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Herman Sarkowsky

1925 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Herman Sarkowsky Obituary
Herman Sarkowsky

Herman Sarkowsky, born June 9,

1925 in Gera, Germany, died peacefully at home after a long illness on November 2, 2014. Herman was a businessman, philanthropist, thoroughbred horse breeder and former national sports executive. He co-founded two Pacific Northwest sports franchises, the Portland Trail Blazers and the Seattle Seahawks. He acted as the Managing General Partner of the Seahawks from 1975 to 1982.

Sarkowsky and his family immigrated to the US, landing in New York City in 1934 to escape Nazi Germany. The family moved to Seattle, Washington in 1937. After graduating from Broadway High School, Herman attended the University of Washington, finishing his BA degree in 1949 after serving in the US Army Signal Corps. He entered the construction and home building business the following year.

Herman met his wife of 62 years, Faye Mondschein, in 1951. They shared a remarkable life together working hard, laughing, traveling, boating, and contributing to their community in a myriad of ways. They raised two children, Cathy and Steve.

Herman became one of the most successful builders and real estate developers in Seattle history. He founded United Homes Corporation, which became the largest homebuilding company in the Northwest. He developed the Key Tower (now Seattle Municipal Tower) and was a partner in the Frederick & Nelson department store chain. In his later years, he operated a private investment firm and invested in many local and national businesses, as well as serving on a number of corporate boards, including WebMD.

Sarkowsky has contributed to and served on the boards of numerous philanthropic causes and cultural institutions, among them the University of Washington School of Medicine, the Seattle Foundation, United Way, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Symphony, Seattle Art Museum, Jewish Federation, and PONCHO.

Herman and his family enjoyed many years of boating together throughout the Pacific Northwest and far beyond. He was an avid boater who named his first boat "Forin Sea" after his first racehorse. His credo was "I never hit anything that was moving."

Herman's passion for thoroughbred horse racing began in 1960 and he remained a committed fan, breeder and investor in the sport both locally and nationally. He was an investor in Northwest Racing Associates, which later constructed Emerald Downs in Auburn, Washington. His horse "Phone Chatter" won the 1993 Breeder's Cup Juvenile Fillies, winning the 2005 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs and various other venues.

Herman Sarkowsky is survived by his wife, Faye; his daughter, Cathy Sarkowsky and her son, Max Sarkowsky; his son, Steve Sarkowsky and his wife, Stacy Lawson and their sons, Noah and Shiah Sarkowsky.

The family is forever grateful for the amazing care provided by Joe Enriquez and Georgette Veloso.

Services will be held on Thursday, November 6 at 10:00 am at Temple de Hirsch Sinai, 1511 East PIke Street, Seattle.

Donations may be sent in his memory to Seattle Art Museum, Palm Springs Art Museum, University of Washington Medical School, or Jewish Family Service.
Published in The Seattle Times from Nov. 3 to Nov. 6, 2014
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