Emmett L. Okerlund was born in 1913, the youngest of seven children. He attended Anacortes schools and graduated from Anacortes High School (which was then located in the current Anacortes Middle School building) with the class of 1931. After high school, Emmett joined the United States Navy and served honorably in the South Pacific during World War II before returning to the Pacific Northwest. He worked as a sales representative for a paper company in Bellingham and then, for many years, in Anchorage, Alaska. Upon retirement Mr. Okerlund and his wife, Helen, were able to move back to Washington State and settled, for the last time, at Hood Canal, where he was able to do what he loved best—boating and fishing. He died in Shelton, Washington in November 2003, at the age of 90.
Mr. Okerlund always treasured his education in Anacortes and left his entire estate to the Anacortes Schools Foundation. His wish was to pay back the community for the education he so valued, by providing scholarships to help promising students expand their horizons through a college education. It is the hope of the Okerlund family that recipients of his generosity will one day follow Emmett’s example and fund an Anacortes Schools Foundation scholarship for another deserving student.
- Primary: Academic merit.
- Secondary: Financial Need