Cover photo for Philo W. Lund's Obituary
Philo W. Lund Profile Photo
1927 Philo 2019

Philo W. Lund

April 1, 1927 — May 28, 2019

In loving memory of Philo W. Lund, April 1, 1927 - May 28, 2019.
Philo, age 92, died peacefully on May 28, 2019, in his home on Bainbridge Island. He was resting quietly in his favorite chair with the warmth of the sun streaming through the window and with his wife Sue and his daughter Saskia. Philo and Sue had been residents of Bainbridge
Island for 22 years, having returned to his beloved Puget Sound in 1996 from Marin County, California.

He is survived by Sue Elfving, his wife of 38 years; his three children Philo Wallis Lund, Sydney Ann Lund, Saskia Alexandra Lund Etling and his son-in-law Neil J. Etling; five grandchildren Lieutenant Commander Aaron M Troy (Sydney), Margot Gillian Meuleman (Sydney), Claire Elizabeth Penney Meuleman (Sydney), Carsten William Etling (Saskia), and Laura Amelia Etling (Saskia); and five nieces and nephews: Charles D. "Chuck" Chisholm, William C. Chisholm, Lillian B. Chisholm, Lillian D. Chisholm Erola, and Stephen S. Chisholm. He was preceded in death by his parents Philo White Lund and Agnes Lillian Penney, his beloved sister Judith Ina
Lund Chisholm, and most recently his dear cousin Janet Boysen.

Philo was a man of many talents, interests, and accomplishments. He was passionate about the Northwest and the Puget Sound, airplanes and aviation history. He was a Naval Aviator (seaplane and air/sea rescue), a US Army Aviator, a veteran of the Korean conflict, a retired United Airlines pilot, a husband, father, grandfather, uncle, a University of Washington (UW) graduate with two Bachelors of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Engineering (November, 1948), and a UW Junior Varsity 8 oar boat Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Champion (1948). He built his own home in Meadowdale (the A-Frame), and helped clear many downed or unwanted trees. His woodsmen friends will tell you of his mad skills wielding his trusty chainsaw. He cleared and maintained trails in his neighborhood green belt areas. Wherever he lived, he offered his services to the neighborhood. He was a woodworker who built furniture, a craftsman, and he loved to draw. He loved the outdoors, hiking, camping, mountain climbing with friends (Glacier Peak, Mt. Rainier), fishing, hunting, canoeing and rafting wild and remote rivers, sailing, kayaking in Puget Sound and around Bainbridge Island. He took up mountain biking in Marin County. And most especially he was an exquisite skier and passionate about the sport having started at the age of 34. These interests and activities were enjoyed by and with his family and friends, creating a wealth of wonderful memories and leaving shared legacies and passions carried forward by his children, grandchildren, and Sue.

Since he lived in different places, many friends in California or on Bainbridge Island did not know him as a young man, a military man, an airline pilot. Despite his often bold and intrepid approach to life, Philo was often modest and reticent to talk about himself. For those friends,
and for his grandchildren, we honor him by sharing a more complete story.

Philo was born April 1, 1927 in Portland, Oregon. In 1929, the family returned to the Northwest settling in Seattle. For local readers, he attended Fairview Elementary School, a brief period in Edmonds, then F H Coe Elementary and finally Queen Anne High School graduating on June 6,
1944 with Torch Society Honors.

College, Military, War

Prior to his high school graduation and having just turned 17, he enlisted in the US Navy V-5 Aviation Cadet Program on April 8, 1944, as did many of his friends. After high school graduation, he was placed on active duty on July 1, 1944, sent to Gonzaga University for indoctrination, initial flight instruction, and college. In Oct. 1945, he transferred to the Navy V-12 Unit at the University of Washington where he enrolled in the School of Engineering and graduated in November 1948.

