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Walter Wayne Hakola 1943-2021


Last updated 11/16/2021 at 2:18pm

Wayne was born Jan. 7, 1943, in Shelton, Washington, to Walter and Margaret Hakola. When his dad was called to serve in World War II, he and his mother moved to Seattle to be near her family and, eventually, Wayne, his sister Linna and parents settled into their family home on Queen Anne Hill.

He graduated from Queen Anne High in 1961, joined the Navy, married Eileen Finnestad, and had two children, Holly and Mike.

Wayne's love of Seattle began in high school and inspired a notable career in commercial construction. He thoroughly enjoyed being involved in the growth of the city through his work with many outstanding property developers and mechanical contractors, including Hadley Properties Inc. and Giebel & McCandless Construction, Inc., of which Wayne became a partner serving as corporate vice president/secretary.

He then completed his 50-year career working as a purchasing manager for University Mechanical Contractors, Inc.

Along the way, Wayne participated in professional projects that were especially fulfilling: In 1980 when Mount St. Helens erupted, the Washington State Emergency Management Division and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared the surrounding region a major disaster area and called upon corporations to provide experts and professionals.

Wayne served as an executive-on-loan, supervising dredging operations on Toutle River. His professional expertise aided in the protection and restoration of several towns, businesses, residential homes, farmland, and millions of dollars of infrastructure.

Midway through his career, he assisted in the renovation and construction of local schools and hospitals, including Swedish Hospital, which gave him a great sense of pride and accomplishment.

Finally, in 2013-15, at the age of 70, he culminated this distinguished career by returning to downtown Seattle where he, once again, helped to change the skyline of "his city" through his work in the $300 million construction of the Amazon Tower 1, a 37-story building and a separate multipurpose meeting facility.

In 1968, he married the loves of his life, Dorothy (Dot) Oren and her daughters Robin and Cathy. The family moved to Edmonds, where they built their "Edmonds Life!"

Weekends were sprinkled with summer backyard barbeques, Sunday family dinners, cozy evenings on the back deck and frequent dinners out at Arnies, Portofino's, Chanterelle, and his Saturday morning favorite, the Firdale Village Colonial Pantry, where he could visit with friends and neighbors while enjoying his breakfast special and cup of coffee.

Everyone admired the quiet gentleman ways of Wayne and the sparkling enthusiasm of Dot as they rotated among their favorite Edmonds places and conversed with their favorite service providers. Friendships were made, and the mutual admiration ran deep.

Wayne and Dot were married for 42 years, until her passing in 2010. After retirement, Wayne continued to demonstrate his inspirational work ethic by being the first Ballinger Terrace 24-Hour Fitness "Silver Sneaker" to walk through the doors nearly every morning.

It wasn't at all surprising for Wayne to show up at 4 a.m. in the morning. And when he wasn't at the gym, you could find him volunteering to offer his thoughts at the citizens meetings for the planning of the new Edmonds Senior Center, now standing elegantly as the Edmonds Waterfront Center. Wayne was so enamored with intelligent, innovative commercial design and wise use of land spaces.

Nothing captivated him more than when he was involved or observing high quality commercial construction. With his knowledge of local contractors and suppliers, Wayne would often be called upon for advice on projects by family and friends.

His favorite responses were "I know a guy" or "We're gonna get this done." His passing Feb.13 was peaceful, thanks to the compassionate care of the doctors, nurses and staff at Edmonds Swedish Hospital and Prestige Post-Acute and Rehab Center in Edmonds.

Wayne was preceded in death by his wife, Dot, and his parents, Walter "Hak" Hakola and Margaret Hakola. He is survived by his daughters Robin (Kevin) McNabb and Cathy Hakola; sister Linda Molina; three grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Due to the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wayne will be laid to rest in a private ceremony at Beck's Tribute Center and Restlawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Edmonds.

A memorial celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Please feel invited to "Share A Memory" on the Becks Tribute page for Wayne: http://www.becksfuneralhome.com/obituaries/Walter-Wayne-Hakola. And should friends wish, memorials may be made in his name to: The Alzheimer's Association or Edmonds Senior Center, PO Box 717, Edmonds, WA 98020.


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