Frederick Allen Torgerson passed away peacefully on Oct. 2, 2021 at the well-earned age of 93. Born in Tacoma Washington in 1928, he was the youngest son of parents Louise Elizabeth Lavine and Rudolph Theodore Torgerson. He graduated from Lincoln High School before doing a stint in the U.S. Army at the end of WWII. The GI Bill allowed him to gain both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering.
He married Bessie Jean Emerson in 1952 and they moved to China Lake, California to work at the U.S. Naval Weapons Lab for three years. Fred, or Allen as his family often called him, said he never had a job he didn’t like, but that was his favorite one. They moved back to Washington to be closer to family and settled in Des Moines. He began work as a Boeing engineer while they raised their family of three girls and one boy.
In 1963, he was bit by a travel bug and took a job with the U.S. Air Force as a civilian Operations Analyst. The family moved every few years as he transferred from Japan to Hawaii to Germany and finally back to Aiea, Hawaii where the family lived until 1992 when he retired. They moved back to Washington where they lived in Warm Beach (Stanwood) and Oak Harbor for the remainder of his life. Fred was an empathetic person and found something to like in every person he knew. He endured dialysis for the last four years of his life, impressing everyone with his good nature. The story of Charles Lindbergh inspired him to learn to fly and go into aeronautics.
Fred adored Bess, the love of his life and wife of 66 years, who passed away before him. He satisfied his wanderlust while working for the Air Force and visited most of Europe, some of the middle East, Japan, and parts of Asia. He loved to putter around in his workshop, doing repairs and home improvements. Even the day before he died, he was making plans for his many projects.
He will be remembered by his children: Susan, Carole and Allen; brothers: Chester and Ronald; and grandchildren: Alexander, Alison, Kristofer, and Eleanor. His ashes will be resting in the Columbarium at Oakwood Hill Cemetery in Tacoma, WA. A celebration of his life is planned for spring of 2022.