Louis Edwin Opstad|
Louis Edwin Opstad died peacefully July 25th at the age of 87.
Louis was born in Bellingham to Louie and Margaret Opstad on September 24, 1925. He was raised in Port Townsend and graduated from Port Townsend High School Class of 1944. He enlisted in the Navy and served on a destroyer in the Pacific theater during WWII. He was recalled to active duty and served during the Korean war.
After the war, Louis began working in the Maritime field as a AB seaman on the tanker "General", as Junior deck officer for the Military Sea Transport Service and as a mate for Washington State Ferries. In 1954, Louis joined the Seattle Fire Dept. first assigned to the fire boats. He rose through the ranks and retired as a Battalion Chief in 1980. He was very proud of his service and the people he commanded.
Louis returned to the sea for his "second" career; serving as Master, Chief Mate or Mate on several tugboats and freighters serving many ports in Alaska. Louis also served as master of the Victoria Clipper sailing to Victoria for many years. Louis was a licensed commercial pilot on single and twin engine aircraft as well as seaplanes with over 60 years in the cockpit. He flew part time for several charter companies and was a licensed flight instructor.
Louis married Elaine Holm on September 6, 1952. During their 55 year marriage they raised two sons, Steven and David, in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle. The family traveled by RV throughout the Western US, Canada and Alaska. Louis and Elaine continued their travels in retirement. They belonged to the Retired Seattle Firefighters and Ballard Elks travel clubs where they made many life long friends. Louis and Elaine also enjoyed boating and sailing: journeying as far as Homer Alaska in a 36 foot boat.
Louis was an honest, hardworking and dedicated man who loved his family very much. He will be greatly missed. Louis was preceded in death by his wife Elaine in 2008. He is survived by his sons Steven and David; grandchildren Nathan and Hannah; sister Jean Miller; brother Tom Opstad; daughter-in-law Paige and son-in-law Michael.
A memorial service will be held in celebration of his life at the Ballard Elks Club, 6411 Seaview Ave NW, Seattle, on Sunday August 18th at 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Medic One Foundation, Mail Stop 359747, 325 9th Ave, Seatlle, WA, 98104.
Published in The Seattle Times on Aug. 4, 2013