Robert S. Almquist, 77, taught middle-school in Bellevue according to friends, and was involved in starting Plymouth Housing Group in 1980.
Robert S. Almquist, a retired teacher and social-services manager from Seattle, was killed Saturday during a home invasion at the residence he and his wife shared outside Quito, Ecuador, according to friends and Latin American news sites.
Marcia Almquist survived, according to the website Latin America Current Events and News. It was not clear if she was injured in the attack.
Ecuadorean authorities Sunday arrested a Venezuelan citizen suspected of killing Almquist, according to the news website EcuadorPlay, after he tried to sell a stolen cellphone in Quito.
Almquist, 77, who taught middle-school Spanish in Bellevue, according to friends, was an active member of Plymouth Church in downtown Seattle and was involved in starting Plymouth Housing Group in 1980. The group is now one of Seattle’s largest nonprofits operating supportive housing for formerly homeless people.
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After retiring from teaching, Almquist took a job as social-services manager for Plymouth Housing for 15 years, according to Paul Lambros, CEO of Plymouth Housing Group. Lambros said in an email that Plymouth Housing staff are heartbroken.
Almquist was involved in many projects helping homeless people and youth for much of his life, said Anthony Robinson, former senior minister of Plymouth Church. He was also in the Peace Corps when he was younger.
“All of it really was, I would say, serving the common good in ordinary, unassuming ways,” Robinson said.
Bob and Marcia Almquist moved to Ecuador within the last decade to be closer to Marcia’s brother, and to continue social projects and involvement with Rotary in Ecuador, according to Stephanie Jones, who has known the couple for almost 50 years and visited them in Ecuador.
Almquist was a quiet and generous man, Jones said. When she mentioned that she was looking to move in January, Almquist said she should move in with them in Ecuador.
“And now I really regret not having done it,” Jones said. “It’s a loss to everyone and so many communities.”