years and have four children and two grandchildren.

The business involves both commercial and residential cleaning jobs over much of the Puget Sound area. They clean 45 condominiums at Alki Beach in West Seattle and do commercial jobs in both Seattle and Bellevue. But cleaning jobs on the Key Peninsula have always been their favorite, due to the short commute to the jobsite.

One of Tom’s favorite work experiences happened when he was cleaning carpets in the house of a naval officer and found a diamond ring buried in dust behind a dresser in the bedroom. The officer said it was his wife’s engagement ring that had been lost years earlier. When the officer’s wife came home later in the day, he proposed to her all over again.

Tom and Julie are familiar residents on the KP, as they have been active in civic affairs involving the Key Peninsula Lions Club, Key Peninsula Community Council, Key Peninsula Business Association and other organizations for years. They often volunteer at the Key Peninsula Civic Center for many different events. Ben and Lilly plan to continue the same social involvement on the KP.

Tom and Julie hesitated when asked what their hobbies were and what they planned to do in their retirement. Most of their life has revolved around family, community service and their business.