Anyone who has visited Seattle Center or Bellevue Community College or played golf on any of a dozen local golf courses has seen the work...

Share story

Anyone who has visited Seattle Center or Bellevue Community College or played golf on any of a dozen local golf courses has seen the work of William G. Teufel.

Mr. Teufel, of Woodinville, considered by his peers to be one of the most accomplished landscape and golf-course architects in the nation, died Nov. 5 after battling cancer for several months. He was 82.

Mr. Teufel was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, on April 5, 1925. In the 1930s, his parents, Frank and Lucille Teufel, moved to Seattle where, for nearly 40 years, they operated a greenhouse in Madison Park. It was there that Mr. Teufel developed an early interest in landscape architecture, according to his son, Mitch Teufel, of Bellevue.

Mr. Teufel graduated from Garfield High School, where he was involved in many sports. He ranked No. 1 on the Garfield golf team, and during those years caddied at the Broadmoor Golf Club to earn extra money. He would later talk about how many of his values were formed by observing successful club members and wanting to emulate them, his son recalled.

Mr. Teufel enlisted in the Navy during World War II and received an honorable discharge. Afterward, he entered Washington State University and decided to study landscape architecture. He joined the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He eventually transferred to the University of Oregon, where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in landscape architecture in 1953.

Mr. Teufel opened his private landscape-architecture practice in Seattle in 1953 and, for nearly 40 years, worked with many of the best architects in the Pacific Northwest.

He designed the landscaping for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, the site of which is now Seattle Center. He also prepared the master plan for landscaping at Bellevue Community College. Twelve regional golf courses incorporate his master plans and other features. Included among them are the Wing Point course on Bainbridge Island, Gleneagles in Arlington and the Bellevue Golf Course in Bellevue.

Mr. Teufel also designed the landscaping for countless housing developments, hotels, office parks, commercial buildings and private residences.

One of his proudest accomplishments was acquiring a 3-acre site in Woodinville on a hillside northwest of the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery, where in 1988 he worked with an architect to design his residence. He planted 4,500 rhododendrons there and held an annual spring garden picnic that attracted hundreds of friends. He described the site as his “elegant barn situated in a garden,” and he would often share the story of how he found the property and developed it.

“He loved hosting these gatherings with his friends surrounded by his beautiful arboretum,” said his son.

“Toward the end of his life, he would often say how he felt he had had a wonderful life,” his son said. “He loved his kids; he was proud of his professional accomplishments; and he had the opportunity to travel to many parts of the world. He’d say he had a lot to be thankful for.”

In 1995, Mr. Teufel, a member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, was inducted as a “fellow” of that organization, one of the most prestigious in his field. He was also a founding member of the Northwest Forum, a private group drawing from various professions that meets to discuss solutions to regional problems.

In addition to his son, survivors include two daughters, Sandra and Shaye Teufel, both of the Seattle area. Cremation was conducted by Evergreen-Washelli in Seattle. A private memorial service is scheduled. The family requests that any remembrances be made to a favorite charity.

Peyton Whitely: 206-464-2259 or pwhitely@seattletimes.com.