HANGING ART – Raven Shaw hangs up art at her booth for the Sitka Artisans Market this afternoon at Harrigan Centennial Hall. Her business, Raven's Random, sells original art stickers and prints. The market opens tonight and runs through Sunday. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Martin Fredrickson Dies; Former Fire Chief was 81

Martin Fredrickson


Longtime Sitka resident Martin (Marty) Fredrickson passed away February 3, 2019, at Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau, after a long battle with cancer.
He was 81.
Marty was born January 31, 1938, in Sioux Lookout, Ontario, Canada. In 1955 he left high school and joined the Royal Canadian Navy.
He married Opal Helgesen (Olsen), from Hydaburg, on November 1958, in Seattle, Washington.  They had five daughters. 
In 1959 Marty completed his service in the Navy and the young family left Victoria, British Columbia, looking for a place to set down roots.  Marty and his family moved to Sitka in 1960.  The small town of snow-capped mountains, dense forest and seemingly endless islands to explore was exactly the kind of place he had in mind.
As soon as he arrived, he became an active member of the community.  He found a job at Alaska Pulp Corporation and began volunteering with the Sitka Volunteer Fire Department.  Volunteering with the fire department turned out to be something he loved, and he worked his way up to become the Sitka Fire Chief.  After becoming chief, Marty held jobs at Allen Marine and again at Alaska Pulp Corporation, and always remained involved in the Sitka Volunteer Fire Department. 
He was a member of the Alaska State Firefighters Association and held a position on their governing board. He spent a lot of time educating the communities in Southeast Alaska on fire safety.   Also during this time, he joined the Sitka Rotary Club and Sitka Elks Lodge, and spent years working on their many community projects and enjoying the camaraderie. 
Marty’s family life was as busy as his professional and community life. Whether it was hiking the trails of Indian River, or Thimbleberry Lake or out on the boat, fishing and exploring the waters around Sitka, there were many adventures with family and friends.
In later life, his love of the outdoors and a concern for a sustainable fishing industry led him to become a board member of the Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association (NSRAA).  He married Karen Collier in 1999.
In his retirement, he spent his days with family, fishing and the fire department.
He was especially proud of his eight  grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.  He enjoyed hockey, a good book, a cribbage game, Neil Diamond, Swedish pancakes and homemade cookies. He was the best “jitter-bugger” in town.  His most favorite gift was a box of cherry cordials with bites out of the bottom of each one and all the filling gone. (Not one daughter ‘fessed up. 
Out in the community, Marty always brought a smile, a story and good natured advice.

Marty is survived by his daughters, Rhonda Bowen (Mike) of Port Angeles, Washington; Maureen Fredrickson (Bill Peters) of Sitka; Robin Bergey (Guy) of Juneau, Florence Woodbury (Scott) of Portland, Oregon, and Amy Fredrickson of Port Angeles.
Grandchildren are Matt Bowen, Wes Bowen (Mandi Ahles); Jeff Wolfe (Sabrina Dale), Joel Wolfe (Jeannie) and Kate Bergey; Max Woodbury and Jake Woodbury; and Aleksia Fredrickson.
Great-grandchildren are Karley Bowen-Woodruff (Tyler) and Tyler Bowen, Claire Wolfe, Emma Wolfe and Eli Wolfe.
Also surviving are his sisters Irene Fredrickson of Kenora, Ontario, and Eleanor Kmetic  of Orleans, Ontario, and their extended families; and his faithful best friend and companion, his poodle, Toby. 
He was preceded in death by his father, Martin Fredrickson, and mother, Rosanna Rheault Fredrickson of Reddit, Ontario, Canada.
“We are honoring our father’s wishes with no public funeral service,” his daughters said. “Should you wish to honor Marty, please consider a memorial donation to the Sitka Volunteer Fire Department.”
 


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