Ragnar ‘Ray’ Dahl
August 21, 1920 — April 26, 2015
Ragnar “Ray” J. Dahl passed away April 26, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.
He was born Aug. 21, 1920 in Starheim, Norway and a few years later immigrated to the United States with his parents Sam and Martha Dahl. They settled in the Greenwood-Ballard area of Seattle. When his new friends could not manage the Norwegian pronunciation of Ragnar, they called him Ray.
He was interested in forestry, fishing, hiking, and anything to do with the outdoors. In 1937, he graduated from Ballard High School and briefly attended the University of Washington. In 1940, he began working for the Boeing Company, and continued to do so for the next 45 years.
He married Bernice O’Brian in January 1944 and then served in the Army during World War II. He was stationed in Japan during the occupation. Ray and Bernice moved to the Shoreline area and raised four daughters: Kay, Andrea, Kristina, and Patricia.
In 1964, Ray and Bernice purchased San Juan Island property on Davison Head and built a cabin there. Ray spent much of his time fishing for salmon and in his later years celebrated his birthday there in August. It was a special place in his heart and became a treasured rest break during his working years.
Ray was an avid golfer from a very young age and worked as a caddy when he was a teenager. He golfed in the Boeing league for years and was especially proud of getting a hole in one in front of many witnesses in a 1974 competition.
He and his wife spent several weeks a year with his daughter Patricia in Hawaii. Bernice and Ray loved to travel to visit her relatives in France and his in Norway. They were always trying something new, whether it was learning to square dance or traveling to Hemet in a fifth-wheel.
Ray was a man of integrity. He believed in hard work and education. He was also lucky. Not only did he live to be 94, he won the Washington state Lottery in 1993. This allowed him to generously fund many of his interests: giving to Ballard High School scholarship fund, supporting both the Nordic Heritage Museum and The Museum of Flight.
Ray was extremely proud of all his daughters for all their varied accomplishments and supported all of their endeavors. He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Bernice, and his older sister Agnes Hart. He is survived by his sister Myrtle Strom of Eugene, Ore. His four daughters: Kay Broten and Andrea Dahl of Seattle, Kristina Frances of Lake Tahoe, and Patricia Kesling-Wood of Honolulu, Hawaii.
Ray had seven grandchildren: Sean and Patrick Sullivan, Maureen Karl, Christopher Nappen, Beth LaFontaine, Andrew Kesling and Elizabeth Francis. He also had eight great-grandchildren.
Ray requested that there be no funeral or graveside service. A private family gathering will be held on San Juan Island in August, on what would have been his 95th birthday. At Ray’s request, portions of his ashes will be scattered off his dock in Neil Bay, in the waters off Waikiki, and interred next to Bernice’s grave at Evergreen Washelli.
Remembrances in his name may be made to The Museum of Flight, Ballard High School Scholarship fund or The Nordic Museum.
— Family of Ray Dahl