Gordon Esterberg 1922 – 2012
Gordon Esterberg, our dad, who lived for many years on Andover Road in Edmonds, died on November 12, 2012, at age 90.
Dad and Mom (Le Rae Esterberg) married in 1944. This was a typical Pacific Northwest love story: they met while working at Boeing.
They had three children: Kim, Kari, and Gail (Wyn).
Dad loved “The Great Pacific Northwest” and loved his life here. With the help of neighbors on Andover Road, Dad chopped down trees and built a comfortable log home for his family.
With neighbor Jim Merklinghaus, he also installed a rudimentary telephone system before Andover Road had regular phone service.
He went on to build a 26-foot Thunderbird sailboat, the Whither Bound, which, when he wasn’t out sailing (which wasn’t often), was moored at the Edmonds Marina from the day it opened until after he and Mom moved to Kingston in the ‘70’s.
Later, he moored the boat at Port Madison, and he had many happy sailing days with Kim.
He flew light planes and gliders, and seemed to understand all things practical and scientific; he loved a nice cold beer with good friends, of whom he had many.
Always a gentleman and a gracious host, he was a charmer, with good looks and a sweet humor.
He worked for National Marine Fisheries, where he developed a radio tag that could be placed in a salmon’s stomach, and, long before GPS, could be used to follow the underwater migration of fish up the Columbia River.
Word spread within the scientific community about Dad’s tag, and soon they were being used to track freshwater sharks in Lake Nicaragua, and, if you stay up late enough, you can still sometimes see a documentary about the shark-tagging on PBS, complete with action shots of our handsome dad.
Dad had a long and happy retirement, traveling with Mom, sailing, designing and building whatever he or we needed, and enjoying his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, who all adored their patriarch.
We will all miss him so much!
In addition to his children Kim Esterberg (Bainbridge Island), Kari Thompson (Edmonds), and Wyn Abbott (Port Orchard) and their spouses, Dad is survived by our mom, Le Rae Esterberg; grandchildren Asha Tran, Aanand Esterberg, Yuri Ruley and their spouses, and Caitlin Ruley; and great-grandchildren, Andrew and Colby Gordon Tran, Sydney and Peter Esterberg, and Aislinn, Kai, and Elodie Ruley.