It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of a brother, friend and volunteer of the community, Gregory Dale Lassila.
Greg was born Dec. 15, 1958, in Richmond, Kentucky, and passed away on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023, in Olympia. Greg spent most of his early life in Inkster, Michigan and graduated from Robichaud High School in Dearborn Heights in 1977.
Greg enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1977 as an enlisted man, and after completing officer training school in 1986, he received his commission. While in service he also completed his bachelor of science degree in government and politics from the University of Maryland. Most of his Air Force career involved radio communications and security, serving at stations in the United Kingdom, Korea, Berlin and Turkey. While also serving during the Cold War, he also had assignments for Desert Shield/Storm, Operation Provide Comfort and Provide Hope. Later in his career he was assigned to the National Security Agency until retiring from the Air Force in 1998.
After his service in the military, he continued to serve with the United States government in various agencies until fully retiring in 2012.
Greg was married to Capt. Quahlee (Hughes) Lassila from 1993 to 2022. She also served as a flight nurse in the U.S. Air Force from 1988 to 1995.
Greg had a love for so many interests. In 2013, he began volunteering at the Veterans Memorial Museum as a docent, receptionist and, for several years, as a member of the board of directors. He was passionate about veterans in our community and served in 2023 until his death with the Lewis County Veterans Advisory Board and also with the Hope for Heroes program in Tenino. At the time of his death, he had almost nearly completed his masters degree in military history. Veterans and history were not his only passion as he was a Master Food Preserver through the Washington State University extension food preservation program. Greg was also passionate about his animals, which included his horse, Dragoon, and his cats. Fine clothing was also a passion, as he was always dressed in the finest vintage clothing when out in public.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Eino and Sally Lassila, and eldest brother, Wendell Johnson. Survived by his sister, Karen Lassila, one niece and four nephews, and his ex-wife Quahlee.
A memorial service will be held at the Veterans Memorial Museum on Dec. 2 at 11 a.m. Lunch will be provided. In lieu of flowers, his family requests that a donation in his memory be made to the Veterans Memorial Museum in Chehalis, Washington.