Sept. 27, 1915-Feb. 15, 2016
After 100 well lived years, Wendell Stout died Feb. 15, 2016, at Friendship Terrace Assisted Living in Homer. He died peacefully and remained vibrant and active to the end.
Wendell was born in Portland, Ore., Sept. 27, 1915, to Ray and Mable Stout. He was raised to respect and embrace the natural world. He lived that life to the fullest, from climbing the high Cascade peaks to scuba diving lakes, rivers and oceans.
His great-grandfather and family migrated the Oregon Trail in 1843 and settled in Mehama, Ore. That pioneering spirit guided his own journey in life, living in Oregon, Washington and Alaska. His father Ray taught him to explore and climb, leading Wendell and his sister Kathern up Mount Hood at an early age. He also ascended many of the Cascades, climbing Mount Rainer with Ome Diabler and establishing a new route of Mount Adams in 1938.
Wendell attended Oregon State University and graduated in 1940 with a degree in marine biology. During this period he met Margaret (Mickey) Douhan, also pursuing the same degree, and they married in 1941. They moved to Cordova, Alaska, the same year. He worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on fisheries management, sailing between Seattle, Wash., and Bristol Bay, Alaska. He then joined the U.S. Navy during World War II and worked in the Sea-Bees, building bases and landing strips in Midway and Philippines.
After the war, Wendell spotted an ad in The Oregonian for a small mining town in central Idaho named Dixie. They went in partnership with another couple and bought Dixie, which consisted of a store and post office, moving their families and settled. In 1954 they decided to move back to civilization. Wendell was hired by the Oregon State Game Commision and they moved to Bandon, Ore. For the next 23 years they lived in Bend, Portland and Klamath Falls. He retired in 1977 and moved to Marrowstone Island, Wash.
Wendell and Mickey really made the most of retirement, working on the Marrowstone home and traveling frequently. They visited Europe, Africa, Mexico and their beloved Pacific Northwest. They joined the Quimper Unitarians Fellowship and were instrumental in building the new church in Port Townsend. Wendell and Mickey separated oddly enough on their 50th wedding anniversary year. Wendel remarried to Clara Klug of Port Townsend in 1993. Stout loved to travel, and with Clara visited Europe, Greece, Mexico, Belize and Africa. One time by chance he ran into Mark while trekking in Nepal. Father and son knew they would both be in the country, but didn’t know exactly where. Wendell and Clara also drove up to Alaska all the way to Coldfoot.
When Clara died in 2010, Wendell moved to Homer to live with Mark. After he had a stroke, he moved into Friendship Terrace, Homer Senior Center’s assisted living home, where he lived until he died.
“I believe that the Earth is a physical, dynamic living entity. I am a creature existing with many others on and of the Earth. My greatest treasures are friendships that I have gathered along the way. My life has followed patterns of serendipity rather than planning,” Wendell wrote in his philosophy of life.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Margaret Stout, and his second wife, Clara Klug,, and his sons, Eric and Craig Stout.
He is survived by his son, Mark Stout, of Port Townsend, Wash., and his nephew, Dave Parson, of Portland, Ore.
“I would like to thank the staff at Friendship Terrace for the care they gave my father in his last years,” said his son, Mark Stout.