Norman Wilfred "Bud" Christiansen

January 12, 1918 ~ February 18, 2013

Norman Wilfred Christiansen of Seattle, Washington, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, left to be with our Lord on February 18th, 2013. Norman was born on January 12th, 1918 in West Seattle and spent his childhood and youth there during the depression, developing a love of boating and ship building. His years as a young adult were spent boating in Puget Sound, fishing in the upper Skagit River, and exploring the San Juan Islands.
Norman graduated from West Seattle High School in 1936 and enrolled in the University of Washington's School of Engineering. He later signed on as a Merchant Marine and worked in the South Pacific during the 1930s.
Norman was drafted into World War II and was assigned to the 18th Engineers Division to begin building the Alaska Canadian Highway.
After the war, he returned to the Puget Sound area, settling in West Seattle.
He met Nancy Jeanne Kunze whom he married in 1947; they started a family soon after.
Norman began a career in the marine industry working for Spalding Shipyards and then for the marine architectural firm of L.R. Glosten and Associates in Seattle. His 20-year career with L.R. Glosten included projects for Foss Tug and Barge, Washington State Ferries, and the U.S. Navy.
Norman's love of boats and the waters of Puget Sound led him to the avocation of racing hydroplanes on Lake Washington beginning in the early 1950s. During that decade, he designed and built several limited and unlimited hydroplanes. Both Norman and the boats he built, the U - 4 Miss Tempest, the Miss Bardahl, and the Miss Burien, were pioneers in the early days of the hydro-racing circuit in the Puget Sound and the West Coast.
During the 1960s and 70s, Norman and Nancy raised four children and eventually retired to the Washington coast. They moved to Yuma, Arizona in the early 1980s.
Nancy passed away in 1995 and Norman moved back to the northwest, first to Vancouver, Washington and later to Eugene, Oregon where he spent his last years.
Norman is survived by his sons, Bill and Steven; and his daughters, Gail and Carol; his granddaughters, Jaimi and Malia; and his great-grandchildren, Malia's son, Julian, and Jaimi's daughter, Eva.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Northwest Hydroplane Museum in Kent, Washington.
A memorial service will be held on June 1, 2013 at Northwood Park Cemetery, 16407 15th Avenue, Ridgefield, Washington at 1:00 P.M.
Please sign Norman's Guest Book at

Published in The Columbian on Mar. 31, 2013