Fred Ossewarde passed away peacefully on April 22, 2019 surrounded by his loving family. Fred was born in Bellingham, Washington September 30, 1934, and adopted at three days old by Helen and Lewis Ossewarde. He grew up in Bellingham an only child, but 20-some years ago he did a search and found a half-brother, Robert Martin, who he had been in Rotary with for many years. They enjoyed their new relationship as brothers.
Fred was an outstanding high school athlete. He played on the Bellingham High School (class of ’53) Red Raiders basketball and baseball teams his sophomore, junior and senior years. Fred served in the Naval Reserve for eight years with perfect attendance.
Fred married Carol Haan in 1956 and they had two daughters, Erin and Wendy Ossewarde.
In 1976 he married Joann Beamer and they established their life together in LaConner.
Fred developed an early passion for logging and bought his first chainsaw when he was 14, growing 200 chickens to raise the cash. He met Bob Hinton in high school when Bob heard Fred had a chainsaw. Bob had a panel truck and access to cedar shake blocks. They went into business together and began a successful partnership that lasted over 40 years as H&O Logging Co. Inc. Fred and Bob enjoyed taking their logging crews on moose hunting trips in Canada and fishing on the Skagit River in the early days when steelhead salmon were abundant. Fred also owned Bakerview Lands LLC and JFO Idaho Lands LLC. Fred never did put down his chainsaw. After retiring in 1986 he turned to cutting firewood for friends and family.
A Rotarian for over 40 years, Fred was recognized for his perfect attendance. He lived with the Rotary’s “Four Way Test” as guidance for his life:
Fred was an avid salmon fisherman and took the family fishing in Tofino, BC for many years. In recent years he and son Bob took annual trips to Port Hardy, BC bringing home wild salmon and halibut for the family.
He and Joann celebrated their February wedding anniversary in Hawaii for 43 years. They also traveled extensively throughout Alaska and British Columbia.
Fred’s family and friends will remember him for treating them with kindness and respect, and for helping them accomplish their dreams. He was always positive and supportive of his family, friends and colleagues. He cared deeply about the people he loved and was not afraid to show it.
Fred was predeceased by his parents Helen and Lewis Ossewarde, and half-brother Robert Martin. He is survived by his wife Joann Ossewarde, and daughters and sons of his blended family: daughters Wendy Bulhoes (Ernie), Erin Vitaljic (Andy), Kathleen Olson (Kim), son Robert Beamer (Jette), granddaughter Lena Beamer, great granddaughter Seren Spoelstra; step granddaughters Tiffany Jenks, Elisabeth Olson (Tristan) their children Mirabelle, Oriana and Roderick, and Kristina Halfdane (Dane) their children Ingerina, Metelina and Helm; his brother-in-law Jim Lehman (Julie Remmerde) and their children Hannah and her daughter Sylvie, Caleb, Brule, Gila, Douglas and Kira.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday May 2, 2019 at 2pm at Moles Farewell Tributes - Bayview Chapel, 2465 Lakeway Drive, Bellingham WA 98229.
Memorials may be made in Fred’s name to the LaConner Library Foundation: at www.laconnerlibraryfoundation.org or The LaConner Library Foundation, PO Box 1025 LaConner, WA 98257.