A Tribute to Ed Okonek: 1915-2007

Well, after 92 years, 85 of which were spent in Grapeview, WA, my grandfather has passed away. We were fortunate to have the whole family gathered to spread his ashes in the water in front of his home he loved so much, and to share in celebration of his life at the Grapeview Fire Hall. We vascillated between typical Okonek sarcasm/laughter and tears as we came together to share in the memory of this great man.

The obituary text:
Ed Okonek, one of the last Grapeview pioneers, died on Thursday November 8. He was 92. He was born on July 6, 1915 in Chisago City, Minnesota to Joe and Mary Okonek. He moved with his family to Grapeview at age 7 in the spring of 1922.

The family started a logging company shortly after arriving in Mason County. It was owned by his father and worked by Mr. Okonek and his older brothers, Francis and Al. He also worked for the Stretch Island Winery before working for Simpson Timber Company in Shelton, which employed him at the Olympic Plywood Plant. He retired in 1977 after 30 years.

He married Louise Burger on July 16, 1949. They celebrated 58 years of marriage this year.

He spent his early retirement years doing home remodels, playing golf, fishing, and hunting. He will be remembered for contributing to Grapeview as a member of the school board, being a volunteer fire fighter, and assistant fire chief. He was also known for his fresh-smoked salmon and potent home brew.

He was preceded in death by brothers Al and Francis and sisters Millie, Annie and Mary.

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