Dave Logan/For Peninsula Daily News Diana Losch, right, volunteers at CrabFest one last time, stirring a pot with friend Toga Hertzog.

Dave Logan/For Peninsula Daily News Diana Losch, right, volunteers at CrabFest one last time, stirring a pot with friend Toga Hertzog.

CrabFest a homecoming tradition for one volunteer

PORT ANGELES — For at least one former resident, the Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival is a homecoming.

Diana Losch travels to Port Angeles from Las Vegas, Nev., each year to help out her longtime friends, Toga and Lisa Hertzog — the owners of Toga’s Soup House at 122 W. Lauridsen Blvd. — at the annual CrabFest.

She volunteered for many years for the Hertzogs at CrabFest before she moved to Las Vegas in 2011.

Since then, she has returned annually to see her friends and enjoy her old home.

“I lived here for 30 years and raised my family here,” she said after the end of her shift at the Hertzogs’ hat booth.

“I love coming back. Port Angeles is a wonderful place.

”I moved to be a grandma,” she explained. “I would never have left if my grandchildren hadn’t been in Las Vegas.”

Losch babysat the Hertzogs’ children, Carsten and Alex, and her son Aaron, now 40, was the Hertzogs’ dishwasher at Toga’s Northwest & International Cuisine — the precursor to the soup house — when he was 16, she said.

Now Carsten is a junior at Western Washington University and Alex is a senior at Port Angeles High School.

Aaron is a chef serving as the director of culinary operations at the 4-star Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino. He lives in Las Vegas with his wife, Jamie, and their children, Abbie, 10, and Ethan, 8.

Losch, 60 — who had worked at Port Angeles High School as an occupation information specialist for 21 years — moved nine years ago to be close to her family.

“Grandchildren are a powerful attraction,” she said.

Her annual return to Port Angeles “gives me an opportunity to come back to this beautiful place and gives me a chance to see all my friends,” she said.

Today — the final day of the CrabFest — Losch will work in the Toga’s Soup House booth helping out with crab and clam chowder.

And soon, she will return to Las Vegas to her son, daughter-in-law, grandkids and daughter Sharon, who has Down syndrome and lives with the family.

“It’s nice to have everybody together,” she said.

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Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at [email protected].

Freelance photographer Dave Logan contributed information and contact numbers for this story.

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