Next Sunday (March 18th) at Alki UCC, family and friends will gather to celebrate the life of Robert (Bob) Hallberg Sr., a longtime West Seattleite gone the day before what would have been his 89th birthday. Mr. Hallberg’s family shares this remembrance:
On February 29, 2012, we said goodbye to Bob Hallberg, our beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend. Born in Tacoma on March 1, 1923 to Lucyle Nick and Robert Hallberg, Bob spent his childhood near Puget Sound. His deep love for the natural world stemmed from his early years with his Boy Scout family, especially at Camp Parsons on Hood Canal.
Eventually his family settled in West Seattle, where he met Ada Woodhouse, his Alki girl and future wife. Bob graduated from West Seattle High School, University of Washington and then Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy. He served in WWII.
Bob and Ada were married in 1948 and spent a short time away in Iowa and California with National Civil Defense. He was present for the atomic bomb test in the Nevada desert. Within a few years they returned to “God’s country”: Alki and Puget Sound.
They filled the Angeline Street house with the laughter of five children: Robert III, Nancy, Tia, Per, and Alyson. In the summer, the family spent lazy days at the Woodhouse family cabin on Case Inlet. Bob was well known by the dozens of cousins for his terrifying telling of the local ghost story about the ill-fated Pearl.
Most of his career was spent with the Washington State Dairy Products Commission in advertising. In 1986 Bob retired, but his love of milk, butter, ice cream, cows, and dairy farmers never waned. After retiring, he had more time to visit the SAM and the Frye, interested in every detail of the paintings and the artists. He and his dear friend Ed manicured his garden daily, and in the evenings he traveled the world with Rick Steves while awaiting a family visitor for a game of Chinese checkers and a shared vintage scotch.
We enjoyed our father and marveled at his capacity to remember the peaks of the Olympics and the museums of the world. His keen memory supported many contributions to local historical archives. He was an irreverent prankster, a teller of tales, and no matter how long he lived, it would not have been long enough for his family and friends.
Bob is survived by brother Richard (Mary Ruth), Ada, his wife of 63 years, their children Robert, Nancy (Peter Junkerman), Tia (Bob Gagner), Alyson (Mike Langen), and seven grandchildren: Sayre, Nerissa, Eliza (Blake Webb), Eric, Per, Keitaro, and John. His sister Jan Harrison and son Per William preceded him in death.
A memorial service will be held at Alki UCC at 6115 SW Hinds on Sunday, March 18th at 2 pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Alki UCC, The Southwest Seattle Historical Society, or Habitat for Humanity.
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