I would like to say a few words about this man…a son, a brother, a husband, father, grandfather. He filled many roles, and I truly mean it when I say…he FILLED every role, as full as he was capable. He loved those “labels” and never minded for a moment, the work, physically and emotionally, it took to do so. He did all of the usual things, being there for special times, always guiding in the right direction, sharing the load so it wasn’t so heavy… but you know what he did the very best? He loved… with everything in him.
Let me tell you about this man. Born and raised on Maple hill, in Minnesota, he grew up freely, loving and sharing the outdoors every day of his younger years, fishing and hunting, learning and caring for nature and all that it offered. This love was bred into his heart and soul, it never left over his many years.
He married young, and created a family, a daughter first, and then a son. He worked hard, providing and caring deeply. He built this family a home when he was just 18 years old working alone, through most of the build, his dad now and then showing him the way when he was stumped by a particular project.
Times changed as he added a few years to his young life and his adventurous spirit moved him to the west coast. He was truly taken, with the opportunities this new place offered, and he decided to make it his home.
Once again, his quick mind, work ethic, and his attitude about life, helped him to succeed. It is hard to tell just how far that success would take him, even though he remained humble and truly likable. His many friends would testify to that.
He faced many trials after an accident, when he was just 26, left him coping in a wheelchair for the rest of his life, but it didn’t stop him. One of his loves, the Columbia River always left him curious and anxious to know her better. After being hurt and confined, he took on commercial gillnet fishing, to the surprise and doubts of any success, from other fisherman. Not only did he succeed once again, but he conquered and won their respect for his tenacity and knowledge of the river and fishing.
Once again, he decided to build another home, when he discovered Altoona Washington. He designed and built a lovely home from the trees growing on the land, and lived there, for the rest of his life. He was able to enjoy the ever-changing Columbia, making many new friends and never for a moment giving up, forcing himself always in a new direction.
Simply said, in just a few words, this man conquered his world of difficulty without a whimper. He was cherished by his family and loved them back with everything in him. I could write a book about his accomplishments, his incredible gift to life, and all that he stood for; his quiet, simple life that he offered to others, and they were the better for it.
David Peter Wahlstrom…such a man.
David is survived by his wife, Gail, of 60 years, daughter Paige Hickey (Carlos Hickey), and son Galen Wahlstrom, both of Portland Oregon. Granddaughter Tara Briggs (Travis Briggs), grandsons Justin L’Amie and Alex Hickey, (Alyssa Bozikovich), Granddaughters, Amber Wahlstrom and Jocelyn Wahlstrom, Great grandson, J.C. Briggs and sister Barbara Erickson (Gene Erickson) of Grand Marais, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Proceeding David in death were parents Raymond Wahlstrom and Evelyn and Carl Hedstrom and sister Karen Seim.