Fred York Jr, age 78, passed away Memorial Day, May 25, 2015 at his home in Oroville. He was born April 24, 1937 in De Queen, Arkansas, the son of Alpha Myrtle Ballard and Fred York Sr. In 1947, the family migrated north, camping out in fields and by the roadside for the entire journey.
In his early teen years, Fred spent his summers in the high Chopaka country riding and herding cattle for the Jessup Cattle Company and loved every minute of being on his horse in the mountains, later often telling of the many adventures he had.
Fred attended school in Molson and Oroville before joining the United States Air Force in 1955, along with seven other young men from Oroville. After serving his term in the Air Force, he later joined the U.S. Army. He loved his country and was a proud member of the American Legion.
In 1963, he married Beverly Harrington.They had one son, Shane, who was the apple of his eye.Fred took Shane with him starting at a young age on all the camping, hunting and fishing trips, instilling in him the love of the wilderness and outdoors.During these times, Fred was employed by the U.S. Forest Service where he was very proud to have helped survey most of the roads around Beaver Canyon.
In 1968, the family moved to the Seattle area, where he was employed by the Seattle Water Department, working his way up to Safety Supervisor. Fred retired in 1996 with 28 years of service.
In 1983, he married Gwen Holt Oakes and they spent vacations and summers hiking, backpacking and canoeing arctic rivers and lakes. In 1999 Fred and Gwen canoed the Sheenjek River in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve. Fred loved being in the wilderness. He loved hunting and fishing.
Following retiring and moving back to Oroville, he spent every May Day in the parade either on a horse, or on a tractor. He loved to be in the parade waving and greeting everyone. He spent many weekends for four years driving granddaughter Ashley to horse shows all over Washington State. He tried to take his young grandsons on some kinds of small adventures, either canoeing, journeying north to Skagway, Whitewater rafting or spending a week in a cabin at Bonaparte Lake.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his son. He is survived by his loving wife of 32 years Gwen; his sisters Marjie (Chett) Guyll, Mary (Richard) Ellis and Lenora Williamson; loving niece and nephew Joanne and Dennis Louden; stepsons Bill Oakes, Jerry (Colleen) Oakes, honorary son Bob Zaler, stepdaughter Hollie (Mike) Darbyson and Valli (Gordon) Schroeter, grandsons Gabe, Damon and Bryce Darbyson, Tyson Oakes, Dylan Oakes, Evan and Drew Schroeter, granddaughters Ashley Oakes and Kasey York and special to his heart, Payton; nephews Travis Louden, Brad (Willie) Guyll, Mike (Lisa) Guyll and Rick (Wena) Ellis; nieces Misty (John) Glover, Kelly (Aaron) Atay, Leah Williamson, Rebecca (Dave) Walters and numerous great grandchildren. Fred truly enjoyed life and will be greatly missed.
Military services will be conducted on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at Oroville Riverview cemetery. A luncheon will follow at the Oroville American Legion.
Pastor Randy McAllister and the Oroville American legion are officiating.
Memorials may be made to the Frontier Hospice, Streetscape or the charity of your choice.
Bergh Funeral Service and Crematory is in care of arrangements.