In loving memory

Sylvia Anne Vikingstad

Sylvia Vikingstad

Photo courtesy of Vikingstad family

Sylvia Anne Vikingstad, age 88, passed away after a brief period of hospice care. Her family was by her side. 

Sylvia was born in Seattle on March 21, 1933, the daughter of Vera (Hendrickson) and Michael Feeley. She was the youngest of two children, following three years after her big brother James (“Jim”).

Sylvia graduated from Ballard High School in the class of 1951. She continued her education at the University of Washington, earning her business degree in 1955. She worked for United Airlines as a flight attendant and supervisor, then as a substitute history teacher at Broadview Thompson Junior High School in Seattle.

In 1965, she met Leiv Vikingstad, a builder from Karmøy, Norway, at a dance in Ballard and married him a short time later. She helped Leiv finance his own construction company and balanced the books while raising their two children, Erik and Karen. She returned to the work force as a realtor for Coldwell Banker in the 1980s. She was a successful real estate agent, representing buyers and sellers, as well as assisting her husband in the sale of homes that he built. She became a widow in 1992 after Leiv died of pancreatic cancer, and she never remarried. After retiring from real estate, she managed one of her husband’s apartment buildings in Ballard into her 80s.

Sylvia led a very active life in her later retirement years. She would travel often, making many trips to Norway to visit her son and his family in Bergen, as well as numerous cruises and international trips with her good buddy Pat and family vacations with her kids and grandkids. She was an avid walker and belonged to a walking group for years. She would organize numerous blood drives for Ballard First Lutheran Church and would volunteer time and donate to the Compass Center. She was a regular attendee of the Seattle Symphony and Taproot Theater and was a longtime member and volunteer at the National Nordic Museum in Ballard.

Most notably, she was a devoted and loving mother, grandmother, sister, aunty, cousin, and friend. She is survived by her two children Karen (Johnny) and Erik (Theresa) and three grandchildren: Emma (24), Sander (20), and Hannah (13), who lovingly call her Bestemor. She is also survived by her 91-year-old brother, Jim (Ulla), and their three children, Lisa, Shaughna, and Mike, and their families, as well as relatives from her late husband, Leiv’s, family in Norway and her mother, Vera’s, family locally.

She will be deeply missed and forever loved by family (immediate and extended) and many friends. Donations in memory of Sylvia Vikingstad can be made to the Compass Center – Compass Housing Alliance or the National Nordic Museum, both in Seattle. Arrangements are yet to be determined but will be made available in time through Evergreen Washelli, Seattle.

This article originally appeared in the Oct. 22, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American.

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The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.