What an amazing servant. Del has influenced so may arrowmen. West is best because of Del. – Billy Walley
I first met Del when he was the advisor to the T’Kope Kwis Kwis Order of the Arrow Lodge. Del was always present providing us with much needed direction and, in my case, correction. I appreciate his endless devotion to scouting and no doubt he has helped myriads of boys to become young men of quality. – James Wright
I first met Del when I attend Junior Leader Training in the early 60’s. He was my Scoutmaster for Den Beard Rangers Troop #7. I was a member of the Nearsighted Nighthawks Patrol. Were worked together for many years with Order of the Arrow.
Teacher of the arts
I meet Del as a teenager through Matt Johnstone. I was lucky enough to be able to join them while attending theatre in Seattle. Those evening always included dinner, a show, and a sharing of his wisdom and knowledge.
The kindness, generosity, and wisdom he showed others was amazing to experience.
He instilled in me a love of theatre, that I still have to this day, and thank him every day for those experiences. I hope to be able to do the same for people when I am older, and further love of the arts.
I first met Del Loder when I moved to Washington state in 1985 and joined the Chief Seattle Council. Del was a font of information about the history and all other aspects of the Order of the Arrow. He was also a great mentor for me while I was an Associate Chapter advisor, while I was putting together monthly meeting programs. I remember Del telling me to be open to trying just about anything (as long as it was appropriate for scouting) to see how it would work, particularly if it had not been tried before. Del was steeped in the history of scouting and the O-A, but he was not mired in the history – he was always open to new ideas and new things.
Those of us who have been around awhile also have fond memories of Del’s occasional short appearances on “Almost Live”. Very small snippets when they needed a guy whose demographics he met to say a word or two. Who can forget the Almost Live segment on “Oddities in the Seattle Area” when following Tracy Conway’s snippet on “I am the only woman in the Seattle area who does not owe money to Nordtrom’s”, we saw Del saying “I am the only person in the Seattle area who has never tried Thai food”.
Rest in peace, Del, you will always be remembered and cherished.
Uniforms, Inspiration & Baden-Powell
I first met Del at an Order of the Arrow function when I was a teenage Scout. That’s not surprising because Del was profoundly dedicated to the O/A and eventually received the O/A’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Back when I met Del he was still a young Scoutmaster in his 20s. Though Del could be very impressive, especially as a speaker, he was also very approachable to both youth and adults alike. And he had a great sense of humor. As I recall, Del kept me and a Scout from his own troop laughing half the night.
Speaking of Del’s troop, I have to say there was no other unit quite like it in our council, and perhaps in America as a whole. For example, Del’s troop still wore the traditional Scout uniform, just as Baden-Powell designed it – complete with Scout shorts worn year-round (including long stockings) and of course, everyone in broad-brim hats. Del deeply believed in the principles of Scouting laid down by its founder, and that included wearing full uniform on outings. I was astonished a few years later when I saw color slides of Del’s troop hiking in the middle of the Olympic Mountains in that same, complete uniform. But it made me think – how could a Scout not be proud of a uniform he had worn in the wilderness? I have to say that when I too became a young Scoutmaster in my 20s, I followed Del’s lead. I have photos of my own Scouts in the Olympics wearing that same full uniform, and yes – including those distinctive broad-brim hats.
My first, unforgettable evening with Del changed my perspective on Scouting forever. And Del never lost his ability to inspire the young. One of the last times I saw him he was attending an Eagle-Scout recognition banquet a few years before his passing. During the meal, Del happened to be paired with a new Eagle Scout who was only 14. And whenever I would glance in their direction, I saw that young Eagle fully absorbed in what Del was telling him. I remember thinking how lucky this high-achieving Scout was to be sitting there with Del Loder, and I was certain this promising young man would always remember the things that Del shared with him. Sadly too, I also realized that evening, that Del could not possibly be available for many more years, to offer his wisdom to the young.
Certainly, I never forgot what I learned from Del. He gave me an understanding of why Baden-Powell is uniquely important as the founder of an international organization. In the shrinking world of the 21st century, it becomes increasingly important that Scouting is available in every democratic and peace-loving nation, training the young to be successful citizens of the future. Because only a world organization can successfully lay the foundation for a lasting peace in the one place that matters – in the hearts of the world leaders of tomorrow. – Bruce Johnson
My thoughts and prayers go out to Del’s loved ones. I met Del when I joined the Order of the Arrow and become the Chapter Chief of the Klahanie Chapter representing what is the Polaris District today. I have many fond memories of Del from those days when I was a youth leader continuing to today serving with him on the Executive Board of the Chief Seattle Council, Boy Scouts of America. I always enjoyed seeing and talking with him. Del always had that sparkle in his eyes, very inquisitive and very thoughtful.
I recall getting to know Del as a new Chapter Chief when we rode in his Volkswagen Van together to Ocean Shores for an Order of the Arrow Leadership Retreat. During our ride he imparted to me a detailed history of the T’kope Kwiskwis Lodge, its values and goals. I received a quick lesson on how to be a successful Chapter Chief. Del was always calm, providing wisdom, great values and vision with humor even when there was chaos around him.
I was very interested in photography as a youth and recall Del had impressive Nikon photography equipment and produced outstanding slide shows of Scouting activities for our meetings. I remember Del providing me with many suggestions in how to frame pictures, the lighting and back lighting. We also enjoyed the arts, music and theater.
Del’s long friendship and advice meant a lot to me. I missed seeing him at the last few Board Meetings and will miss him forever.
It was an honor to know Del who made such a big impact on youth, the city, the county, the state and the world! – Doug Seto
I remember his speech at the 2009 NOAC. I was very moved by the speech, and I look it up occasionally on youtube. I did have a chance to meet him at the 2012 NOAC founders day event. I saw him walking and I knew exactly who it was. My lodge (Wagion Lodge 6) were handing out QR code patches, and I gave him one. He was very inspirational. – Francis Severa
I first met Del in 1974, when I was a young Eagle Scout and OA member. Del was the lodge advisor and i had just been asked to be a lodge vice chief. He was a true friend of Scouting. He was always there for a kind word or a great story! Although i hadn’t talked to Del in 40 plus years, his influence was felt all the way over here in Norfolk, Virginia. His leadership methods helped me help the young men of Tidewater Virginia (including my Eagle Scout son and current PhD candidate) as a scouter and District Chairman. He was a great man and knowing that he is gone leaves a huge hole in Scouting nationwide!! – Rip Gray
In Thanksgiving to God for Del Loder
I was a Scouter in Chief Seattle Council with Del as Aurora District Chairman and member of the Council board. As an Eagle Scout, OA member and Silver Beaver holder also, I so valued, respected from Del. His friendship and leadership meant so much. I wrote this prayer in thanksgiving for Del.
In Thanksgiving to God for Del Loder
Living God, we thank you for all the ways
by which your love reaches us:
through family and friends
Through our church and Scouting
Through teachers, pastors and Scoutmasters, Scouters,
whose care and trust have helped us;
whose patience and concern brought us strength and hope.
For the love and leadership Del brought our city, its culture, arts and especially Scouting
For his life that had the heartbeat of hope and the joy and the many expressions of our friendship with him,
May we cherish these blessings and may your peace eternally hold him as your love
Continue to surround his beloved family, our city and the Chief Seattle Council. now and always. Amen
The Rev. Dr. Robert D. Nicholson
November 17 2019, Seattle, Washington