Robert H. Kohlwes: June 8, 1931 – November 15, 2022

Robert H. Kohlwes, age 91, died November 15, 2022. Born in Seattle Washington to Henry Kohlwes and Mabel Stone Kohlwes, Bob was the oldest of three children. Bob spent his early life in Ballard, a wonderful life in the 1930’s and 1940’s, riding bikes with his friends all over the neighborhoods, skating at the local ice arena, and having jobs as caddy at the local golf course and setting pins at Ballard’s bowling alley. After WWII Bob moved with his family to Sunlight Beach on Whidbey Island where his grandparents owned a large property and established a farm in 1904.

Bob graduated from Langley High School in 1949 and then spent 3 years in the U.S. Coast Guard, going for training at the coast guard school in Groton, Connecticut and serving on the icebreaker “Northwind.” When he was discharged from the coast guard Bob went to Bellingham to attend Western Washington College of Education (now WWU) where he met his wife, Karen. Bob taught school for 10 years, 7 of those in Oak Harbor, but his main love was commercial fishing. He started fishing as a crewman on a purse seiner in Mutiny Bay in 1950 and bought his first gillnetter, the Sabre, in 1955 when he was in college. He fished for salmon and later for Dungeness crab, geoducks, and even dogfish, in Puget Sound and spent 33 summers fishing sockeye salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska, retiring from commercial fishing in 1993 and subsequently enjoying many years of sport fishing and crabbing, he lived most of his life on Sunlight Beach and was known for relating his love of history in tales of South Whidbey Island.

Bob and Karen were married for 67 years and had two children, Linda and Greg. They loved traveling and visited all seven continents and 35 countries, some more than once, including twice visiting relatives in Sweden. Bob was preceded in death by his parents and by his daughter Linda. He is survived by his wife Karen and his son Greg and daughter-in-law Deby, his brother Gary Kohlwes and sister Janet Kohlwes Witsoe, five grandchildren, Jeremy, Kerrie, Erinn, Curt and Kelsey, and eight great-grandchildren. All are invited to a celebration of life at Useless Bay Golf & Country Club Jan 14th at 2:30pm.