Dr. Arthur Herbert Himmler was born to Herbert and Ella Himmler on Jan. 6, 1945, in Dieterich, Ill. He was raised in the small farming township of Wenona, Ill.s, with his two older siblings, Marvin and Pauline. After graduating valedictorian of Wenona High School’s graduating class of 1963, he decided not to pursue his childhood ambition of becoming a “professional hunter and fisherman” in order to pursue a career in the noble profession of Education. He left small town Wenona and journeyed to Washington State where he earned a Bachelor’s in Education from Washington State University.
Art began his extensive career in education as a teacher in a struggling Chicago school system where he began the first music program. His life adventure continued as he accepted a position as a music teacher for Hong Kong International School. There, he became an avid sailor and captained his sailboat, “The Panda”. He spent seven years teaching, sailing and ocean diving, before accepting a position as a music teacher for Bangkok International School. This lead to the start of another new adventure as he met and married his wife of 32 years, Noi. Before returning to the states with his new bride, he adopted Noi’s daughter, Ja-ay, and her niece, Pikuhn, as his own daughters, and brought his new family to the United States.
The call of higher education called him back to Washington State University for the completion of his Doctoral program in Education Administration. Continuing his adventure, he accepted the dual position of principal and superintendent for Orcas Island School District in the San Juans where his daughter, Elna, was born. Art’s success in the dual role continued to Carbonado School District, followed by his longest role as superintendent for Steilacoom School District. There, he raised his family, contributed greatly to the school system, and enthusiastically enjoyed the life of a sportsman. After his children were grown, he and his wife relocated to Omak where he served as superintendent until his passing.
Arthur will be remembered for his love of the outdoors, his humanity, dedication to his family, and selfless service. His memory will also be preserved in the many great works he completed for public education, and for his exemplary dedication to his staff and students. There will come a time when a man must choose between what is right, and what is easy. Arthur never failed to choose the right.
He is survived by his wife, Noi; his three daughters, Ja-ay, Pikuhn, and Elna; and his two grandchildren.
There was a memorial service at 3 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, at Oberlin Church, located at 1603 Rainier Street in Steilacoom. A reception followed. In lieu of gifts, the family kindly requests that a donation to the first annual Dr. Arthur H. Himmler Memorial Scholarship be made through the Steilacoom Historical Education Foundation at www.shefonline.com.
A Memorial Service in Omak, Wash., will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, in the Omak Performing Arts Center.
Precht-Harrison-Nearents Chapel and the Okanogan County Crematory, LLC, of Okanogan, are caring for the arrangements.