Keith & Keith Funeral Home
Horst Loechelt, 93 of Yakima, WA went home to be with his Lord and Savior on March 20, 2021. He was born in Germany on April 17, 1927 in the house of his grandfather in Schildberg (now Golenice in Poland). His tumultuous teenage years spanned World War II, in which he was conscripted to serve in the German army first as a radar operator in an anti-aircraft battalion and later in a combined paratrooper-infantry-light armor division on the Polish front.
Life was difficult in Germany after the war, and good jobs were hard to find. In 1951 Horst was offered a new beginning by coming to America. After a job opportunity in Bellingham fell through, he settled in Tieton where he had distant relatives from his mother’s side of the family. At the age of 24, he started working in a fruit warehouse in Tieton which became his lifelong career. By the time he retired from Snokist Growers in 1992, he was the district manager for both the Tieton and Naches warehouses.
When Horst first came to Tieton, he also helped at a local bowling alley. Although this did not turn into a career, something even better happened – he met his future wife, Mavis Seabrands. The two of them fell in love and soon got married on June 25, 1954. For most of their early married life, they lived on the farm of Mavis’ parents outside of Tieton. In addition to ten acres of apples, they also raised their three children there.
After retiring from Snokist, Horst and Mavis sold the farm and settled in a home on Naches Heights. The property was large enough for a spacious front yard and back garden. Gardening was one of Horst’s passions, along with other outdoor activities, such as hiking. Horst and Mavis loved to travel, and camped at more than 300 locations in the western U.S. and Canada. They also frequently traveled every spring to visit their younger son in Arizona.
Not long after his wife Mavis passed away in 2011, Horst moved to Living Care Retirement Community in Yakima, where he spent the rest of his life. He was an active member of West Valley Church of the Nazarene, and enjoyed traveling and hiking even into his early 90s.
He was preceded in death by both his parents, Max and Elisa, and his wife Mavis. He is survived by his three children, Christina of Seattle; Hans (Teri) of Bothell; and Gary (Heather) of Tempe, Arizona; four grandchildren, Max, Karl, Rebekah, and David; and numerous family members in Germany including his brother Gisbert (Ria), sister Gisela, brother Holger (Heidrun), and sister Heidi (Gerhard).
Gift donations may be made to West Valley Church or the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy, in care of Keith & Keith Funeral Home.
A public memorial service will be held later this summer. To share a memory of Horst visit www.keithandkeith.com.