Bob Lundeen (1921-2016)

The following was submitted by Bob’s son, Peter Lundeen.

A few years before retirement, my parents Bob and Betty Lundeen looked for places to retire in the Pacific Northwest. With our father having grown up sailing on the Columbia River near Astoria Oregon, one requirement was a place where they could easily access great sailing waters. Early in their marriage, the two of them would backpack in the high Sierra in California for summer vacations – the appeal being able to “get away from it all”. Though our parents did not specifically explain why they settled on the San Juan Islands, I am sure that these features of the San Juan Islands played an important part in them deciding to build their retirement home on Orcas Island. After our father’s retirement from Dow Chemical in 1986, they spent the remaining years of their life on Orcas Island. After Betty passed away, Bob spent his remaining years on Orcas Island until two years before his death in 2016.

Though Bob and Betty were not particularly religious, they did both have a deep and abiding belief in the importance of higher education and giving back to the communities they lived in. Consistent with these beliefs, Bob and Betty supported many institutions on Orcas Island that they believed would contribute to the long term wellbeing of the residents of Orcas Island. Some of the organizations they supported included the Orcas Island Community Foundation, the library, the Senior Center, the Medical Center and the San Juan Preservation Trust. During his life, our father had the tendency to be somewhat of a “workaholic.” I think he found great relaxation and the ability to put work concerns aside, when puttering around his sailboat or taking long walks on the rocky windy roads of Orcas Island, looking out through the fir trees to the San Juan Straits below.

By remembering the Preservation Trust in his estate, I am sure that was one way that he could feel good about giving back to his community and ensuring those coming after could continue to enjoy the great beauty of the land and water in the San Juan Islands.