Lyall G Fordyce

Sep 8, 1927 – Mar 27, 2017

Lyall G Fordyce obituary image 1



Lyall G. Fordyce (Sept 8, 1927 - March 27, 2017)


Born in Portal, ND to George Fordyce of Scotland, and Christina E. Lyall of ND.  He is survived by his 'baby' sister of 89 years, Margie Fordyce, his 2 Children; Dave Farrar (deceased) and Julie Karamanos, 4 grandchildren; Christina Stemley, Justin Farrar, Jessie Farrar, and Ashley Farrar, and 9 great grandchildren.

Grandpa grew up in Portal, ND and at the age of 15, decided it was time to get out and see the world. He bought a Harley Davidson and motored his way to Seattle and Vancouver, BC to work.  He used his motorcycle to deliver motor parts in Seattle for Puget Sound Body Works, worked in a warehouse in Vancouver, BC for Hudson Bay Co, then back to Seattle to work for the Grainery. He returned to Portal when he was 17, and soon joined the Navy.  He was stationed in Alaska, Panama Canal, and then on to Sonoma, CA.  This is where he met his sweetheart, Lucille.  Grandpa never had any children of his own, but embraced Lucy's children as his own, they were married in September of 1960.  In November of that same year, he took his lovely bride to Japan for his next tour of duty.  They loved Japan and the culture, and they remained there for 4 years, before returning to San Diego, CA. Over the next 2 remaining years of service, he earned 6 good conduct awards, and earned the 'honor student' distinction of his graduating class of 1962 at the 'Naval Training Center' for C-1 Chief Class Engineman.

After he left the Navy in 1966, he moved to Seattle and began his civilian career working for 'Seattle Steam Corporation' as a boiler Fireman. He continued his education at Kenny Moore Steam Enginer School, and received his Grade I Steam Engineer license in 1968.  He furthered his career by joining the University of Washington Power plant, and worked under the mentorship of the chief engineer, Robert M. Horsley.  In 1971, Seattle Steam Company hired him back as the chief engineer, where he remained until he retired in 1989.  He really enjoyed the school environment and decided to teach boiler certification at Lake Washington Technical College for 2 years.

His retired years with Grandma were busy ones.  They frequently visited Julie and David and their grandchildren. He was the 'engineer' at home that took care of all the details for Grandma's projects and outings. He was a devoted, loving husband to Grandma for over 43 years until the day she died. 

He had a sense of humor that we all loved, but not always shared (!).   He had such a big heart, was an engaging story teller, friend, and teacher.  He shared kind words with everyone he met. He was respectful and generous with his children and grandchildren. He was well read and learned so many new things on his own accord.  The week before he died he was learning to read and speak Russian so he could keep up with the Russians !  

His favorite words to live by, that he printed and placed over his desk for years, were Yogi Berra's.

"When you come to a fork in the road, take it."

"Never try to predict, especially when you are talking about the future."

More familiar quotes you might hear him say after a long dinner at the house;

"I've seen the enemy, and they is us" or "We're here from the Government, and we're here to help"

His favorite cartoons were;  'Hagar' 'Farside' and the 'Roadrunner'. 





Bill Lackey
Seattle, Wa
Apr 6, 2017

I'm sorry to hear the passing Lyall Fordyce, he hired me at Seattle Steam, back in 1985 giving me an opportunity because I wasn't his first choice, 30 years later I still work for the same company and thank Lyall for giving me that chance.. He was a fine man and easy to talk with and a good man to work for.

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