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Einar Lauritz Hovind

1926 - 2012, Santa Barbara

After a brief battle with prostate cancer, Einar Lauritz Hovind - loving husband; generous father, grandfather, and great-grandfather; venerable weatherman; amiable Norwegian; man of faith; and awesome skier - died peacefully on December 9, 2012 surrounded by his family at Serenity House in Santa Barbara, California.

Einar was born to Norwegian immigrants Einar and Aslaug (Rasch) Hovind on July 17, 1926 in Spokane, Washington. Seven months later, his father died and his mother returned to Norway with him and his older brother, Arne. Finding it hard to raise the boys alone, she placed them in the Dahl’s Boys Home, in Elverum, Norway. Einar lived there from 1934 to 1943. In 1940, the Germans occupied Norway, separating Einar from his family in Bergen and his brother, Arne, who worked with the Norwegian Underground. In 1943, he returned to Bergen, where he finished school and was hired by the Norwegian Weather Bureau. During that time, he served in the Norwegian Royal Air Force and fell in love with meteorology.

On March 10, 1950, Einar crossed the Atlantic to New York City to maintain his US Citizenship. In 1951, Einar was hired at UCLA to work in the Meteorology Department and study under Professors Bjerknes and Holmboe, both pioneers in meteorology. His love for weather continued until the day he died. He provided daily weather reports to his family and friends when they called.

Being a true Viking, Einar’s first love was skiing. At UCLA, he would load up his car and drive all night to Mammoth Mountain so that he could hit the slopes as the sun came up. With only a rope behind a snow cat to get up the mountain, Einar skied all day and then made the 5-hour drive back to UCLA in time for classes. Skiing remained important to him – he set his last set of tracks earlier this year in April.

Early on at UCLA, he joined Ski Club and met a young red-head, named Elaine. She thought he would be a great “Norwegian” catch for her friend, Virginia, so she introduced them at the next meeting. About a year later, Virginia and Einar were married on August 8, 1952.

In 1957, after finishing graduate school, they moved to Santa Barbara where he joined North American Weather Consultants (NAWC). There, he and colleagues were pioneers in Weather Forecasting, Air Quality Studies and Cloud Seeding. By June, they had the first of their four children – Karen, followed by Cynthia, Tor and Ronald. They raised their children on the principles of family, faith, education, and fun.

Einar and his family were active in their community. They were long-time members of Trinity Lutheran Church; they were active in their children’s schools; they played bridge with the same friends for 57 years; they sailed with the Santa Barbara Sea Shells, C-15, and C-22 fleets; they were life-long members of Sons of Norway, American Scandinavian Foundation, the Norwegian Seaman’s Church, the Scandinavian American Culture and Historical Foundation at Cal Lutheran University. Einar found joy in life from his friends and activities.

In 1968, Einar bought a cabin Shaver Lake. It was his sanctuary. Here he taught his family and friends how to commune with nature in the “Viking” way. The family reunions there were special for him because he could give thanks for the love his family brought to his life.

On August 7, 2002, Virginia tragically died in a car accident, one day before their 50th Anniversary. His grief was palpable. Shortly afterwards, Einar reconnected with Elaine, who was a widow. As they corresponded, a small flame of love began to grow and they were married on October 25, 2003. For the next 9 years they traveled the world; doted on their kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids; and found love and joy in their family and friends. The smiles on their faces were grounded in their deep love for each other and their families; a smile that graced us as he slowly passed away.

Einar is preceded in death by his wife, Virginia, his parents, and his brother, Arne. He is survived by his wife, Elaine Lewis-Hovind; his children Karen (Philip) Wilson, Cynthia (Linda Sakai), Tor (Tamara), and Ronald (Mia); his grandchildren Holly Wilson, Laura (Jonathan) Wilkinson, Erica, Samantha, Lars, Kiana, and Kaili; Elaine’s children Randal (Argelia) Lewis, Geoffrey (Deborah) Lewis, Matthew (Paula) Lewis, Jennifer (Bob) Carter, Jason (Marie) Lewis, grandchildren and great grandchildren; by his sister-in-law, Carol Hovin, niece, Randi Ann (Mike) Rigg, and nephew, Leif Hovin; and by countless extended family and friends around the globe.

A memorial service will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church, 909 N. La Cumbre Rd, Santa Barbara, California, on Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 11 AM. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the American Scandinavian Foundation Scholarship Fund (through the Santa Barbara Foundation) or the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church Scholarship Fund.

Einar, your love, laughter, and stories will continue to lead us through life like the fine set of parallel ski tracks that you set for us in the fresh snow. We love you and we miss you.

Special thanks to Dr. Phreaner, Dr. Curhan, Dr. Abate, Cottage Hospital Palliative Care, and Serenity House for his care. Arrangements by Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapels.

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