Fred Melbourne Beals died June 13, 2011, at home in Bow, Washington with loving family by his side.
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Fred was born January 4, 1924 to Otis and Julia (Henderson) Beals in Marlborough, Massachusetts.
He attended school in Hudson where he met and later married Althea (Fletcher) Beals on February 15, 1943 in Boston. In 1953 Fred and Althea moved to Washington State with their three young children. In 1960 and 1962 they added two more children to their family, living in Alderwood Manor, moving to Stanwood in 1970, and Bow in 2006.
Before moving west, Fred engaged in various trades, but took great pride in his service as a police officer with the Hudson Police Association. After settling his family in Snohomish County, he served with the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office as a reserve deputy, where he made many life-long friends.
Fred worked in the meat processing industry in Seattle until purchasing the Silvana Cold Storage in 1968, eventually partnering his son Walter into the business. He found his passion in operating his own shop and providing excellent service to his customers. His reward was making every customer a friend and every friend a return customer.
Although never entirely giving up his place at the cutting bench, Fred sold the Cold Storage in 1989. He and Althea enjoyed extensive RV'ing before establishing a winter home at Sun Vista Resort in Yuma, Arizona. There they enjoyed the warm weather and tremendous relationships, including his friends in the church choir.
In addition to his driving commitment to family, Fred was involved in many charity functions, volunteering auctioneer services and raising money for meaningful causes. He was a regular at Muscular Dystrophy Association events and in Yuma sharpened knives for donations he gave to the LaConner Rotary Polio Plus Fund.
Fred served a number of years on the Stanwood-Camano Fair Board, helping enhance the horse riding arena and making improvements to facilities and programs that still exist. He was also active with the Silvana Community Fair. Fred was a Paul Harris Fellow with the North Snohomish County Rotary, with 20 years of perfect attendance. He also served as a Snohomish County Airport Commissioner.
Fred enjoyed a lifetime of fishing and hunting and could often be found fishing the lakes, rivers and salt waters of the Pacific Northwest as well as the west side of Vancouver Island. His great love was taking friends out in his bay boat, the SeaBee II, hitting the best fishing holes and rarely coming home with an empty fish box. Equally important were family trips to the ocean to dig razor clams.
Fred was preceded in death by son, Jeffrey Otis Beals; grandson, Jason Samuel Beals; and brother, Robert Beals of Kentucky.
Fred is survived by wife, Althea of Bow; sons, Walter (Mari) Beals of Concrete, Paul (Tima) Beals of Fairbanks, Alaska; daughters, Barbara (Mark) Leander of Bow; Katherine (Jack) Turner of Lake Stevens; grandchildren, USMC Sgt Matthew Leonard, Aaron Leonard and Scott Viboch; Jacob, Kelsie, Jeff, Jason (Carole) Leander; Drew Beals; and Elizabeth, Bowen and Tavish Beals. A special relationship with grandniece Kolleen Hancock, of Arizona also brightened his world.
A memorial will be held at Peace Lutheran Church, 1717 Larson Rd., Silvana, WA, on Saturday, July 2, 2011 at 1:30 p.m.
Funeral arrangements are by Weller Funeral Home, a memorial website at www.wellerfh.com.
Memorial donations may be made to the LaConner Rotary Club (www.laconnerrotary.org).
Published in Skagit Valley Herald Publishing Company on June 19, 2011