The Rowing Story

The UW basketball coach told him he was too short (at 6'5.5") to play and suggested he go down to the shell house because they like big tall guys like him. He did, they said yes, and he was on his way to a highly successful rowing career at the University of Washington that
culminated in the 1948 Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championship at Poughkeepsie on the Hudson. He was the 6th man in the JV 8 oar boat. They won every race for that season and Philo was named an alternate for the 1948 US Olympic Rowing Team. He earned the highly coveted "W" Letter. His coaches were the legendary Al Ulbrickson and
George Pocock. This sport demanded tremendous focus.

George Yeoman Pocock, leading shell designer and UW rowing coach: "In a sport like this - hard work, not much glory, but still popular in every century - well, there must be some beauty which ordinary man can't see, but extraordinary men do." (The Boys In The Boat, Daniel James Brown, 2013, p.1)

Being eligible for graduation in November of 1948, he chose not to remain for the 1949 Rowing season and went to work for Black and Decker (B & D) as a sales representative at the age of 21 and covering the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. His territory was large,
he travelled thousands of miles on two lane roads, met many people, made friends, and obtained the largest single volume order in B & D history for that area. He was always passionate about hardware stores.

Return to Military

In August 1950, Philo re-enlisted as Naval Aviation Cadet, Class V-5, US Naval Reserves. He was ordered to active duty NAS Pensacola, Florida and graduated from Pre-Flight "With Distinction". He and Pamela Grace Wallis were married in July of 1951 in Pascagoula, Mississippi, even though he was not supposed to marry while a cadet. Friend and navy commander, Bill Woods and his wife, Ginna, where their best man and matron of honor, as well as life long friends. He carrier qualified with night landings at sea and was commissioned Ensign in 1952, officially designated a Naval Aviator, and ordered to San Diego Naval Air Station where he was assigned to FAW 14 TDY FAIRBETU PAC (Radar & ASW School) and then to VP-40.

Enter the Korean Conflict

He served two tours of duty at Sangley Point Naval Air Station, Philippines, and flew PBM-5S and P5M seaplanes. Philo Wallis was born in San Diego in 1952 while Philo was serving his first tour of duty at Sangley. Although he never talked much about the more dramatic moments of his Navy flying, we do know the crew in the back of his plane held him in the highest esteem. One of the crew members told him in recent years they believed he saved their lives on at least two different occasions with his skill at managing the engines and making quick and gutsy decisions
under pressure. They very much liked flying with him and that is a tribute worth noting and remembering.

Returning Home and Flying with United Airlines

He was discharged in 1954, returned to Seattle with his family and joined the engineering firm of Sandwell & Co. Sydney Ann was born in 1955. Fred Sindlinger, mentor, good friend and a Navy colleague he first met in San Diego, called him up and told him he needed to come fly with the airlines. United waived the height restrictions due to his test scores and Philo joined United Airlines on Oct. 17, 1955. Therein began a rewarding 32 year career as a commercial pilot. Philo believed Fred's encouragement probably had the single largest impact on the rest of Philo's life.

He continued with military service in both the Navy Reserves and the Army Reserves. He was appointed Lieutenant in the USNR in 1956 and in 1961 transferred to the USAR, designated Army Aviator, and achieved the rank of Lieutenant in 1963. All in all, his military services spanned from 1944-1966.

Life at the A-Frame in Meadowdale

Having helped his good friend and United pilot Herb Breivik build his new home, Philo purchased 5 acres north of Seattle in Meadowdale. He cleared the land, with a TD-9 bulldozer he named "Grace" and built the home in his spare time. Herb and his father Anton returned the favor and
helped Philo build the A-Frame. Philo had a vision it would be a good place to raise children and he credits Herb with giving him the confidence and encouragement to build that home. Philo always said he wanted to achieve something that was lasting. Saskia Alexandra was born in
June 1964 and the family moved into the A-Frame three months later. The Lunds joined the Meadowdale community, all of them making significant family friendships that continue to this day with the good people of those woodsy neighborhoods, including our dear friends Peter and Mary Hemp and their children, Paul, Christine and Rosemary.


