Olaf Helmut Peter Elze age 82 of Sunnyside, WA, passed away Thursday September 13, 2018 in Sunnyside, WA.
Olaf was born on June, 12 1936 to Frieda (Klonner) and Kurt Elze in Berlin, Germany. He attended grade school and graduated from Schiller Gymnasium in Berlin.
Olaf immigrated to the United States in 1954, following his sister who had settled in the Seattle area. His parents soon followed. In Seattle, Olaf attended the University of Washington. He graduated with a degree in journalism in 2 ½ years. Upon graduation, Olaf worked for an advertising firm in Seattle.
At this time, Olaf met his future wife, Helen Kay Hunt. Olaf was the group photographer on a tour of Washington State. Helen was a member of the group, having won the trip for selling the most maps for AAA in Lexington, Kentucky. On the third day, Olaf sat next to Helen. They were together for the rest of the trip. At the end of the 10 days, he proposed. They were going to celebrate their 60 wedding anniversary this coming December 30. On January 19, 1959, Olaf began working as the editor of the Sunnyside Sun. He wrote news stories, took pictures, and sold advertisement. He was known for his weekly editorials and humorous column. During this time, Helen and he had two daughters, Kelly Ann and Kristina Marie.
Olaf continued to work for the Sunnyside Sun and later the Daily Sun News until his retirement in 1998. After he retired, he and Helen traveled back to Germany and took many trips around the United States. Olaf was a member of Sunnyside Hospital board for 10 years and a member of Sunnyside Rotary. He belonged to numerous bridge groups.
Olaf is survived by his wife Helen, his daughters Kelly (Rick) Jaspers and Kristina (Tim) Platsman four grandchildren Chris Jaspers, Andy Jaspers Kendall Platsman (fiancée Juan Estrada) and Allison Platsman. He is also survived by nephews, Larry (Kerri) McConnell and Gordon McConnell, and numerous relatives in Germany. The family would like to thank the staff of Sunnyside Assisted Living, Astria Hospital emergency room staff and the EMT’s.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 22 at 2:00 pm at the Smith Funeral Home Chapel in Sunnyside, WA. Those wishing to sign Olaf’s online memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com Smith Funeral Homes in care of arrangements.