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Andrew Christian Subcleff: 1922-2020


Last updated 11/16/2021 at 2:12pm

Andrew Christian Subcleff, 97, passed peacefully on July 4, 2020. Andy grew up in Clinton, Iowa. In WWII, he was declared 4F due to his polio-stricken left leg. He would not be deterred from his desire to serve, and joined the Merchant Marine, where "they don't care as long as you're breathing!"

He sailed the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, delivering troops and supplies. He was lucky to survive, as many merchant ships were sunk by German and Japanese submarines.

In July of 1945, Andy married Elizabeth Lou (Betty), whom he met during a hospital stay in Clinton, where she was a nurse. Two years later, they moved to the Seaview area of Edmonds into a one-bedroom house on a two-acre lot, with an outhouse and no electricity (just kerosene lamps). The family car, a 1949 Oldsmobile ("Ollie"), was along for the ride as the family grew with Doug (1951), Andrea (1953), Ralph (1959), and Carl (1961).

"Ollie" ventured over 200k miles before it was replaced by a 1965 Ford Country Squire station wagon. Strapping pine boards from Edmonds Lumber to the roof of his car, Andy made many trips up the hill as he kept adding on rooms to the house with each new baby.

Working for the Alaska Steamship Company, Andy climbed up the ranks from Third Officer to Pilot to Ship's Master and eventually ashore as Port Captain. From the mid-'70s until Andy's retirement in 1987, Andy and Betty also spent time living up in Homer, Alaska, where Andy worked as a SW Alaska marine pilot.

Once back in Edmonds, Andy and Betty continued with their volunteer activities and managed to live independently until well into their 90s. Andy and Betty were very active with Trinity Lutheran Church and Maple Park Lutheran Church.

They were regular attendees at Edmonds Senior Center functions, as well as season-ticket holders to the Driftwood Players Theater, where Andy's entrance to the lobby (wearing his Merchant Marine cap) was heralded to all with a "We have a Veteran in the House!" Andy was a member of the Maritime Lodge (Worshipful Master in 1971 and 1992), past President of the Seattle Chapter of the Council of American Master Mariners, and Maritime Person of the Year in 2009.

Andy is survived by his wife of 75 years, Elizabeth (Betty); four children: Doug (wife Amy), Andrea, Ralph (wife Erin), Carl (wife Sandy); eight grandchildren: Tina, Tanya (husband Diego), Amanda, Kristofer, Shaeffer (wife Claire), Jackson, Isaac, and Eliza; and two great grandchildren: Harrison "Sonny" and Amaya.

Special thanks from the family are extended to Sunrise Assisted Living of Edmonds for the exceptional and loving care Andy received the last three years as a resident. Also, thank you to Beck's Funeral Home for their help and support.

A private service for immediate family was held on Friday, July 10, at Beck's, followed by Andy's final resting place at Edmonds Memorial Cemetery. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. The family welcomes you to share thoughts and memories on Andy's Tribute page at https://www.becksfuneralhome.com/.


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