Frederick Allen Rappin

June 17, 1946 – December 25, 2022

Frederick Allen Rappin, 76, of North Bend, passed from this mortal plane, at home, in the early hours of Christmas day, 2022; taken from us much too soon by Lewy Body Dementia. His wife of nearly forty-eight years, Becky, was at his side.

Fred was born on June 17, 1946, in Tacoma, Washington to Georgianna and John Rappin. He was the middle child of five, surrounded by sisters. As an infant, Fred’s emergency surgery for pyloric stenosis brought his father home from Army service in Japan via the Red Cross. Fred’s oldest sister had also suffered from the condition as a baby, and they shared matching surgical scars for life.

Fred and his sisters grew up in a house full of laughter, and were very close—even though, as the only boy, he got his own room while they all had to share one! Fred inherited the family funny bone from his father. One of the more memorable practical jokes his sisters recall involved filling the family bathroom from floor to ceiling with crumpled newspaper for April Fool’s Day.

Fred was a friend to all animals from an early age. To his mother’s chagrin, Fred’s childhood menagerie contained plenty of reptiles, including O’Roark the ill-fated bullfrog, and an unfortunate alligator (acquired by trade from a neighbor for a pigeon).

Fred attended St. Patrick School and graduated from Bellarmine Preparatory School in 1964. After high school, he attended Yakima Valley Junior College. He had many youthful jobs, ranging from the obligatory paper route (the stuff of legend!) to driving deliveries for his father at Eagle Industrial Supply.

In early 1966, Fred received his draft notice and left for California (For decades he would lament how his mother sold off his amazing record collection after he left for the Army). After basic training, he was stationed at US Army Personnel Center in Oakland, CA as a company clerk. Ever the pacifist, a friend of the family who saw him on base reported that Fred kept a peace symbol over the face of the clock in his office.

After finishing his service, Fred lived for a time in Oakland, immersed in the counterculture and music scene. He spent time hiking and hitchhiking, and eventually, Fred inexplicably made his way to Nebraska. This fortunate decision was to be a decisive one, because it was there he met Becky Rees. They married in the winter of 1975—Fred wearing a felt hat with a feather and his long army trench coat, Becky in a homemade outfit they had sewn together.

Their first daughter was born two years later, and a second the following year. In 1978, tired of the severe weather and with a strong urge to return home, they packed up their young family and moved back to the temperate Northwest, finally settling in North Bend in the early 1980s. In 1986, their third daughter joined the family.

While in Nebraska, Fred had received an AA in Applied Science in Electronics at Northeast Technical Community College and spent his career in that industry, constantly learning and keeping up with ever-changing technology.  After retirement, he worked part-time delivering for Frankie’s Pizza; a job that allowed him to drive his car, listen to music, and meet people.

Fred was easy-going, genuinely kind, very intelligent, and a true friend to many. He trusted people and saw the good in everyone. He was civically minded and cared deeply about his community. In the early 1990’s he campaigned for and won a seat on the North Bend City Council (with the inspired slogan “Make it happen, vote for Rappin”!), which he held for eight years.

Fred has been a steadfast supporter of community theater in the Valley for over thirty years, first with his entire family in Enter Act Theater, and later with Becky at Valley Center Stage. From acting on stage, to set building, to lighting and sound design, Fred did it all, and the local art scene was better for it.

After the girls left home, Fred and Becky enjoyed traveling, Seahawks games, plenty of time with family and friends, and lots and lots of live music.  Throughout their almost 48 years of marriage, they were often amazed at how opposites truly attract, and that their natures complimented and brought balance to each other.  Most of all, Becky will miss taking quiet walks holding hands.

Fred’s three daughters are keenly aware that if there was a “dad lottery”, they won it. Eternally a kid at heart, he instilled them with his sense of awe about the natural world and all its wonders. The house was always full of animals. With a patience that few possess, he taught them to fish and skip stones and drive. He demonstrated the importance of walking quietly in the woods and getting your feet wet in the ocean. He gave them humor and humility, sarcasm and silliness, and occasionally bad car advice. He introduced them to the birds and the Byrds. He imparted to them the wisdom that you should never take yourself too seriously, and that you should always, ALWAYS, turn the music up.  All children loved Fred, and he was the best grandpa.

We are heartbroken and will forever miss our husband, brother, father, grandfather, and friend—he was truly one-of-a-kind, but we are relieved that he is finally at peace. Fred was preceded in death by his parents, John and Georgianna. He is survived by his wife, Rebecca; his sisters, Cecilia, Karen, Monica, and Victoria; his daughters Christina, Amelia, and Chandra (Bryan); and his grandchildren, Aidan, Tavis, Iris, Asa, Carver, Avelyn, Oren, Elodie, Emmett, Lenora, and Helaina, as well as many nieces, cousins, and other family and friends.

We will celebrate Fred’s life with an informal gathering to be held on Saturday, February 11, 2023 at Valley Center Stage (1060 Stilson Ave SE/North Bend, WA).  Please join us anytime between 1-3 pm for refreshments, anecdotes and, of course, music.

Please consider remembering Fred by planting a tree in his honor through A Living Tribute, One Tree Planted, or the Arbor Day Foundation.

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