Howard Lee Fritchman

IMG_4112Howard Lee Fritchman (Baba), born on May 4, 1927 in Springfield, Illinois, passed away peacefully on August 6, 2013.  Howard grew up in Springfield and, at the age of 18 joined the Army and was stationed at Fort Lawton in Seattle.  It was during this time of serving his country that he met and married Evelyn (Mimi), the love of his life in 1947.  Howard and Evelyn bought a home in Kirkland where they raised a loving family.

Howard was a natural born salesman and formed many lifelong friendships with the many business associates he met along the way.  He worked for Bar-S for many years, and Olympic Meats.  Howard continued to be involved in business, functioning as a part-time office manager in his son’s landscaping company until last week; demonstrating the drive, intelligence, wit and perseverance that helped define him throughout his life.

He could sing like a bird and loved to imitate Bill Kinney of the Ink Spots.  He danced on roller skates and was also a competitive dancer.  You should have seen him doing the Jitterbug.

Howard had a wonderful sense of humor that helped form the basis of many friendships made from all walks of life.  He had a very dynamic personality and the strength of character that touched so many people with whom he interacted.  If Howard told you how he felt about something you knew that it was true because every time that he said something it came straight from the heart.

He loved to pack up Evelyn, Gary and Sue at any time to drive anywhere from the coast to the mountains.  There were many cross country trips in the station wagon to see family in Illinois.  The family cabin on the Teanaway River brought many years of pleasure with 3 wheeling or snowmobiling being some of his favorite activities.  Howard was lovingly referred to as the family Godfather; the head of the “Farkle Family.”

He will be missed by all but will remain in our hearts forever.   Howard is survived by his wife of 65 years, Evelyn, son Gary, daughter Sue Tuttle (Terry), brother Bob (Donna), grandchildren Tara Johnson (Travis), Lisa Kirk (Bill), Alison Bryant (Nelson), Joe Fritchman, Jeff Fritchman, niece Stacy, nephew Kent and great grandchildren Keely and Delaney Johnson, William and Reagan Kirk and Evelyn and (brother or sister to be) Bryant.  An on-line guestbook has been set up at for anyone who would like to share their thoughts, or experiences that they have had with this wonderful, loving man. 

Donations can be made in Howard’s name to Everygreen Hospice, Kirkland.

6 Responses to “Howard Lee Fritchman”

  • Ginny Goldkamp says:

    Dear Evelyn, I am so sorry to read of the death of your dear husband. It is certainly hard to say goodbye to those whom we have loved for so long. (My husband died a month ago and his obituary is listed here too.) I often think of all the lovely things you made in sewing class and certainly every year when I hang up the Thanksgiving mini-quilt I made from your pattern. Take care of yourself and, again, my sympathy to you and your family.

  • Galen Slawson says:

    To Gary and the entire Fritchman family I first met THE BIG FRITCH when Gary first started his company and through a few years of working with him I learned what a great man he was and learned where gary got his leadership and sence of humor I know he will be missed greatly by all who ever met him I’m sure BIG dog will be waiting at the gate of heaven for him.. sending love to your entire family…

  • Diana Boyle says:

    Kevin, Ryan and I have been privileged to be Howard and Evelyn’s next door neighbors for nearly twenty-one years, sharing our lives and helping each other in times of need, especially with our pets. One year we went to Phoenix during spring break. I had a friend who was supposed to take care of our cats Precious and Inspector Scruffles but couldn’t get them to come inside during a snowstorm here. Howard came over and sat in our house for the better part of a day until they finally came in. He then called us to let us know they were safe and warm. Salt of the earth, kind and caring, and always cheerful, even as he was in pain the last few years. The neighborhood will not be the same without him. Love you forever, Howard.
    Kevin, Diana and Ryan Boyle

  • The Great and Grand kids of Howard says:

    This has been one of the hardest things to have to deal with as the close knit family that we are…due entirely to our “Baba”!
    He always wanted us to have fun, laugh and share wonderful times together…especially when we would go to our family cabin in Cle Elum. He bought the cabin for all of us to create special memories. Snowmobiling,3-wheeling,fishing,camp fires and skipping rocks on the Teanaway River. He even bought a horse, (Andy)for us to have. Every time Baba would come to the cabin, they would stop at Andy’s pasture and Baba would play a special “horn” he created for his truck and Andy would recognize it, look up and start trotting toward the truck. This was one of many, many wonderful childhood memories we have of him. ALWAYS making us laugh with his stories and jokes.
    There are no words to describe just how amazing and loving he was as our Grandpa, Father figure and true Friend!
    The love we have for him will NEVER fade and it stays as true today, as it will tomorrow and FOREVER!
    Rest in Peace, you Remarkable Man, NO ONE will ever take your place!

    He was the best die hard Seahawks fan ever and ever will be. I have one of his favorite Seahawk hats and it brings back memories of when we watched the Seahawks together!- William Howard Kirk 8yrs.(Great-Grandchild)

    Him nice and loving me and looking down on me from Heaven!- Delaney Lee 4 yrs (Great- Grandchild)

    Big Baba was the best, he was loving, funny, and always happy, he cheered everyone up when we were down. He was like a second father to me. I remember the time were he and Mimi (Evelyn Fritchman) took me shopping at Target, and Baba took a disabled motorized scooter and started riding around in it. It was hilarious! Then… He got stuck between two aisles =), Mimi and I were laughing soooo hard. I will remember that day forever, because it showed how much of a funny guy Baba was and always will be no matter where he is. I love Baba, and I always will nothing can change that. I was and still am very close to him even if he is in Heaven. I believe that he can still hear us, see us, and even talk to us maybe not face to face or hearing his voice but through signs. He is watching over us. I love you Big Baba!
    Keely Johnson 11 1/2yrs. (Great-Grandchild)

  • The Great and Grand kids of Howard says:

    ***Bonus comment by William Howard Kirk 8yrs(Great-Grandchild)

    our Hawks are going to win a Super Bowl for you
    GO HAWKS BABA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I love you baba

  • Jacque Saviste says:

    Will miss our talks on the phone- What a loss for this family- He was a favorite cousin to me spoke on phone extensively – we would be on phone forever talking about our childhood back here. I was in CT at the time. How pleased he would be that I’ve moved back. I’ll love you forever- you are so special.

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