Robert D. Fairchild


September 3, 1935  –  December 29, 2023


image of Robert Daniel Fairchild

Robert Daniel Fairchild

Robert Daniel Fairchild​, 88​, passed away peacefully on December 29, 2023, with his loving wife, Julia, and family by his side. While we will miss his big hugs, jokes, and sharing a beer while cheering for the Seahawks or Zags, it is with joy that he is reunited with his parents (Daniel and Nellie), siblings (Berneta and Homer), and other beloved family and friends who have gone before.

Born in Wilson County, Kansas, the great depression drove the family from Kansas to Zillah, Washington in 1936.  After graduating from Zillah High School, he earned a degree in Economics from Eastern Washington University. In 1957 Bob was hired at The Spokesman-Review. He began his career selling advertising and retired in 1995 as the Director of Operations for The Cowles Publishing Company. He continued to serve on the Board of Directors until December 2013. In total, he worked with the Cowles family for 56 years.

​Bob married Julia Kyle in 1963 and b​y 1970 they had three young daughters​. That year, despite working full-time, Bob began attending Gonzaga University’s evening Law School. He loved to say he graduated fifth in his class, only to reveal—with his characteristic wink—​that it was a class of eleven. In 1974 ​Bob passed the bar on his first try.

Bob will also be remembered for his love of sailing. His favorite boat to race was a 23-foot Olympic class Star boat, and in 1962 he raced in the North American Championships in Seattle. He owned several boats during his life, but in 1990 he bought his true love, a 45-foot Passport Ketch that he named Julia Max. Bob and Julia spent the next 20 years sailing the San Juan Islands, north to Alaska and south to Mexico. Not only did he race the Julia Max, but for 15 years he and Julia spent November through April in Puerto Vallarta, living on the boat.

image of Robert Daniel FairchildIn 2008, they moved from Spokane to Edmonds to be closer to kids and grandkids, but no matter where they spent the winter, summers were always spent at their cabin on the Pend Oreille River.

Bob is survived by his wife Julia, his daughters Kyla Fairchild (Ron Wilkowski); Sheila Jakubik (Bob) and Pam Stuller (Steve) and grandchildren Barrett, Owen, Gavin, Julia, Ava and Ali.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Creative Retirement Institute

A celebration of life is being planned in the coming months. If you are interested in attending or would like to express condolences, please email

One Response to “Robert D. Fairchild”

  • Georgia Despain Wells says:

    Sorry to learn of Bob’s passing. I spent a year living in the Fairchild home while a student at Kinman Business School. Kyla was a little girl at that time.

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