Profile: Al Sundstrom, grand marshal of the 2010 Friday Harbor Fourth of July Parade
July 1, 2010 · 4:50 PM
The theme of the 2010 Friday Harbor Fourth of July Parade is "San Juan Farmers," a tribute to the island's farming community. The grand marshal is longtime farmer and former Grange leader Al Sundstrom. He will ride in a 1928 Model A Ford driven by his cousin, former Friday Harbor mayor Jim Cahail.
— Name: Albin “Al” Sundstrom.
— Age: 91. Born on a farm on Douglas Road.
— Family: Married to Deanna since 1994. Three children: Jon, Nicki, Paula. Three grandchildren.
— Education: Friday Harbor High School Class of 1936. Completed farm engineering and management program sponsored by Ford Motor Co.
— Community service: 68-year member of the Grange; past master of the San Juan Island Grange; past county committeeman, USDA Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service; active at St. Francis Church.
— Career: Hay grower, cattle and sheep rancher. Owned and operated combines and a hay bailer beginning in mid-1950s. Cordwood cutter, carpenter for Roche Harbor, 1946-66.
— His philosophy: We have to take care of our agricultural land “because there isn’t any more. What we have, that’s it. So much is being developed for roads and homes. It’s getting less every year.”
— What others say about him: “Your record is one of true public service in the highest tradition ...” — 1982 letter from the chairman of the USDA Agricultural Stabilization and Conser-vation Service.