Stan Otness, 86, died on January 13, 2012.
Stan was born on June 30, 1925, in Petersburg, Alaska to John and Ragna Otness. He was the fourth of five adventurous boys growing up fishing commercially in Alaska. He was brought up in a musical family with his father playing violin, his mother the piano for the local silent movie theater and his oldest brother the accordion. While attending Ballard High School he traveled back and forth to Petersburg, fishing halibut on his father’s boat.
In 1944 he set out for Manila on a F52 ship. Defying all odds, he survived yellow fever, malaria and then later in New Guinea he narrowly escaped being dinner for native tribesmen. Later he and a friend were able to transfer ships and luckily escaped the sinking of that ship in the course of the invasion of Europe.
He and a friend modified a double ender sailboat for gillnetting and ran it up to Petersburg. Stan was drafted during the Korean conflict and served as an MP at Fort Belvoir, Va. and Washington, D.C. While stationed there he drove his Hudson several times across the States, sleeping in the wide back seat and seeing the country.
Stan married Laverne Skorstad in 1955, living for a short time in Coos Bay before moving to Everett Wash. He worked for Standard Oil at Point Wells for 30 years spending most of those years on barges traveling Puget Sound. He enjoyed hiking, swimming, gardening and raising chickens and ducks in his backyard. He built a kayak and later a gillnetting boat on his patio. After retiring he and Laverne traveled across the country by motorhome. Harrison Hot Springs was a favorite destination and they returned there for their 50th wedding anniversary.
In later years he continued to hunt and fish when he could and remained active mowing his grass with his push mower and growing grapes. He was devoted and committed to his wife for 55 years.
He is survived by his brother Norm, wife LaVerne, two daughters, two grandchildren and many grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, a donation to the charity of your choice in Stan’s name would be appreciated. A donation to the Petersburg Fisherman’s Memorial or the Seattle Fisherman’s Memorial would be very thoughtful.
A celebration of Stan’s life will be held at Legions Hall in Everett, Wash. April 29. For details: Jimwandlisac@gmail.com.