Irving Almer Mortensen

July 17, 1947 - May 4, 2023


I am not gone 

I will be wandering through the forest

I will be strolling the beach

I will be carried by the winds.

Irv was born in Hood River Oregon where he grew up in nature, wandering the woods, riverbanks and orchards with his dog, Fella. In elementary and junior high school, he met his three closest friends, Dan, Charlie and Lowell, and those friendships thrived for 60+ years.

He loved radios. In 1967 he enlisted in the Navy to be trained in electronics to avoid the draft. They sent him to San Francisco during the Summer of Love, which changed everything. A compassionate base psychologist let him out with an honorable discharge within the first year of his six-year stint. He loved to relate his own story to Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant.

He returned to Eugene, where he met his first wife Ellen Brewer. They married in 1969 and welcomed daughter Laura in 1973. He attended DeVry Institute of Technology and earned an AA degree in electrical engineering technology. By 1977, the family was living in Seattle. Irv was working in electronics for Honeywell and very involved in his daughter’s education and local school board politics. Irv and Ellen divorced in 1988. In 1989, he met Betty Oppenheimer; they were married in 1991. In 1993, they moved to the Diamond Point property that Irv’s parents had purchased in 1976. Over the next 30 years, Irv worked as a carpenter/contractor in Clallam and Jefferson counties, and the couple became very involved members of the Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (QUUF). Irv played a major role in the church’s two building construction projects in Port Townsend – in 1997 and again in 2008.

Irv was an avid photographer, which allowed him to capture his unique views of nature and his surroundings. When he “retired” in 2010, he continued to work tirelessly on investment properties that he and Betty had purchased to help fund a real retirement. In 2022, Irv and Betty moved to Port Townsend. In March, he was diagnosed with advanced-stage pancreatic cancer.

Irv was predeceased by his parents Thomas and Verna (Ecklund) Mortensen and his brother Dale T. Mortensen. He is survived by his wife Betty and daughter Laura, brother Arne (Stella), sister-in-law Beverly, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 1 p.m. on June 17th at QUUF, 2333 San Juan Avenue, Port Townsend.