Robert M. Kihlstrom, affectionately known as S.O.B. (Sweet Old Bob), passed away October 7, 2019, surrounded by his family at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle.
Bob was larger than life, showing grit and determination from an early age. His sense of adventure and interest in airplanes, brought him to Boeing Field in Seattle, where as a young man he began repairing avionics on small planes. With courage and entrepreneurial spirit, he went on to own American Avionics., Inc. from 1972-2007 as well as several buildings on Boeing Field. An accomplished pilot, he flew his beloved Cessna 421 for both business and pleasure, and commuted to his office from Orcas Island for fourteen years.
Besides flying his plane, Bob’s favorite activities were being out on his boat to fish, crab and shrimp in the summers, and goose hunting in North Dakota every fall. Of course, there was his big garden where he loved to sit in the sunshine to watch it grow. He was a master at roasting a pig every Memorial Day for many years to share with his friends. He also enjoyed a winter home in Cabo San Lucas after his retirement. Wherever he was, Bob most loved being surrounded by his extended family and numerous friends.
The family will remember his generosity in providing education, affection, guidance and support. We feel proud for having him as a husband, father, grandfather and friend. We are thankful for the time we got to spend with him and the memories. He will always be remembered for his kind heart, sense of humor, and that special twinkle is his eyes. We love you Bob, dad and Grandpa Bob!
He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Jolette, his children: Stacy, Kim, Jessica and Rob and his stepchildren Pam, Karen and Martin. Also his grandchildren: Chloe, August, Aubriana, Scarlett and Ryan, plus step grandchildren Whitney and Nick. Bob is also survived by brothers Dennis, Curt and Kyle and sisters Doreen and Kerrie. His brother Roger predeceased him.
A celebration for Robert will be held November 2, 2019 at the Museum of Flight, View Lounge, from 2 – 5 p.m. For those attending there is a special for the museum itself. A second island celebration for Robert will be held December 14, 2019 at the American Legion on Orcas Island at 5 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the American Diabetes Association or the Alzheimer’s Association in Robert’s name.