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Gilbert Dammann, 95, Everett, Wash.

Gilbert Dammann

Gilbert Dammann, 95, died peacefully Feb. 3, 2018, in Everett, Washington, just eight weeks after Madge, the only love of his life and his wife of 54 years.
A celebration of his life will be held March 3 at 10:30 a.m. at Light of the Cross Lutheran Church in Bothell, Washington. He will be interred at Floral Hills Cemetery in Lynnwood, Washington. Online condolences may be offered at www.floralhill
Mr. Dammann was born March 19, 1922, to Heinrich Herman and Bertha Marie Dammann at the family farmhouse in Plato on land settled in 1886. He grew up learning farming, hunting, was fluent in both English and German, and was a devout Lutheran. He worked farm chores from an early age and learned a sense of discipline that guided him throughout his life. His mother died in 1942, and his father later married Luverne Friedel, with whom he became very close. His family still owns and operates a Century Farm in Plato.
Mr. Dammann enrolled at the University of Minnesota, but his studies were interrupted when he entered the Navy electronics school and subsequently the U.S. Navy Submarine Corps in 1944. It was here that he learned the electronics skills he utilized throughout his career. After being discharged from World War II, he completed his aeronautical engineering degree and earned a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Minnesota.
After graduating in 1948, he worked for two years for EBASCO Power Company in Brazil, where he learned Portuguese, improved his Spanish and made many lifelong friends. He traveled throughout South America on his trip home in 1950. He loved snow skiing and skied all over the world. He traveled to the 1952 Oslo Winter Olympics, then skied his way through Europe with friends. He also enjoyed Harley Davidson motorcycles. His cousin Bob Hofmeister sold him his first in the early 1940s. He went on to own seven different models.
In June 1954, Mr. Dammann accepted an engineering job with Boeing in Seattle. He loved to meet new people, see new sights and experience new cultures, so he took a leave of absence from Boeing in 1959 to visit friends and family during a trip around the globe. Among the many stops were Angkor Wat, Cambodia; Saigon to visit his cousin Ruth; Tehran, Iran; Germany to pick up a new Mercedes 220; and a week in the CCCP with a rather intense train ride out of the country.
It was at Boeing that he met a secretary, Madge Anderson, and later her four children, Leslie, Dennis, Peggy and Betty. Mr. Dammann would bring all the kids along on skiing and boating “family outings” with Madge. He liked the instant family. They were married among many family and friends in Madge’s Lutheran church in September 1963. In February 1964, the family moved to Huntsville, Alabama, where Mr. Dammann worked on the Saturn V booster and Lunar Rover programs. Daughter Shirlee Marie was born in March 1965. The family returned to Seattle in 1967, where Mr. Dammann worked in a variety of defense programs as an engineer and as a manager until retiring from Boeing in 1986 after 31 years.
The Dammanns bought property on Puget Sound and enjoyed taking family and friends to the “cabin” for the weekend. They also traveled over the years to Alaska, Europe, Asia and throughout the U.S. They often traveled light, with just a backpack. They enjoyed hiking in the Cascades, boating on Puget Sound and taking their motor home to fish across Washington with friends. They participated in a bridge club that lasted over 40 years. He also enjoyed carpentry in his woodshop, working outside in the yard with his fruit trees, gardening and especially using his homemade flame-throwing, weed-killing device.
Throughout his life, Mr. Dammann enjoyed listening to classical music and reading the paper. He was very active in the Lutheran church and was generous in donating time and money to meet many different needs right up to his death.
He is survived by his children, Shirlee (Winston) Lessley of Lynnwood, Washington, Betty Meilander of Ellensburg, Washington, Peggy Miller of Hailey, Idaho, Dennis (Judy) Anderson of Puyallup, Washington; and Leslie (Sherri) Anderson of Kenmore, Washington; grandchildren, Winston Lessley IV, Marie Lessley, Mandy (Mike) Anderson, Chris (Dale) Anderson, Jason Anderson, Justin Anderson, Jessica (Wade) Bradley, Jennifer (Dave) Tozer, Nicholas Meilander, Robert Johnson and Chris Johnson; and four great-grandchildren, Ashtin Anderson, Marlowe Bradley, Rayna Johnson and Lukas Johnson.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Lester Dammann; sister, Marie Dammann; and grandson, James Anderson.
Donations in Mr. Dammann’s memory may be made to Lutheran World Relief at lwr.org.