Robert D. Theriault

Robert Dennis Theriault passed away peacefully on Nov. 12, 2005 in Coupeville.

He was born May 28, 1922 in Sacramento, Calif., and grew up in Tacoma. He graduated from Stadium High School in Tacoma, where he was a high diver and tennis player. He dreamed of a career as a forest ranger, but was diverted by World War II and entered the Army Air Corps Dec. 24, 1943.

The military gave him many gifts, including the love of his life, his wife Jane Theriault. He met Jane at an Army dance in an airplane hangar in Hays, Kansas. “The moment I saw that girl, I knew I would marry her,” he’d often say.

Theriault flew 35 missions in the Pacific during World War II, sometimes flying 18 hours over open ocean. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal.

In December 1945, he returned from the war to his family. He attended the University of Washington on the G.I. Bill, graduating in 1950 with a degree in architecture. He went on to become a founding partner of Steinhart, Theriault and Anderson, a Seattle-based architectural firm.

During his career, Theriault designed schools, including Shoreline Community College, churches, office buildings and residences that still dot the Seattle area.

In retirement, he enjoyed a wide and loving circle of friends, extensive travel, his home in South Whidbey Island and his family.

He also took great joy in the outdoors, especially sailing — even in (and maybe especially in) the harshest tempests of the Puget Sound.

Theriault will be a man remembered for the joy he took in life: grinning in foul weather gear aboard his sailboat, dancing with his wife, hugging his grandchildren, designing elegant buildings, flying military missons over the Pacific, raising his three sons and playing with his beloved one-eyed cat, Tessa. He had a beautiful mind, a gentle nature and a compassionate spirit.

He is survived by his wife, Jane Theriault, three sons and their families; Jeffrey Theriault of Everett, Brion and Christie Theriault of Elko, Nev., and Robert and Kristine Theriault of Samammish, as well as two grandchildren, Eleanora Theriault and Michelle Theriault, and a sister, Betty Maddox, of Centralia, and countless loved ones and friends.

Memorial services are at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Freeland.