William (Bill) Frederick

William (Bill) Frederick

Bill left this world at home in hospice care in a fashion similar to how he lived in it — gently and peaceably.

Despite his unassuming nature, this man quietly impacted the lives of many. The driving theme of his life was to seek to make things better for people, which he did both in personal interactions and local civic involvement. Bill burned with a lifelong passion for finding and sharing truth and helpful information with his friends and family, which the invention of email greatly facilitated.

Bill and Myra Frederick welcomed Bill, their firstborn son, into the world on Jan. 2, 1936, in Churchville, N.Y.

Young Bill developed an appreciation for the natural environment through helping with the family greenhouses.

The family moved to Seattle in 1950. Having graduated from Lincoln High School in 1954, Bill earned a bachelor’s degree in education at Seattle Pacific University in 1958. While working on an master’s of divinity in Christian education at Asbury Seminary, he attended the Young Life Institute in Colorado Springs, where he proposed to Viola Eckland, who was to be his wife for 53 years.

After teaching science at James Marshall and Bellevue Junior High Schools for a few years, Bill worked 10 years at Boeing in political-governmental relations. Continuing the theme of tens, he next spent 10 years as staff for the King County Council, focusing on energy conservation policies and building codes. He initiated development of the county’s Bicycle Facilities Plan, including what eventually became the Burke-Gilman Trail and King County Trails System. Bill was planning to initiate his own energy consulting business in Mount Vernon when an invitation to work in corporate development at Arrowhead Mills in Hereford, Texas, led to a dramatic change of scenery. Dallas then beckoned with positions at Easylink Electronic Mail, Western Union, and Engineering Software before he returned to the Northwest.

Bill had fallen in love with Whidbey Island after his parents established a summer home at Maxwelton in about 1960 and later retired there. This made his decision to retire in Freeland easy.

But retirement did not bring inactivity. At the age of 60, recruiters stationed outside Ace Hardware soliciting volunteers for South Whidbey Fire and EMTs proved irresistible to Bill, who had been pre-med in college. He dived into the intensive study required and successfully joined the South Whidbey Fire/EMS Department, serving the community as an EMT for 19 years until his death. He educated the public in child passenger car seat safety for Whidbey General Hospital and regularly manned the EMS station at community events. Serving on the Friends of Freeland board, Bill promoted a sidewalk and installed new trees alongside Payless and raised funds for the Freeland Wetlands Preserve on Scott Rd. He dreamed of a public trail from the Clinton Ferry to Deception Pass for walking, biking, and riding. He successfully worked with Island County to get a walking trail built from Bush Point Road to Scott Road, part of which is scheduled to be built later this year. He also served on the boards for the Mutiny Sands Community and the Dick Spady Forum Foundation in Seattle.

While showing children how to take blood pressure at the Island County Fair Aug. 5, Bill fainted and was taken to the hospital with a severe brain bleed from which he did not recover.

A celebration of his life will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 18341 State Route 525, Freeland, WA.

Bill is survived by his wife of 53 years, Vi; sons, Brian (Michelle) Frederick of Denton, Texas, and Douglas of Kirkland; grandchildren, Katherine, Thea, Zoe and Franke; brothers, Robert (Traci) Frederick of Cashmere, and Dick (Dixie) Frederick of Mercer Island; sister Mary (David) Sanborn of Whidbey Island; and many dearly-loved nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Young Life Whidbey Island (PO Box 1075, Freeland, WA 98249), Ryan’s House for Youth (P.O. Box 551, Langley, WA 98260), World Vision (PO Box 70102, Tacoma, WA 98481-0102) or Jerusalem Perspective Israel Office (PO Box 31820, Jerusalem 91317, Israel).

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