March 12, 1927 – December 17, 2021
Lawrence Howard, known to his friends and everyone else as Larry, passed on and was gathered to his ancestors Friday, December 17, 2021. He was 94. Larry was preceded in death by the love of his life, Sandra in 2017. Larry and Sandra built a home in Port Angeles and lived there between 2000 and 2014 when they relocated to Sequim for a short time. Larry loved the peninsula and had many friends and compatriots who shared his love of art, photography, music, fine food, humor and conversation.
Larry Howard was born March 12, 1927 in Brooklyn, New York. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Brooklyn Polytechnical Institute. Larry spent a brief stint in the U.S. Air Force as a field and reconnaissance photographer. His engineering career allowed him to work for companies that pioneered new manufacturing and assembly techniques in plastics, material handling and medical devices over a span of 50 years. He has one patent registered with the U.S. Patent Office. In his later years, Larry devoted some of his time to local causes in the peninsula and served as a clown, along with Sandra, performing for children at local events.
Larry is survived by his son David and wife Terri Howard; Sandra’s daughter Renee and her husband Jon Woodruff; grandsons Aaron Boyer and Justus Winn-Howard; granddaughter Rachel Howard. He also leaves other grandchildren and great-grandchildren by marriage on both sides of the family.
Friends should know he went to his rest peacefully of natural causes. He will be remembered as a brilliant, funny bon vivant. His epitaph was decided many years ago. “He was rarely wrong.”
February 12, 1934 – December 31, 2021
Gilbert “Gil” Oldenkamp was born to John and Fannie (Verdoorn) Oldenkamp on February 12, 1934, in Hospers, Iowa, where he was raised. He died on December 31, 2021, at Sherwood Assisted Living in Sequim, WA where he received loving care during the last two years of his life. After graduating in 1952 from Hospers Public High School in a class of 12 people, he was soon on his way to Oregon, following the path of his older brother as he was tired of seeking shelter from tornadoes.
He married Rita Gamble in 1955 and they had five sons together. Gil was later married to Vivian Hoiland McKiernan from 1976 to 2001. In 2004, he married his long-time friend and love of his life Bobbie Joaquin, and they enjoyed many fun times together until her death in 2019. He is survived by his sons Mark (Laura) of Canby OR, Matt (Rose) of Asotin, WA, Tim (Cheryl) of Bremerton, WA, David (Jeanne) of Port Angeles, WA, and Daniel of McMinnville, OR; sister Janice Kyhl (Alvin); ex-daughter-in-law Shelly Winsby; stepchildren Elaine Saunders (John), Jeff Joaquin, Kelly Joaquin and Robyn Joaquin Patton (Jay); and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Brothers Willis “Luke”, Jim, Harry, and John Jr., grandson Jeff and stepson Aaron preceded him in death.
Gil served as a clerk in the Army from 1955-1957 where he was stationed in Anchorage, Alaska. He had a long career in the timber industry, progressing to management roles in Oregon and Washington. In 1981, he purchased a second-hand store in Sequim, WA which he named ‘Gil’s New and Used Stuf’. The business thrived and became a daily gathering place for locals. He added moving services and honed his skills as an auctioneer. Upon retirement he and Bobbie spent winters in Arizona where they enjoyed rousing card games with Gil’s siblings.
Summers drew him back to the Olympic Peninsula as his greatest passion was fishing in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and at local lakes. He liked to catch them, but eating fish was not for him. His older sons recall many fishing trips during their younger years including excursions to Diamond Lake and Detroit Lake Reservoir. He, his sons, and friends enjoyed many charter fishing trips. In later years, he readily agreed to outings on David’s boat. David even got him in a kayak once, but only once. Family conversations included fond memories of fishing wagers won and lost. Gil was a member of Puget Sound Anglers and enjoyed helping youngsters catch trout during their annual Kids’ Fishing Day at Carrie Blake Park.
Community service was important to Gil as he felt the more he gave the more he received in return. He supported his older sons in Boy Scouts, particularly, Christmas tree sales and a huge trip to Puntzi Lake in British Columbia. Many charitable fundraisers in the Sequim area were auctioneered by Gil, mostly supporting Chamber of Commerce interests. He was a 50-year member of Kiwanis in several different communities, volunteered on the fire department and as an ambulance responder in Sandy, OR, was awarded 1975 Father of the Year in Tillamook, OR, served on the Port Angeles Symphony Board, and was an active member of the Trinity United Methodist Church in Sequim. He was a founding member of Kiwanis’ Camp Beausite Northwest which provides opportunities for people with disabilities. Gil was recognized as Sequim Citizen of the Year in 2003.
Gil was known to be a picky eater. Staff at Traylor’s knew to substitute popcorn for side salad because “lettuce was made for rabbits”. The Sunshine Café prepared his daily standard order when they saw him walk through the door. He had a knack for numbers and would often calculate tax and tip in his head before the bill had arrived. He was so good with numbers he said he would never have a computer, or a cell phone and he never did. Gil enjoyed watching sports on TV and was an avid Mariners fan. In retirement, he enjoyed organizing day trip outings to the Olympic Peninsula casinos for card games or slots. He was a dealer at the 7 Cedars Casino during its early years. “Pops” as some of us called him is now at peace with a fishing pole in his hands and his sense of humor intact.
A private celebration of life is planned for family later this year. Charitable contributions can be made in his name to one of the following organizations. Puget Sound Anglers, PO Box 2726, Sequim, WA 98382 and include “Kids’ Fishing Day” in the memo, or Camp Beausite Northwest (www.campbeausitenw.org), PO Box 1227, Port Hadlock, WA 98339.