Kim Saugstad passed away in his sleep on February 1. He was born in North Dakota and had a wonderful childhood in Red Lodge, Montana. He had many fond memories of his time there and must have learned his delight in the out-of-doors by growing up next to Yellowstone. His family moved to California when he was a teenager and he made lifelong friends in his high school years in the close-knit class of 1963 at Turlock High.
Kim met his wife of almost 49 years, Julie Osner Saugstad, on a river trip when he was working for White Water River Expeditions. Together they built their house, raised their son Andy Saugstad, and enjoyed lots of time in the outdoors. Kim loved camping, fishing and motorcycling. In their younger days, he and Julie had great times motorcycle camping. He loved all the fun of group camping trips with friends and family. He loved the Sierras and the Coastal Redwoods, and in his later years, came to know and love Death Valley. He also returned to his roots and camped in Red Lodge, Yellowstone, and the surrounding area.
Kim loved serving as Andy’s soccer and baseball coach. He enjoyed “his” boys and related really well to Andy’s friends. He taught Andy how to be an outdoors man, mechanic and woodworker spending hours together in the garage from the time Andy could walk. Most importantly, Kim showed Andy he could take on any challenge, from climbing a rock to overhauling a bike.
Kim completed his economics degree at Stanislaus State but opted to be a blue collar worker. He was an excellent mechanic, welder and woodworker. He designed and built most of the wood furniture in the family home. He always had an artistic talent and many of his paintings are also displayed in the home.
Kim is survived by his wife Julie of Modesto, son Andy and Andy’s wife Jessica and beloved grandsons, Mason and Noah of Somis, CA, and by his brothers Stewart of Turlock and Robert of Livingston. He was very fond of his nieces and nephews: Taylor, Amanda, Jeremy, Gabe, Blythe, Miriam, Ian and Heather. He was also survived by sisters-in-law: Jane Taylor, Diana Bowman, Jo Sokolo, Jennifer Osner, Jane Hargrave and Elise Osner and brothers-in-law: George Osner and John Osner.
Kim was not fond of formality so instead of a service there will be a private gathering to remember him.
If you wish to make a donation in Kim’s memory, he would have appreciated support of the Jack and Buena Foundation (Camp Jack Hazard, which Andy attended), the Yosemite Conservancy or any environmental organization.