What locals say about Fritz Hull | HOMETOWN HERO

What locals say about Fritz Hull, a South Whidbey Hometown Hero.

About Fritz Hull

Birth date, place: 1936, Seattle.

Parents: Father teacher, coach; Mother raised the kids.

Siblings: 2.

Education: Roosevelt High School in Seattle, University of Washington, Princeton Theological Seminary, San Francisco Theological Seminary.

Occupations: Ordained Presbyterian minister, served as campus minister, University Presbyterian Church in Seattle, 1963-72. Founder with wife, Vivienne, of Whidbey Institute and Chinook Learning Center, and leadership retreats on the Island of Iona in Scotland.

Children: Timothy Hull, songwriter/musician.

Years on Whidbey: Part time, 73 years.

Hobbies: Restoring old buildings and building new ones. Work in forests on projects, trail work, travel and writing.

People Hull admires: His wife Vivienne. They have worked side by side for 50 years. They share a mission to help others in life. His son, Timothy, has been a great part of all that. Many people on South Whidbey; without them the Institute or Chinook could not have been achieved. He has a great admiration for many people here.

What would you want to do over and better this time? “If it was possible to do some things over, I would definitely express more appreciation for the work of others, more acknowledgment; it’s so important.”

What locals say about Fritz Hull

“When we think of Fritz we are immediately filled with gratitude for the four decades of consciousness-raising work that Fritz and Vivienne have offered in this community and throughout the world. Fritz and Vivienne were our inspiration to move to Whidbey Island 30 years ago, to join with the work they were leading at the Chinook Learning Center. They continue to educate and inspire thought and action supporting the vision of a sustainable future for our children and grandchildren.”

— Susan and Greg Gilles, volunteers

“Fritz is a key person in Whidbey’s development and in our family’s. When he and Vivienne moved into Fritz’s father’s fishing shack in Clinton, a cascade of great changes followed. Establishing the Chinook Learning Community meant attracting people from all over the world to come to Whidbey — and many of us stayed. Fritz’s creativity, intelligence and warmth mean the world to us and to all who have now experienced the fabulous results of his efforts.”

— Ann Medlock and John Graham, founder and director of Giraffe Heroes Project International


“Fritz is a dreamer, inspiring others, a father, a husband and a friend. Forty years ago, Fritz and Vivienne founded Chinook and later Whidbey Institute, a place to gather, share, learn and celebrate — a living testimony to a dream fulfilled.”

— Nancy Nordhoff, Hedgebrook founder, philanthropist


“Our relationship with Fritz and Vivienne began in 1979 with community involvements. Jim has traveled with Fritz many times, most recently to Kenya working on the Wangari Maathai ‘Greening of Africa’ project. Fritz originated a men’s group of some local community leaders in 1990 that is together cohesively to this day. Today his focus is on our youths. Fritz’s lifelong work with religious background has enabled him to have a strong guiding hand in all walks of our community life.”

— Jim and Jo Shelver, youth and community volunteers


“Fritz is one of the magnificent attractors who drew my wife Peggy and me to Whidbey. His eco-spiritual vision, as well as his warmth and kindness, and his love of the Chinook lands, make him one of my heroes. Fritz taught me how to more deeply care for the earth, and he made it possible for me to create the Whidbey Cybercafé & Bookstore under the auspices of the Whidbey Institute. Fritz and I have also been in a men’s group together for 17 years!”

— Rick Ingrasci, M.D., Big Mind Media and Story Dome director


“Fritz and his wife Vivienne, an equal partner in his endeavors, have played a major role in shaping South Whidbey culturally and philosophically to our great benefit. Fritz articulated the Christian call to cherish and steward all of creation. True to these values, they have taken on the role of stewardship of the 70-odd acres at and around the land at what is now the Whidbey Institute. Recently Fritz has reached out to younger folks, believing that as a culture we will only cherish and protect what we love, so he brought hundreds of youths to the land to gain this deep appreciation of the created order.”

— Dave Anderson, former veterinarian, politician, current volunteer


“Fritz Hull is one of the main reasons I settled on Whidbey back in 1983. I listened to him talk and thought, ‘There is much I can learn from this man.’ And indeed there was, and is. I admire Fritz’s vision and his commitment to the well-being of this planet. His faith, his caring about people, his positive spirit in the face of adversity are all qualities I admire and which serve him well. His stewardship of the land benefits the whole island. Thank you, Fritz!”

— Nancy Waddell, community volunteer


“Perhaps the most important thing Fritz has taught throughout his career is that religion and the environment are not opposed to each other but, in fact, fit together seamlessly. It is imperative, he will say, that we carry on “the Great Work” of bringing the scientific study of the environment more fully into our religious thought and recognize that the entire universe and its evolution are part of a sacred story. His vision and imagination have had an enormous impact on these last twenty years of my life, and for that I am deeply grateful.”

— Larry Daloz, senior fellow, Whidbey Institute


“Fritz has had a major – if relatively quiet – influence on the whole of South Whidbey. This has contributed significantly to the general culture and network of relationships of the south end of the island. He has gifted new generations with an important avenue through which to give their contributions to the world. He has, indeed, lived a spirit of legacy.”

— Heather Johnson, associate director, Whidbey Institute


“Fritz is a giant in wisdom, vision, spirit and deed. He thinks big — really big (think universe) — and has the great gift of making big dreams happen. He does this through an ever-evolving process of discernment … bringing people together, weaving them together, drawing them out, connecting them, listening to them, and nurturing them until some sort of magic happens — like the Whidbey Institute, StoryHouse, or The School for Knowing Home.”

— Lisa Kois, collaborating with Fritz Hull at the School for Knowing Home


“Fritz brought vision, compassion, and community to Whidbey. There are so many folks who followed Fritz to Whidbey. He brings magic and vision to create a better world. When I sit with Fritz I feel he sees me with an open heart. He is a rugged outdoorsman who enjoys creating trails in the woods for others.”

— Rick Paine, volunteer

More in Life

Photo by Maria Matson / Whidbey News Group
                                <em>Whidbey Island resident Dick Evans will be signing and selling copies of his book, Fazkils, at the Clinton Community Hall.</em><em></em>
Hollywood actor, author reflects on his life, career in new book

Richard “Dick” Evans is an actor, writer and director with a long… Continue reading

Fall festival returns to Greenbank Farm

Sept. 30 celebration of harvest and community

Bird in the Hand Festival slated for Sept. 22

Audubon’s preserved birds to be displayed at Bayview

Free jammin’, campin’ sessions added to Djangofest

The Island County Fairgrounds Campground will be filled with music later this… Continue reading

Raptors ready to roost at annual festival

Get up close with nature’s hunting aviators Saturday

Virtuosos joining forces at Djangofest

At 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23, Grammy-winning classical guitarist Jason Vieaux will… Continue reading

War hero celebrates 100th birthday this month

Movie scenes of World War II combat are real experiences and vivid… Continue reading

Celebrating an artistic legacy

Whidbey Allied Artists will feature late colleague’s work

Growing after all these years

Bayview Farm and Garden celebrates anniversary

Most Read