Rod Kulbach March 22, 1941 to June 15, 2019

Rod Kulbach died peacefully at home in Friday Harbor Saturday, June 15, 2019 of Multiple Syndrome Arthropathy (MSA). He was 78 years old.

Rod spent his life on or near the water. He was born in Germany and spent his early years near the Weser River. His family immigrated to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin where he learned to love boats and to hunt, fish, and dive. He was the youngest SCUBA diver on the lake.

Rod joined the marines and was introduced to the Pacific, serving in Okinawa and Camp Pendleton. Following his service, Rod returned to Europe, living in Italy and Greece. Two years later he left for Australia, where he worked as a diver on a massive construction project at Northwest Cape, Western Australia. A year later, Rod crewed on a sailboat sailing clockwise around the top of Australia.

Though he embraced the cruising life, he returned to the U.S. to build a boat and to finish his education. He spent years boatbuilding, cruising, and sailing.

He also visited Baja California, Mexico, fell in love with the region and lived in Bahia de Los Angeles for several years.

Rod and his partner Barbara Cox settled in Friday Harbor in 2001 where he consolidated his writing, some of which was published by Sail and Cruising World. His books include Baja Dreaming - Stories from Another Time and Seventeen Stories...and more.

He is survived by his partner of 35 years, Barbara, his sister Regina Pritchard, nephew Mark Tippins (Judy) and family in Germany.

A celebration of life will take place at a future date in the fall.

In lieu of flowers please donate to:

Inter Island Healthcare Foundation

PO Box 1715 Friday Harbor, WA 98250 or


Hospice of the Northwest

227 Freeway Drive, Suite A

Mount Vernon, WA 98273 or


Hospice of San Juan

PO Box 1434

Friday Harbor, WA 98250


1 comment

  • Stan K. Sujka
    Stan K. Sujka Saturday, 12 October 2019 18:51 Comment Link

    Just finish Rod’s book 17 stories and more and wanted to let him know how I really enjoyed them and then I found this.
    Rod, I hope yo ur journey to the other side was easy. I know if you could write that last story of yours, it would be just as great and enjoyable as your other stories and poems.
    Thank you for making this world a little richer.


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