The airline community was close. The pilots and their families worked together, hiked together, camped and/or hunted together, climbed mountains together and skied together. Once again Herb encouraged Philo, this time to take up skiing. Philo started at age 34. He loved it, became a beautiful skier, pursuing the sport for 50 years, last skiing in 2011 at the age of 83. His goal had been to ski long enough that his youngest grandchildren, Carsten and Laura Etling, would be old enough to remember their ski trips together and he achieved that goal. It seems that
Carsten may have acquired his grandfather's graceful form on the slopes and Laura his intrepid spirit that would try any hill, at least once. In fact, his children and grandchildren share his love of skiing and the outdoors. Aaron has his passion for mountain climbing; Margot his love of
hiking and preserving the natural world; and Claire followed in his footsteps (and her uncle Philo's) and learned to fly.

San Francisco and Retirement

Pam and Philo divorced in 1975, and Philo relocated to San Francisco where he lived in the city and then moved north to Marin County. In 1981 he married Sue Elfving and they began a life together that consisted of travelling, hiking, bicycling, camping, river canoeing and river rafting in the wilds of the Northwest Territories, Canada and Alaska. Bird watching became an important hobby and they visited sanctuaries all across the US. In addition to being responsible for introducing Sue and Philo, many happy adventures and delicious dinners were had with good
friends Ann Sorgen, Dick Bobo, Suzette deVogelaere, Bob Flynn, Jan Jones and Kevin McQuillen.

But there was always skiing in the winter.

Retirement came in 1987 allowing him and Sue to take more extended trips to China and SE Asia, and to Scandinavia where he followed the trails of his Danish and Nordic ancestors, and to Scotland and England following those ancestral links. Bitten by the genealogy bug thanks to his
sister Judy, Philo and Sue and travelled all over the US and abroad learning about the history and genealogies of their families.

Part of the travel adventures included the visiting of any aviation museum they could find from one coast to the other, or in any place they visited abroad from England to France including an intense week along the Normandy coast in France. As part of these trips Philo accumulated an
amazing collection of aircraft photographs. Philo was lovingly embraced and treasured by Sue's parents Bob and Geri Bird, as well as the Bird and Cody clan.

Move to Bainbridge Island

In 1996 Philo and Sue moved to Bainbridge Island, Washington and became an integral part of their neighborhood. Philo loved his new neighborhood community, made many friends and continued to offer his assistance to any neighbor or the community at large.

The return to his beloved Puget Sound provided Philo and Sue with the opportunity to spend time with his son Philo Jr, his daughter Sydney, and her three children. Philo and Sue connected with their new neighbors, and in particular, are grateful for the warm and easy friendship with neighbors Jerry and Lana Turner. Their nearby presence brightened Philo's
sunset years. Philo reconnected with old friends, and made new ones, in particular with fellow United retiree, kayaker and skier, Char Morrison. He continued his skiing and cycling adventures, and became an avid Puget Sound kayaker.

In August of 2011 Philo suffered a serious health incident that dictated a dramatic change in his life. Without his usual robust health and stamina, he had to reinvent himself and find new outlets for his talents. Following friends and family, extensive reading and aviation/aircraft research, collaboration with the owners and contributors of, are among the types of activities that engaged his intellect. He continued to improve his computer skills and broaden his online research skills and usage. The last email he viewed was a couple of days prior to his passing. It was from his friend, Johan Visschedijk in Holland, who had sent him a
new aircraft photo for his review. Philo was always engaged to the very end.

Information about services: A military service with honors will he held for Philo at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Washington, on Monday, June 24, 2019, at 11:30am. All family and friends are invited to attend. The service (30 minutes) will begin at the appointed time.

Because of their service to the residents of Bainbridge Island in general and Philo and Sue in particular, donations in Philo's memory may be made to the Bainbridge Island Volunteer Firefighter Association. Mail donations to Bainbridge Island Fire Department, 8895 Madison Ave NE, Bainbridge Island, Washington, 98110. The check is payable to BIVFFA. Online
donations made be made through One Call For All, select recipient as the BI Volunteer
Firefighter Association via the ‘Donate Now' option:

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Philo W. Lund, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Military Burial with Honors

Monday, June 24, 2019

Starts at 11:30 am (Pacific time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Photo Gallery

Visits: 3

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree