Susan Estvold Sehlin

Our community lost a most special neighbor when on February 29, 2024, Susan Sehlin passed away in her bed at home while holding the hand of her husband, Barry Sehlin. Susan was born to Mil and Dode Estvold on March 8, 1945, in Tampa, Florida, where her father was stationed. They moved to Anacortes, Washington when Susan’s father left the Army following WWII.

Susan graduated from Anacortes High School, class of 1963, where she and Barry dated all through high school. She then attended Washington State University until she left in 1965 to marry Barry in Corpus Christi, Texas, where he was stationed. Susan had the wedding planned, invitations sent, etc., for the event in Anacortes in June 1965. Then Barry called with news that his orders were changed and he could not come, Susan simply replied: “I’m coming there” and she did.

25 years as Navy wife she never complained, never whined, always smiled while raising their two children and maintaining their various homes through moves following Barry’s changes of station, and 9 major deployments.

During one deployment Susan decided the house needed painting, so she set to work and painted the entire outside of the house.

Susan’s priority and her great pride were always her children. Whether at home or in school Susan was there. Whatever the challenges Susan always put raising healthy and happy children first.

In addition to participating in Navy spouse organizations Susan was an active supporter of each community, including over 20 years volunteer Navy Marine Corps Society, many years’ service on boards of and volunteering forIslandThrift and Whidbey Help House.

As a long time member of Soroptimist of Oak Harbor, Susan made many good friends and served on a number of working committees as well as volunteering at the gift shop. She was always generous is supporting the many Soroptimist programs assisting women and girls.

Susan was an avid quilter. Her beautiful quilts grace the homes of many friends and family members. In addition, she made and donated quilts to her brother for the child patients of the medical mission in which he participated. Many newborn babies also received a quilt donated by Susan to the hospital. She was a member of local quilting groups Quilters on The Rock and Tangled Threads.

In 1995 Susan was diagnosed with extremely aggressive breast cancer. Through several months of very high dose treatments, she maintained her always positive personality even through the series of brutally painful high dose chemo treatment. The treatment saved Susan’s life, but also permanently damaged her lungs. As a result of that damage her lungs continued to deteriorate over the years and ultimately led to her death.

Hours before her death even as her breathing became more and more difficult Susan was still joking with her nurse and Barry. When Barry asked for a kiss, she simply grinned and stuck out her tongue.

Susan’s last days were in the care of the nurses of Whidbey Health Hospice. Barry says: “Those hospice nurses do not deserve a special place in heaven. They deserve their own entire special heaven.”

Susan is survived by husband Barry Sehlin, daughter Jennifer Sehlin, her partner Jaime Olander, son Martin Sehlin, his wife Sara, and treasured grandchildren Magnus and Sevi Sehlin, sister Carol Baker, brother Marc Estvold, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

A remembrance will be held later. Susan’s generosity may be remembered by a donation to North Whidbey Help House, 1091 SE Hathawy St, Oak Harbor, WA 98277,