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Retiring Port Employees Total 71 Years of Service


Burlington – The Port of Skagit has said goodbye to three longtime employees who are retiring after a combined 71 years of service at the port.

Linda Oliver (far left photo), a port employee since 1969, retired at the end of September from her position as senior accountant. She has worked with every executive director in port history except the first one and recalls working at the La Conner Marina with her mother, Pearle Jensen, when there were just two docks on the channel before the two current boat basins were built. She also served in the port office in Burlington before moving to the current offices at Skagit Regional Airport when they opened in the late 1970s.

“I’ve had my hands in just about everything,” Oliver said. “That has kept it interesting.”

Oliver lives in Lyman and has two grown children. In retirement she plans to spend more time with her great grandson.

Linda K. Gustafson (center photo), operations coordinator at the La Conner Marina, has worked for the port since 1987 and also retired at the end of the month. Over the years, she has had the opportunity to do just about all the tasks involved in running the marina, she said.

“It has been a very good job,” she added. “I’ve liked the people I worked with. We’ve all gotten along really well, and the marina tenants have been nice, too. It’s like a big family.”

Gustafson and her husband, David, each have three children and live in Sedro-Woolley. They look forward to traveling around the country in their motor home, visiting family, and making a trip to Europe next year to visit Linda’s son in Germany.

Paul Stannert (right photo) worked for the port for seven years prior to retiring as harbormaster at the La Conner Marina on April 1. He went back to school after a 30-year career in the fishing industry and then joined the port. He first worked as an intern and then became environmental coordinator before transferring to the marina in October 2006.

Stannert has been enjoying golf and travel since retiring. He lives with his wife, Nancy, in Anacortes; they have a son and daughter.

The port commissioners honored the three retirees at their Sept. 21 work session.

If you are a reporter seeking information about the Port of Skagit, please call Linda Tyler, Community Outreach Administrator, at 360-757-0011 or email