Richard Steele Sunde, a fourth-generation Sitkan and former resident of La Conner, WA died April 10, 2014 at his home in Waikoloa, Hawaii after a long, beautiful hike to the North Kohala beaches.
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The family will hold celebrations of his life in his 3 homes (Hawaii, La Conner, and Sitka) at later dates this summer. In the meantime, the family is encouraging all those who loved Rick and were impacted by his life to gather, share stories, and honor Rick's life.
Rick was born on Mother's Day, May 10, 1970 in Sitka, AK the son of Dick and Sandi (Clayton) Sunde and joined older sisters Kristin (Sunde) Nichols and Stacey Sunde.
In 1980, Rick, his sisters, and their mother moved to Mukilteo, WA where he attended school until he returned to live in Sitka with his father Dick, step-mother Elaine, and step siblings.
Rick graduated from Sitka High School in 1988 and later returned to WA and settled in La Conner, where he lived until last August when he moved to Hawaii in order to fulfill his quest for physical and spiritual heath and healing. The culmination of Rick's year-long journey was his water baptism in Hanalei Bay on March 11, 2014.
Rick was graced with an enormously generous heart, love and compassion for everyone he met, and a wild and quick sense of humor. He lit up the room with his smile and the twinkle in his eye, and loved to tell a good story, even if it was at someone else's expense. He was given a unique gift of bringing people together through love and laughter and became an inspiration for many through his own personal journey through life.
"Dickie", as he was known to many family and friends, had a fascination with and love for nature and the outdoors. Whether it was fishing in Alaska, flying above the Skagit Valley, or hiking the beaches and valleys of Hawaii, it was here where Rick's spirit was most alive and content.
Rick leaves behind a large and loving family and extended family which includes his friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, Dick Sunde (May 2013).
Rick is survived by his mother, Sandi (Clayton) Frank, step-father Darrell Frank, step-mother Elaine Sunde, and by his 5 siblings: Kristin Nichols (Debbie), Stacey Sunde, Allen (Laura) Mann, Brian (Susan) Mann, and Lisa Mann Perkins as well as by nieces and nephews Angie Nichols (Kristin), Sophia Grace (Stacey), Daniel and David Mann (Allen), Nicholas Mann (Brian), and Hannah and Ella Perkins (Lisa). Rick also is survived by his uncles Steele and Billy Clayton, and aunts Dorothy Parshall, Mary Lou (Harvey) Davis and numerous cousins. He also leaves behind his loving girlfriend Damarys Santana. Rick also leaves a host of lifelong friends who he considered to be part of his extended family.