Del (Delbert W) Loder reached the end of his remarkable life November 10, 2019. Born September 19, 1928 to Delbert and Edna (Loder) Beckwith, he lived 88 years in the house in Magnolia built by his father. He was passionately curious about history, culture, theater, and humankind. His house was full of read and unread books, ticket stubs, years of neatly-filed correspondence, records and CDs. His mind was always hungry, always reaching out for connections and links.
Del was a well-known figure in the Boy Scouts of America. He served as a patrol leader, Scoutmaster for Troop 66, Order of the Arrow (OA) Lodge adviser for T’kope Kwiskwis lodge, Western Regional Area OA Advisor, member of the National OA committee, and many other positions and responsibilities in Scouting. He was committed to training adult Scouters as a Wood Badge leader, and a proud member of the Camp Parsons Staff. He was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from OA, and the Silver Beaver and the Silver Antelope for exemplary service to youth, among numerous other awards. Even the license plate on his signature blue VW van, “BSA OA”, celebrated his commitment to Scouting.
He was also an enthusiastic patron of the arts. He attended and supported the Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Intiman Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, Seattle Rep, Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, and other local theaters. He also made bi-annual pilgrimages to Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where a seat in the outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre bears his name. He frequently took youth with him, providing them with a first-class education in the arts.
As a member of the Queen Anne Historical Society, he specialized in cemeteries and conducted school classes on tours of cemeteries, sharing local history and introducing the humans and their stories behind stone markers and textbook explanations. In 2013 he was awarded the Willard Jue Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to King County history.
Del started his career as an elevator operator in the Smith Tower. There Dorothy Bullitt recognized his unusual talent with people, and he was hired to help start that new thing, television, He spent his career at KING TV, ultimately becoming the Traffic Manager, scheduling all commercials. While there, he made appearances on “Almost Live!” and “Bill Nye the Science Guy.“
Del Loder has gone home, but his influence lives on in so many. His friendships in and out of Scouting spanned decades, and “his boys” grew into men of influence, compassion, and maturity. Del helped mold generations of civic leaders, Scouting volunteers, and cultural appreciators.
For more information, pictures, to share your memories, and to see plans for the memorial celebration see delloder.com. Memorials can be directed to Chief Seattle Council of the BSA in memory of Del Loder.