William Fergus Aberle, a loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, passed away at his home in Kelso, Washington, on November 20, 2022, at 91.
Bill was born June 4, 1931, to William Frederick and Ruth Elizabeth (LaPlant) Aberle in Longview, Washington. The family lived on upper Ostrander until World War II broke out, and the family moved to west Kelso. Bill's father skippered the Sea Scouts, served as Cubmaster and Scout Master of a Boy Scout Troup, with his mother skippering the Mariner Ship. The family ate and slept scouting seven days a week. He often shared treasured memories and friendships he gained through Scouting. Bill graduated from Kelso High School in 1949.
In June of 1952, Bill married Beverly Jean Brentano, who he met through Scouting. When they got engaged, she told him she wanted six children. He joked, "I thought she would change her mind after the first three or so, but she didn't." The couple did raise six children William (Pamela), Mitchell, Valdeane Dick (Norm), Edward (Suni), Jean Ashley, and Morgan (Andrea).
Bill lived his passion for the outdoors throughout his work and personal life. He shared his love for hunting with his family and friends. If you couldn't find him out moving through brush zeroing in on an Elk, he was back at camp in the cook trailer, ensuring everyone was fed. During Bill's career in the forestry industry, he planted trees, logged, drove log trucks, and cleared land for reforestation. In his early days, he did his own falling, bucking old-growth fir and the biggest tree he fell was 12 feet in diameter.
Bill ran a large crew high lead logging for W. T. Hale locally from 1960 to 1969. He loved this work. In 1971 Bill started his own business, Aberle Land Clearing, clearing logged over areas for tree planting, which he did for many years, mostly for Longview Fibre. Later he and his company did high lead thinning and logging for a number of years.
Bill enjoyed reading and was a great storyteller himself. He had a way of sharing a story that made you feel like you were there at the time, living it with him.
In 1974 Bill and Jean, who were lifelong residents of Kelso-Longview, built a home out Ostrander about a half mile from his childhood home. Bill lived there until his passing.
Bill was preceded in death by his wife Jean, brother Frank, his parents and son in-law Douglas Ashley. Bill is survived by his brother Fred and sisters Ruth Cade and Caroline Schmit: six children, 16 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren.
The memorial service is planned for 2 pm Friday, January 6, at Steele Chapel, Longview Memorial Park.