July 19, 1920 ~ June 8, 2013
Evert Sodergren, master craftsman, cabinetmaker and furniture designer, died of heart disease at home in Seattle on June 8, 2013.
Evert was a founding member of Northwest Woodworkers, Northwest Designer Craftsmen, and Northwest Fine Working. He was chosen to be named a Living Treasure in the studio craft movement of the Pacific Northwest and honored by the inclusion of his furniture in collections at the Smithsonian Museum's Renwick Gallery, the Museum of Art and Design in New York, and the Boston Museum of Fine Art. His sculptured walnut armchair with leather seat and his Tansu chests are signature pieces of distinction easily recognizable as his design and execution. Evert was a fourth generation Swedish furniture maker who first learned European traditions of fine furniture craftsmanship and then went beyond those traditions to experiment with materials and designs, handcrafting all hardware for his furniture.
During World War II, Evert worked for Boeing, making aircraft models for wind tunnel testing. He served in the army for two years after the war and then in 1947 took over ownership of Sodergren Furniture Design in the University District when his father returned to Sweden He taught furniture design and construction at the University of Washington from 1963-65 as Lecturer, part -time, and from 1965-78, as Associate, part time. In 1978 he moved the workshop to his home where he continued to work with apprentices and former students until last year.
Evert was a long-time member of the Seattle Yacht Club and an avid sailor in the Flying Dutchman Fleet. For many years he was an accomplished player of both table tennis and pickleball, keeping up well into his eighties.
He is survived by his long time companion Edith Fairhall. Evert left behind admiring friends, caring neighbors and countless fellow wood- workers who became skilled under his leadership. His memorial service will be on September 29 from two to four o'clock at the Nordic Heritage Museum, 3014 NW 67th St., Seattle. Sign Evert's on line Guest Book at www.Legacy.com.
Published in The Seattle Times on Sept. 22, 2013