Gilbert “Gil” Oldenkamp was born to John and Fannie (Verdoorn) Oldenkamp on February 12,
1934, in Hospers, Iowa, where he was raised. He died on December 31, 2021, at Sherwood
Assisted Living in Sequim, WA where he received loving care during the last two years of his
life. After graduating in 1952 from Hospers Public High School in a class of 12, he was soon on
his way to Oregon, following the path of his older brother as he was tired of seeking shelter
He married Rita Gamble in 1955 and they had five sons together. Gil was later married to
Vivian Hoiland McKiernan from 1976 to 2001. In 2004, he married his long-time friend and
love of his life Bobbie Joaquin, and they enjoyed many fun times together until her death in
2019. He is survived by his sons Mark (Laura) of Canby OR, Matt (Rose) of Asotin, WA, Tim
(Cheryl) of Bremerton, WA, David (Jeanne) of Port Angeles, WA, and Daniel of McMinnville,
OR; sister Janice Kyhl (Alvin); ex-daughter-in-law Shelly Winsby; stepchildren Elaine Saunders
(John), Jeff Joaquin, Kelly Joaquin and Robyn Joaquin Patton (Jay); and numerous
grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Brothers Willis “Luke”, Jim, Harry, and John Jr.,
grandson Jeff and stepson Aaron preceded him in death.
Gil served as a clerk in the Army from 1955-1957 where he was stationed in Anchorage,
Alaska. He had a long career in the timber industry, progressing to management roles in
Oregon and Washington. In 1981, he purchased a second-hand store in Sequim, WA which he
named ‘Gil’s New and Used Stuf’. The business thrived and became a daily gathering place for
locals. He added moving services and honed his skills as an auctioneer. Upon retirement he
and Bobbie spent winters in Arizona where they enjoyed rousing card games with Gil’s siblings.
Summers drew him back to the Olympic Peninsula as his greatest passion was fishing in the
Strait of Juan de Fuca and at local lakes. He liked to catch them, but eating fish was not for
him. His older sons recall many fishing trips during their younger years including excursions to
Diamond Lake and Detroit Lake Reservoir. He, his sons, and friends enjoyed many charter
fishing trips. In later years, he readily agreed to outings on David’s boat. David even got him in a kayak once, but only once.
Family conversations included fond memories of fishing wagers
won and lost. Gil was a member of Puget Sound Anglers and enjoyed helping youngsters catch
trout during their annual Kids’ Fishing Day at Carrie Blake Park.
Community service was important to Gil as he felt the more he gave the more he received in
return. He supported his older sons in Boy Scouts, particularly, Christmas tree sales and a huge
trip to Puntzi Lake in British Columbia. Many charitable fundraisers in the Sequim area were
auctioneered by Gil, mostly supporting Chamber of Commerce interests. He was a 50-year
member of Kiwanis in several different communities, volunteered on the fire department and
as an ambulance responder in Sandy, OR, was awarded 1975 Father of the Year in Tillamook,
OR, served on the Port Angeles Symphony Board, and was an active member of the Trinity
United Methodist Church in Sequim. He was a founding member of Kiwanis’ Camp Beausite
Northwest which provides opportunities for people with disabilities. Gil was recognized as
Sequim Citizen of the Year in 2003.
Gil was known to be a picky eater. Staff at Traylor’s knew to substitute popcorn for side salad
because “lettuce was made for rabbits”. The Sunshine Café prepared his daily standard order
when they saw him walk through the door. He had a knack for numbers and would often
calculate tax and tip in his head before the bill had arrived. He was so good with numbers he
said he would never have a computer, or a cell phone and he never did. Gil enjoyed watching
sports on TV and was an avid Mariners fan. In retirement, he enjoyed organizing day trip
outings to the Olympic Peninsula casinos for card games or slots. He was a dealer at the 7
Cedars Casino during its early years. “Pops” as some of us called him is now at peace with a
fishing pole in his hands and his sense of humor intact.
A private celebration of life is planned for family later this year. Charitable contributions can
be made in his name to one of the following organizations. Puget Sound Anglers, PO Box 2726,
Sequim, WA 98382 and include “Kids’ Fishing Day” in the memo, or Camp Beausite Northwest
(http://www.campbeausitenw.org), PO Box 1227, Port Hadlock, WA 98339.
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