Obituary: Peter Joseph Fridgen

January 26, 1933–April 13, 2021

Peter Joseph Fridgen passed away April 13, 2021, at the age of 88.

The family will hold an outdoor memorial from 1-3 p.m. on Friday, June 11 at his home, 961 Medsker Rd., Sequim, WA 98382.

Peter was born to Peter Joseph Fridgen Sr. and Helen (Lentz) Fridgen in Ortonville, Minn. on January 26, 1933.

When he was a boy, Peter worked on nearby farms and developed a love of hunting and fishing. He spoke fondly of hunting ducks with his father and the family dog, Jack.

In 1952, after graduating Ortonville High School, Peter went on to enlist in the Navy during the Korean war. He spent time patrolling the South Pacific where he snorkeled with friends in Guam and hunted ducks in Japan. Peter’s ship (the aircraft carrier USS WASP CVA-18) engaged in air operations in the South China Sea and repelled at least one enemy air attack.

After being honorably discharged in 1956, Peter went to college at South Dakota State, earning a degree in Marine Biology. After graduation Peter accepted a job working for the state of Alaska.

Peter met his future wife, Paula Runde, in Juneau in the early 1960s. After marriage, Peter and Paula moved to Anchorage, where his first daughter, Becky, was born.

In the mid-1960s Peter and his family moved to Cordova, where he accepted a new biologist role with the state of Alaska. They lived in Cordova over 30 years, becoming cherished members of the community. He and his wife Paula raised two more sons (Peter and Andrew) and two more daughters (Kathleen and Carrie).

While Paula volunteered throughout the community as a caregiver, day care director, and EMT, Peter was involved with community events through the Cordova Elks Lodge, particularly volunteering his time for the famous weekly dinners and annual Ducks Unlimited banquets.

In 1994, Peter reluctantly left Cordova due to Paula’s health needs after a debilitating car accident necessitated advanced medical care. Since services were unavailable in and around Cordova, they resettled in Sequim, Wash. Peter spent his days caring for Paula, becoming a VFW member, and golfing.

Peter was preceded in death by his wife, Paula Helen Runde Fridgen, father, Peter Joseph Fridgen Sr.; mother Helen Lentz Fridgen; brothers Vincent Fridgen, Robert Fridgen, and John Fridgen; sisters Elizabeth Katheryn Fridgen Mason, Mary Margaret Fridgen, and Valeria Regina Fridgen.

Peter is survived by his children Peter F. Fridgen and Jiewei Hu Fridgen, Andrew W. Fridgen; Rebbeca (Fridgen) Reid and Scott Reid, Kathleen (Fridgen) Wilding and Roger Wilding, and Carrie (Fridgen) Church and Kynan Church; sister, Francis Fridgen; grandchildren Kirstie Wilding, Samantha Wilding, Kyler Church, Claira Church, Kathleen Church, Michael Reid, Rhianna Reid and Alexander Reid; and great-grandchild Nolan Hanks.