Richard M. Lundberg
1920 — 2017
Richard Martin Lundberg was born September 14, 1920, to Martin and Anna (Ahlholm) Lundberg of Selah, Washington. The son of immigrants from Sweden and Finland, Dick’s first language was Swedish, and he grew up in the Mission Covenant Church of Selah, along with his younger sister, Ruth (Martinez). He graduated from Selah High School in 1938 and attended the pre-engineering program of Yakima Junior College. He joined the United States Navy in September of 1942 and after boot camp, attended Texas A&M, enrolling in the Special Electronics School. During WWII he primarily served in the Atlantic, equipping U.S. vessels with radio technology for detection of German U-boats.
On July 8, 1944, Dick married Elaine Pearson, whom he had met in high school when they were assigned to “count pennies,” the Sunday school offering, at the Covenant church in Selah. Their early married life was spent in Boston, until Dick was transferred to Pearl Harbor and Elaine returned to Selah. After the war, the Lundbergs relocated to Seattle so that Dick could attend the University of Washington, where he graduated with a P.E. degree in Electrical Engineering. Dick spent his career as a Data Communications Processing Engineer, working for Pacific Northwest Bell for 35 years.
In Seattle, the Lundbergs were members at the Interbay Covenant Church in Ballard. In the 1950s, they moved to Bellevue and joined the Highland Covenant Church, where Elaine served as organist, and Dick was active in church maintenance and building projects. Pastor James Amadon, in his sermon at Dick’s funeral, noted that Dick’s fingerprints were literally “on every inch” of the building, also referencing the infamous Manual for Highland that Dick had created—a thick binder with complete instructions for how EVERYTHING in the building worked. Dick was the consummate “churchman,” serving for many decades on various boards for the North Pacific Conference and lending his engineering and carpentry skills for countless building projects. He was ever proud of the work of the North Pacific Conference Covenant Men, and was a fixture at their men’s retreats and the annual salmon barbecue. He loved to tell the story of how the Covenant Men had saved their “lunch money” in order to help raise funds to buy the property for Circle C, a horse camp in the mountains outside of Leavenworth. He regularly volunteered at Circle C, as well as at Covenant Beach Bible Camp and later Cascades Camp. For 25 years in a row, Dick traveled with work groups to Alaska to volunteer at Radio Station KICY and other remote camps and facilities for the denomination.
Highlights of Dick and Elaine’s retirement included crisscrossing North America in their motorhome and making the trip of a lifetime to Sweden, reconnecting with their heritage and relatives. Central in the Lundberg family calendar was time at the “summer place,” first a little cabin at Covenant Beach, and then later at Vaughn Bay. Growing up in the Cascades, Dick loved the outdoors, hiking, backpacking, and boating with his family. The Mt. Rainier area was a favorite destination for a family picnic or birthday party.
Dick passed away on February 20, 2017, at Covenant Shores in Mercer Island, Washington. He is survived by son Dave (Carolyn), daughters Julie Day (Dick) and Jan Safstrom (Don), and daughter-in-law Sally Lundberg, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by Elaine (2013) and son Keith (2002). Dick lived a rich life full of blessings, surrounded by a family that adored him. In reflecting on his life, he recently said that he “loved everything that he ever got to do.” Peace to his memory.
Memorial may be directed to KICY Alaska and the Highland Covenant Church.
– The Lundberg family