Fred retired after a 37-year career with Goodyear. He started in Nebraska and his work took him to Canada, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Mexico. He was fortunate to travel the world during those years, and he continued to do so for the next 2 decades post-retirement. Fred’s love of nature provided him with so much fun and plenty of challenges. At the age of 67, he decided to take up glacier mountain climbing. He found a guide and recruited his brother Robert, daughter Javan, and nephew Mark to summit Mt. Baker. The next year they attempted Mt Rainier, but Mother Nature did not allow a summit, so they went back the following year to summit Mt Rainier. For his 70th birthday, his wife Michele joined him for his final climb of Mt Baker. Fred was also an avid volunteer after retirement. He coached basketball for his daughter in middle school. He tutored math for Chimacum middle schoolers. He also volunteered year-round for WDFW counting salmon (and much more) on Snow, Salmon, and Jimmycomelately Creeks for 16 years. Fred gave a huge portion of his time and energy to this endeavor and shared his knack for problem-solving freely and always with humor. Humor was such a part of his personality and he loved to make people laugh. After moving to the Peninsula, he learned the state tree of Washington is the Western Hemlock. Fred would enjoy telling people that he was from Nebraska, where the state tree is the telephone pole. Fred died on his own terms supported by his family on July 19th. He had been diagnosed with multiple health issues along with Alzheimer’s in recent years. Living a life with memory loss began to rob him of his confidence and ability to participate fully in life. His world was shrinking, and he did not want it to get any smaller. In the end, Fred chose to take charge of his death by choosing VSED (Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking) to allow a natural death. Because of his memory issues, Fred had to give up good days in order to avoid bad years of living with Alzheimer’s. With the help of his caring doctors, therapist, care team, and Hospice, he was able to have a peaceful end of life. Fred was able to have a living memorial with his siblings Vicki, Robert, and Cheryl (and spouses) in May and with his son Jimmy and grandchildren Erika and Brenna. They hiked, laughed, cried, shared stories, and played cribbage. They cherished this final time as a family. He was able to enjoy a final walk on Dungeness Spit with his son Jimmy and his wife Michele just prior to his VSED. His daughter Javan and wife were with him during the entire 8-day VSED process. Fred talked with his siblings, his son, his granddaughter Erika, and his friends. His granddaughter Brenna visited, along with friends up to his last day. He smiled and he enjoyed these precious moments. Death is a part of life, and he had no fear of it in the end. His resolve and determination to carry out his own wishes were amazing to experience. He knew this was a kind and gentle choice for himself and his family. We all learned so much from him, in life and in death. His family loved and supported him and that does not diminish their grief and loss.
Fred elected to have his body nourish the planet by using Earth for his soil transformation process. If Fred touched your life, please consider planting a tree in his honor. Allow that to be your continued connection to him. A memorial service will be held on September 24th at the Friends Barn at Fort Townsend State Park at 2 p.m.