Walter H. Hanstad

My Dad was born on Fir Island, Washington on April 7, 1911.

Time hasn't dimmed my memories of my Dad, who was the greatest inspiration of my life. He was a shy, quiet, hard-working, generous man with wit and depth that I've never seen in another.

When I was growing up, in the 50's, things were becoming a bit lax and his advise to me, re: sex: "If you don't want chips, don't cut wood." He never wasted words.

I used to have to drive to wherever he ran out of gas and bring him more, because he had usually given his last $5.00 to someone he gave a ride to and who needed the money more than him. I carried on his tradition of giving on the Christmas following his death: I worked as a dispatcher with a sheriff's office and usually everyone wanted the holidays off, so that Christmas, it was my luck to have both Christmas and New Year's off, so I tried, in vain, to work someone else's shift. I've always found that keeping busy will get me through the worst of times. Well, no one wanted to be off, so I went ahead, loaded up my car with gifts for people anywhere I could find them; I went to the jail and brought boxes (cheap) of candy to inmates who had no one to visit them, deputies who had to work and people I just found on the street. I was sure my Dad would approve.

Whatever I do, to this day, I do because of the way my Dad taught me. His name is/was Walter H. Hanstad, thus my e-mail address: Waltskid. Growing up, I was always referred to as Walt Hanstad's kid, but I never felt a loss of identity, just a great sense of pride and honor that I was Walt's kid.

My Dad's cancer was caused by his working with asbestos, not smoking; he never smoked cigarettes, but chewed an occasional cigar -- not smoked, but chewed -- until the end was soggy and ugly. He did smoke some, too, but usually they went out before he could finish them.

Thanks for letting me talk about my Dad; I miss him and it helps to talk about him.

If I can, I would like to come back and share a poem that my niece wrote about him for his memorial service. Susie, my niece, was killed by a wreckless driver last January at the age of 32, so it would be a sort of tribute to her too.

Walt's kid

Carol Hanstad, Daughter.

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