We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Smith Funeral Home - Grandview
Peter Winston Olmstead, age 81, passed away Wednesday, June 8, in his home. Peter was born June 23, 1940, in Grandview, to his father Donald Olmstead Sr. and his mother Betty. He grew up on a farm on Olmstead Road in Grandview, before moving to a farm in south Grandview where he spent his formative years.
He graduated from Grandview High School in 1958, and went on to the University of Washington where he joined the Psi Upsilon Fraternity and earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics. He graduated from UW in 1962.
After graduating from college, Peter joined the United States Air Force. He graduated from Pilot Training in 1964. Peter earned the rank of Captain and served in that capacity with the 815th Troop Carrier Squadron in Vietnam, flying the C130 Hercules. While serving in Vietnam, he was awarded the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Clusters. Peter was in the Air Force from 1963 through 1968.
After leaving the military, Peter continued working in the air. He worked as a pilot for Trans World Airlines, serving as a flight engineer on the Convair 880. He was with TWA from 1969 to 1971.
While on furlough from TWA, Peter worked as a tax assessor for Multnomah County in Oregon, while living in Vancouver, Washington. That’s where he met, dated and got engaged to the love of his life, Patricia Chapman. The two were married on June 15, 1973 in a ceremony in Post Falls, Idaho.
After getting married, Peter went back to TWA briefly before the couple moved to Grandview and started a farm south of town - just a few miles down the road from where Peter grew up. Together the couple started a family and watched as their farm grew. During his time farming Peter enjoyed planting and cultivating different and unique varieties of fruit. He had quite a green thumb and also used it to grow beautiful iris and orchids.
Over the years, Peter also took interest in driving and restoring classic cars, more specifically Studebakers. During the course of his life, Peter owned more than a dozen Studebakers, each holding a special place whether the vehicle was restored or not.
Peter also believed in service to the community. He was one of the founding members of the Port of Grandview and spent many years on the Yakima County Planning Commission.
Peter always had a big heart and a generous soul. He was always willing to lend a helping hand, whether it was helping a friend load up firewood or rescuing a kitten from a tree. He was proud to watch his children grow up and achieve academic success. He also enjoyed his grandchildren. He will be greatly missed by family and friends.
Peter is survived by his wife Patricia, sons James Olmstead and wife Mercy, Douglas Olmstead and wife Elena and daughter Melissa Olmstead, as well as grandchildren Nico and Samuel Olmstead and Charles and Anna Olmstead. He is also survived by younger brother Donald Olmstead Jr. and sister Susan Beaver. He is preceded in death by his father Donald Olmstead Sr. and his mother Betty (Soot) Olmstead.
Graveside Service with Military Honors will be held on Thursday, June 16, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. at the Grandview Cemetery. Those wishing to sign Peter’s online memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com Smith Funeral Home is care of arrangements.