Frederic Arthur

Obituary of Frederic Joel Arthur

Frederic Joel Arthur passed on Saturday, November 7, 2020. He was born March 14, 1950, in Eugene, Oregon, when his father, Gerald Evan Arthur, was a GI Bill student at the University of Oregon, having served in the US Army during World War II in the Pacific. Joel's mom was Margaret Guentz Arthur, a native of Spokane, Washington, also a WWII vet, having served in the Navy in San Francisco as a WAVE. Joel spent the majority of his youth in Portland, Oregon, and discovered his lifelong passion of sailing when he was 16 and learned to sail with his friend, Roger Cole, on the Cole family sailboat on the Columbia River. While in high school, Joel was a star baseball player and bowler. After graduating from James Madison HS in Portland (1968), Joel spent three years at Oregon State University, in Civil Engineering, then took a break to work in California before he enlisted in the US Navy. He was stationed in Guam at Naval Communications Station during the final years of the Vietnam War. After being honorably discharged from active duty in the Navy, he spent six years as a Naval Reservist and began attending Portland State University, as an accounting major. He enjoyed time on the PSU fencing team, too. He met his wife Julie (née Yeager) while he was a student at PSU, and after telling her of the tropical beauty of Guam, and the great sailing there, they got married, Julie got a job at the University of Guam, and they shipped his Hobie Cat (Bien Hoa) to Guam, where they lived, sailed, SCUBA'd, explored the jungle, and Joel surfed. Joel worked at the Bosun's Locker, a marine supply store, a job that enabled him to meet every recreational sailor on the island and also those who sailed to Guam and beyond, and to invite every transiting sailor home for a hot shower and meal. After Guam, they moved to Stockton, California, where Joel graduated with a bachelor's degree in Mathematics in 1986 from University of the Pacific, and explored the San Joaquin River Delta in their second sailboat, a 26-foot swing keel Clipper Marine (Sandscape), the replacement for Bien Hoa, which they sold before leaving Guam. In 1987, Joel and Julie moved to Arcata, California, where Joel worked as a math tutor at College of the Redwoods and crewed for other captains on several coastal sailing expeditions, both south to San Diego and north to Glacier Bay, Alaska. They moved to Tacoma, Washington, in 1999. In 2000, they bought property on Harstine Island and loved spending time on the island when they weren’t working. By this time, they were on their third sailboat, a 26-foot fixed keel boat (Tekoa) and Joel was working at Breakwater Marina in Tacoma. After retiring from Breakwater Marina in 2012, while Julie was still working, Joel fulfilled a lifelong dream of sailing single-handed down the West Coast on their fourth sailboat, a 38-foot Hughes (Instigator), ending up in Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico after a number of adventures at sea. He left the boat there and spent several happy winters visiting Instigator and sailing on the Sea of Cortez. In 2019, they bought a house on Harstine Island with the goal of retiring there. Joel was an avid athlete in his younger days, downhill skiing, playing racquetball and tennis, golfing, fencing, and armchair quarterbacking. He will be remembered as an out-going man who would do anything both for his friends as well as for strangers, who loved sailing almost as much as he loved his wife, and who had distinct likes and dislikes in the culinary area. He also had quite a way with dogs, training Jeef and Dax to be wonderful companions. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Julie, of Shelton and Tacoma; his sister, Jean Arthur (Lynn Sellegren), niece Gretchen Sellegren, and nephew Bridger Sellegren, Bozeman, Montana; his brother David Arthur, Gresham, Oregon, and numerous cousins. He was preceded in death by his dad, Gerry, and his mom, Marge. At his request, there will be no services, but the family might host a picnic in his memory next summer.
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