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|About||Whitey Domstad park is a located at the East end of the Manette Bridge at 1101 Wheaton way in the Manette Business District, named after Mayor Domstad|
Helmer Oliver Domstad was born in Grafton, North Dakota, to Norwegian immigrants. He ran away from home and joined the Navy at 17. He came to Bremerton on the battleship USS Tennessee where he met his wife, Elsie, at Perl’s Dance Pavilion in Navy Yard City. Elsie was the daughter of German immigrants who came to Bremerton in the late 1800’s; her father was caretaker of Evergreen Park. While Helmer was in the Navy, he was given the nickname “Whitey” because of his head of thick blonde hair.
Whitey was a boxer and won the Navy Heavyweight Championship in 1934. He later became a boxing official and refereed many major boxing matches, including the 1960 world heavyweight championship bout between Sonny Liston and Eddie Machen while he was mayor of Bremerton. You can watch the fight here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bd4OBvaJp78
Whitey was elected Mayor of Bremerton in 1955 and served three 3-year terms. He was elected president of the Association of Washington Cities in 1962. He was an active member of every service club in Bremerton. He was Santa every year in the city Christmas parade that went from Perry Avenue to Charleston. He was an active part of the summer Bremerton Water Festival. The highlight of the festival was the water follies with Mayor Domstad waterskiing on a slalom ski in front of Evergreen Park. Whitey died at 81 from Parkinson’s disease. His wife Elsie died at 100 ½ years old in 2012.
Elsie and Whitey had one child, Karen. She and her husband Will Maupin now live in Manette about a block away from Whitey’s park. You can see them weeding and picking up litter at the park to keep it an inviting place for all to visit.