Richard Harrison Stuart
Richard Harrison Stuart of Sequim died of natural causes on March 18, 2021, at Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles.
He was 88.
Stuart was born Sept. 15, 1922.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
September 28, 1929 – February 27, 2021
Claude Cole lived a life of service.
Born September 28, 1929 on a farm outside Louisburg, Kansas, Claude was the youngest of nine children. When he was five years old, his family moved from their large farm and traveled across the country, eventually ending up in Fruitland, Idaho. Years later, Claude’s father, George Rufus Cole died from an accident in a packing plant. Claude was fourteen. His older brothers married and moved away or joined the WWII military. Claude stayed and completed high school where he wooed his sweetheart, Ines. He also worked on neighboring farms, hunted, and fished to provide for his mother and sisters.
Claude joined the U.S. Army and served for three years as part of the US. Occupation and Reconstruction forces in Germany and was awarded the World War II Victory Medal.
He married Ines, the love of his life, on February 16th, 1951 while on leave from the Army. After a short honeymoon he returned to Germany for a mandatory year extension. When he was finally discharged, he came home and joined the Forest Service. After a three-month honeymoon at a mountain look-out post, Ines and Claude moved to Seattle, where they had a daughter, Brenda.
Around 1958 Claude and family moved from Queen Anne, Seattle, to West Seattle where Claude opened a mortgage and escrow company. Years later he became Vice President of West Side Federal Savings and Loan. Most weekends Claude and family camped and fished in rivers, lakes, and Puget Sound. Claude even flew to Alaska to fish. He had a lovely wooden cabin cruiser he would fish from in Elliot Bay. Eventually Claude built an A-Frame cabin in Sequim where he and his family went on weekends to crab, dig clams, and of course, fish.
Over the years Ines and Claude welcomed many family members to live with them. Ines’ grandmother, as well as many of Ines’ siblings came and stayed for months. Her mother lived with the family for years. Claude’s nephews came and stayed off and on too.
In 1989 Ines and Claude retired to Sequim, WA where they built a small farm complete with a trout pond that local children and their three grandchildren loved to fish in. Claude enjoyed gardening and had a small orchard of fruit trees and a large garden of vegetables and flowers. Over the years he raised many types of birds, from chickens to pheasants. In the early years he raised cows and later shared the pastureland with local 4H Youth.
Claude and Ines were members of Sequim Trinity United Methodist Church. Claude and friends helped build the flame and cross symbol on the church. Claude was on the finance committee for years. Both Claude and Ines volunteered to help with almost every rummage sale, dinner, and always seemed to have kitchen duty.
Claude and Ines joined forces with friends and helped to renovate the Dungeness Schoolhouse and organized many events there, including musical theater, and an old-fashioned Christmas Tea. For years Claude would ask Sequim businesses to donate bikes for Sequim children at Christmas. Claude volunteered with the Department of Fisheries where he set traps to help assess the health of streams and worked at the fish hatchery. When he moved into town, he volunteered at the Sequim food bank.
Claude passed away on February 27th, 2021 in his apartment in Renton, Washington with his family at his side. He will be buried at Tahoma National Cemetery on March 18th.
Claude is survived by his daughter Brenda Beem and her husband Gary, his grandchildren, Justin Beem and wife, Mercedes, Jenna Beem, Jonathon Beem and wife Brittney, his great-grandchildren Avery and Jacob Beem, his sister Ethel Main, and many nieces and nephews.
Claude believed that the secret to happiness was friendship. He was blessed with many friends.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be sent to Sequim Trinity United Methodist Church, 100 South Blake Ave, P.O. Box 3697, Sequim, WA 98382.