Bill Frisk passed away on Jan 11, 2018, in Palm Springs, California, following declining health for the past six months. He had lived a full life and more. He was three weeks shy of his 92nd birthday, being born in the family home in Rousseau on Feb. 2, 1926. He was predeceased by his wife of 64 years, Ada Marie (Schaffer) Frisk, his parents, Samuel and Linda (Suominen) Frisk, his two older sisters, Huldah (Frisk) Moilanen and Bertha (Frisk) Chaput.
He completed nine years of formal education at the one-room “University of Rousseau” before hitting the road to further hone his life skills.
Prior to joining the Navy just a week after he turned 18, he had worked on laker ships in the Great Lakes. In 1944, after basic training, he worked in Pearl Harbor hauling ammunition out to Navy warships. He became a damage controlman and advanced to Petty Officer First Class in three-and-a-half years. He was on the USS McKean (DD784) at the Inchon Landing in South Korea.
Returning to San Diego, he met his beloved Ada Marie Schaffer in late summer of 1951 and they were married in November 1951. He and Ada raised four boys and lived in Greenland from 1952 – ’59. He worked as a body and fender man at Labyaks and in the power plant at White Pine before the family moved to Green Bay in Aug 1959. He continued work as a body and fender man for three years there and the family then moved back to Washington state.
Throughout the 1960s, ’70s and into the ’80s, Bill and his wife were very active in their church and leading Boy Scouts, as well.
In 1967, he read a classic book about cruising across the Atlantic with a trimaran sailboat. It inspired him to build a similar craft. He built a small trimaran, then spent two-and-a-half years building a 42-foot trimaran, launched in June 1970, that capable craft took the family on many cruises in Puget Sound, coastal British Columbia and even to southeast Alaska. In July 1975, Bill and Ada sailed that boat down the coast from Washington to San Diego. The boat was then sold, and Bill built two more cruising sailboats, a 40-foot motorsailor, which he and Ada lived on for four years, and a 30-foot steel cutter, which Bill had constructed in the pine woods of their 3-acre home site just outside Winthrop.
From 1985 until 1998, Bill had had his own very successful body and fender shop at their home site there. After cruising Puget Sound and British Columbia waters with the steel cutter, Bill and Ada decided to move back to Greenland to enjoy their mutual retirement and the boat was trucked from Washington state back to Upper Michigan, where Bill sailed it out of Ontonagon Harbor on Lake Superior from 1999 to 2004. After living again in Greenland for five years, the climate was affecting Ada’s health, so they had to move to a dry and warmer climate, which they found in Desert Hot Springs, California. From 2006 to 2014, they spent each year from mid-May to mid-October up in Washington state on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains, and the late fall and winter months in Desert Hot Springs.
Bill is survived by his four sons, Steven, retired SEAL Commander, living in Virginia; David (Lynitte) living in Mountain House, California; Michael (Patti), living in Marysville, Washington; and Marty (Rebekah) living in St. Catharines, Ontario. He is also survived by nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Memorial services and burial are planned for Memorial Day at the Roussseau Cemetery, next to his wife, Ada Marie.