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Obituary - Elvin J. 'El' Vandeberg


January 3, 2020

Elvin Vandeberg

Elvin J. "El" Vandeberg was born December 12, 1927, in Havre, Montana, and died in Tacoma, Washington December 26, 2019. 

He was the seventh of 12 children born to Leonard Vandeberg and Christina (Lena) Vandeberg.

El attended St. Jude's grade school, Havre High School and received his law degree with honors from Gonzaga University in 1954. He served as a law clerk for Justice Frank Weaver of the Washington State Supreme Court, as deputy prosecuting attorney for Pierce County and chief assistant attorney general of the State of Washington. In 1959, he entered private practice in Tacoma and retired from the firm of Vandeberg Johnson and Gandara in 1995.

In 1960, El married Doris Balcunas of Olympia, Washington.  He is survived by his wife and children, Linda (Lynn) Vandeberg (Rick Casner) and Lawrence Vandeberg (Anne-Jeanice) and their sons, Matthew and Christopher.  Also surviving him are his sisters Shirley Nelson of Missoula, Montana and Sharon Bennett of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in his death by his parents and brothers, Walter, Alfred and Donald, and sisters Alice Bunton, Mary Ann Ness, Lois Erickson, Charlotte Hertgsaard and Rosella Gonder.

When Lynn and Larry were young, the family began a tradition of vacationing on the ocean at Gearhart, Oregon and later, Cannon Beach.  El loved taking long walks on the beach, flying his kites and sharing his passion with his grandsons.  Another long-standing and very special tradition was dining every Friday night with close friends, Max and Judy Brachvogel, Burt and Edna Goodman, and Ted and Marilyn Baer.

El was active in professional and civic affairs. He served as president of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, the Washington Council of School Attorneys, the Washington State Society of Hospital Attorneys, the Tacoma-Pierce County Estate Planning Council, and the Puget Sound Inn of the Court. He was also active on numerous Washington State Bar Association committees. His civic activities included service as a member of the Board of Directors of Bellarmine Preparatory School, Tacoma Community College Foundation, the ARK Institute of Learning, Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma Goodwill Industries, City Club of Tacoma, Friends of Lakewold and Northwest Trek. For many years he served on the board of directors of Schwartz, Shera & Associates and it's successor, Raleigh, Schwartz and Powell.  He was also actively engaged in the management of Noble Mountain Tree Farm. In 1997, he received the distinguished citizen award from the Tacoma-Pierce County Municipal League.

After retirement, most mornings were spent with Doris at the coffee shop chatting with friends, drinking a latte and working on the crossword puzzle. The day couldn't truly begin until the puzzle was solved and the Wall Street Journal read.

A celebration of life was held on January 2, 2020 at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to the ARK Institute of Learning, 1916 S. Washington Street, Tacoma, WA  98405, a non-profit organization dedicated to diminishing the impact of learning disorders on the lives of individuals. 

To send flowers to Elvin's family, visit https://www.fhwebsites.net/GAU/notices/Elvin-Vandeberg/sympathy .


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