Remembering Companis Champion John Eric Rolfstad

Companis is grieving the death of our beloved champion and board member John Eric Rolfstad. He left us suddenly and unexpectedly on April 4th, following a short illness. John Eric was surrounded by his family and close friends at the UW Medical Center as he passed from complications of spinal meningitis. We are in shock that we are having to say farewell to our good friend.

John Eric joined the Companis Board in 2013, and has been a leader in the Companis community ever since.  For the past few years, he has served as Board Treasurer, and his values-driven spirit is just part of the legacy he leaves. He chaired the Finance and Audit Committees, as well as the Craig R. J. Darling Fund for Transformational Leadership, named for Companis Founding Director Craig Darling. John Eric’s participation in strategic plan work resulted in stating clearly the values that guide our work together: Compassion, Service, Inclusion, Relationships, and Reflection.  John Eric commonly viewed and articulated our board deliberations and decisions through the lens of our values, inspiring us to greater vision. In 2015, John Eric served as host of the Companis Biennial Celebration.

Through his exuberance for community building, compassion for those dying and suffering from illness, his love for music both choral and instrumental (including the Seattle Men’s Chorus and Seattle Women’s Chorus, and the Univerisity of Jamestown Concert Choir in his home state of North Dakota), and his great generosity of spirit and philanthropy, John Eric touched thousands of lives. He leaves us far too soon, at age 59. 

A Celebration of John Eric's life and love of music takes place Saturday, June 2nd, at 11 a.m. at Seattle First Baptist Church, 1111 Harvard Avenue, in Seattle's First Hll neighborhood, the day after what would have been his 60th birthday.

We send our heartfelt condolences to his sister Dorothy and brother Tom and their families, and friends here in the Northwest and worldwide. For that’s how big an impact John Eric has made in his time with all of us – he moved worlds in his compassion, empathy and love for his neighbors. Thank you, John Eric. We will miss you so very much.