Kenneth Urstad

Kenneth Walter Urstad

Thursday, November 19th, 1936 - Monday, December 9th, 2019
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Kenneth Walter Urstad was born in Seattle, WA., on November 19, 1936, to Walter & Borgny (Twito) Urstad. He was the older brother to Ray and Marilyn (Beers). He attended Roosevelt High School and the University of Washington. He was employed by Frederick & Nelson and married Peggy Knapp in 1964. Ken & Peg had two children, Scott & Heidi. Ken went back to Green River Community College to obtain his degree in Forestry. He joined the Department of Natural Resources in 1974. Ken and his family settled in Anacortes, WA, where he worked for the DNR until retirement in 2002.

Ken loved his career as a forester and doing marine land management. He was always the first to volunteer for every forest fire during his career. He was an avid outdoorsman, hunter, and fisherman. He coached his children in soccer and was a boy scout leader through his son’s scouting career.

Ken was an incredible servant leader his entire life, but in particular, after his retirement to Greenbank. He oversaw the Woodcutters Ministry, was named the Jan Holmes Coastal Volunteer of the Year in 2015, which included over 3,000 volunteer hours with Beach Watchers. He was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Freeland and was an incredible neighbor to everyone on North Bluff.

After suffering strokes four months ago and over Thanksgiving, Ken was surrounded by his wife, children, friends and family at home in Greenbank until he passed peacefully on December 9, 2019. Ken was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Borgny (Twito), and is survived by his brother Ray Urstad, sister Marilyn (Norm Beers), loving wife Peg (Knapp), son Scott (Becky Nagy), daughter Heidi (Jay Supple), grandchildren Eric (Anna), Kelcie, Sydney, Jay Jr. & Kari, and countless friends.

A memorial service and celebration of a life well-lived will be held on Saturday, January 25th, 2020. The service will be at 1 pm at Trinity Lutheran Church, 18341 WA-525, Freeland, WA 98249.

Arrangements have been made with the assistance of Whidbey Memorial Funeral and Cremation Service.

I've finished life's chores assigned to me,
So, put me on a boat headed out to sea.
Please send along my fishing pole
For I've been invited to the fishin' hole.

Where every day is a day to fish,
To fill your heart with every wish.
Don't worry, or feel sad for me,
I'm fishin' with the Master of the sea.

We will miss each other for a while,
But you will come and bring your smile.
That won't be long you will see,
Till we're together you and me.

To all of those that think of me,
Be happy as I go out to sea.
If others wonder, why I'm missin'
Just tell 'em I've gone fishin'

Delmar Pepper

In honor of Ken's volunteerism in lieu of flowers please consider donating to Sound Waters in Ken's name.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Saturday, January 25th, 2020 | 1:00pm
    Saturday, January 25th, 2020 1:00pm
    Trinity Lutheran Church
    18341 SR 525
    FREELAND, WA 98249
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    In honor of Ken's volunteerism in lieu of flowers please consider donating to Sound Waters in Ken's name.


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The Sheehan/Kent, Averkamp & Ceisel/Staerkel Famil sent flowers to the family of Kenneth Walter Urstad.
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Posted at 10:33pm
Just read of Ken's passing. Our condolences to Peggy, Scott and Heidi and their family. I had the privilege of working with Ken out on the San Juans. When we worked on Whidbey Ken drive in the morning I drove on the way home so he could take a nap. I have many memories which I have and will always enjoy. Ron Rhoades

Ron Campbell

Posted at 01:18pm
Peg, Heidi, and Scott I am sorry for your loss. I have fond memories of all of you. Please take care of yourselves.
-Ron Campbell

Jill Johnson

Posted at 03:18pm
I remember first meeting Ken at the training...this big tall guy with a loud voice who looked like he's walked right out of the woods! Very rapidly he was educating us so called environmental liberals into the REAL world of multi-layered problems and conflicts. Ken was such a stalwart supporter, staffer, and go to guy with Sound Waters (I still call it that). I send sincere condolences to Peggy and all the family. Jill Johnson

Gregg Ridder

Posted at 02:37pm
Among Ken’s many contributions to our community, he provided his boat and expertise to our Sound Water Steward’s Eelgrass Monitoring team (see photos). The eelgrass beds are critical for the survival of the fish for which Ken advocated as a member of Island County’s Marine Resource Committee. Every summer since 2008, Ken donated at least two weeks of his time to make possible the recording of underwater video and measurement of over 90 beds. His enthusiasm to do this work kept us all going in the early, cold mornings when tides were just right. He never failed to deliver us safely back to shore with smiles on our faces. Our team will never forget and always be filled with gratitude for his dedication and friendship.
Gregg Ridder, for the Eelgrass Team

The Sheehan/Kent, Averkamp & Ceisel/Staerkel Famil

Posted at 09:01am
Heidi, Jay, Syd & Family, We wish we could be there with you to celebrate the life and adventures of Big Red. Love & hugs ~ J,M,J,D,S,M,S,M,M,J,R
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