Captain Robert Maurits Engstrom

July 10, 1925 - June 29, 2022

Robert Engstrom, age 96, passed away on June 29, 2022 in Poulsbo. He was born July 10, 1925, in Port Angeles, Washington, to Jonas and Alyce Engstrom. The family moved from the logging camps of Port Angeles to a farm on Lovgreen Road on Bainbridge Island in his early childhood, and Bob resided on the island the remainder of his life. He served in the US Army during WWII. Following discharge, he returned to Bainbridge and began his career with the ferry system, first with the Black Ball Lines and then with Washington State Ferries as a deckhand, later as First Mate and then Captain. He retired in 1983. During his time as a deckhand, one day a young woman passenger caught his eye and he made her acquaintance. Patricia Lewis of Olympia was staying with family friends on Bainbridge and working in Seattle. They were married in 1948 in Olympia.

During his time as captain, Bob was visited in the wheelhouse by some notable public figures, including King Olav of Norway, Senator Henry Jackson, Governor Dan Evans, and Admiral Hyman Rickover. He took his duties seriously, most especially passenger safety, and in recent years while his memory faded, he still fondly recalled those years at the helm with great detail.

Bob was an outdoor enthusiast and enjoyed hiking, hunting, and fishing. He had a very kind and easygoing nature and was loved and respected by all who knew him.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and his daughter, Linda Engstrom. He is survived and will be greatly missed by cousin Rod Engstrom; nephew Randall Storey; nieces Leslie Struble, Janice Schmidt, and Allyson Mixer and longtime family friend Kevin Block.

An internment and memorial will be held at a later date at Kane Cemetery on Bainbridge Island.

Fair winds and gentle seas, Captain Engstrom.