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November 30, 1948 -
April 1, 2018

Eric Kruger Stendal was born to Ralph and Dora Stendal on November 30, 1948, in Sedro-Woolley, Washington. He passed away on April 1, 2018.

Eric had a long and distinguished career in city government in Skagit County. He brought joy and laughter through his music and humor. He made our community a better place in which to live through his life's work.

Eric graduated from Sedro-Woolley High School in 1967 and joined the U.S. Army after graduation. He served in Vietnam in 1968. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for bravery in action. After his honorable discharge from the service, he attended Central Washington University and graduated with a degree in Business Administration.

Eric Stendal met his soulmate, Heidi Novotny, in 1978. They were married on May 21, 1983 and made their home in Sedro-Woolley. Eric and Heidi have a daughter, Emily, whom Eric loved deeply. Eric relied upon Heidi to keep his life in order, and Heidi depended upon Eric to provide a safe place for herself and Emily.

After an earnest attempt to prolong his adolescence by performing music, the Stendal family insisted that Eric assume his responsibilities. He was elected Sedro-Woolley Treasurer in 1982 and served in city government under Mayor Don "Spud" Walley until 1986. From 1986 to 1994, he was the Asst. Executive Director for the Port of Skagit County. He worked as a stock broker at A.G. Edwards in 1995-6 but returned to work for the City of Sedro-Woolley under Mayor Walley as Clerk/Treasurer and City Supervisor from 1996 to 2003. In 2004 he was hired by Mayor Bud Norris for the City of Mount Vernon as a city administrator. He served the City of Mount Vernon until his retirement in 2017 under Mayor Jill Boudreau.

Eric was a showman who used his wit and humor to raise funds for local causes. He was the MC for the Sedro-Woolley Loggerodeo Footrace and numerous charity auction events. He made people laugh while they wrote those checks. He was a member of the American Legion, Sedro-Woolley Rotary Club, Sedro-Woolley Eagles, and the Sedro-Woolley Alumni Association.

Eric loved playing music. He was a founding member of "The Sardines", a local band which often performed around Skagit County. He was an avid golfer, and achieved a hole-in-one, winning a new car which he gave to Heidi, who sent him back out to try again.

Eric is survived by Heidi, Emily, and his two sisters, Stacy Sullivan (Shaun) and Chris Stendal (Bob Knies), and their families, as well as by Heidi's brother and sisters, Wendy Fore (Ron), Gretchen Hood (Curtis), Steve Novotny (LeeAnne), and their families, and numerous aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews.

Eric was predeceased in death by his parents, his step-mother Bernice Stendal, by Heidi's parents Bud and Shirley Novotny, and an aunt and uncles. Eric is also survived by his close friend, Brian Stiles, his golf buddies, his band members, and a long line of friends. He will leave an empty space in Sedro-Woolley that will never be filled. We will miss his humor and smile.

A Celebration of Eric's Life will be held on Friday, May 18, 2018, from 2PM to 4 PM at the Sedro-Woolley Community Center.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to The Landing (@ 2136 SR 9, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284), or the Bethlehem Lutheran Church for the "Golden Escalator Fund" (@ 1006 Wicker Road, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284), or to your favorite charity in Eric's name. Eric would want you to smile in his memory when you write that check.

Please share your thoughts of Eric and sign the online guest register at www.hawthornefh.com.

Arrangements are under the care of Hawthorne Funeral Home, Mount Vernon.
Published in Skagit Valley Herald from Apr. 15 to Apr. 17, 2018
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