Cover photo for Frederick R. Sutherland, M.D.'s Obituary
Frederick R. Sutherland, M.D. Profile Photo
1927 Frederick 2017

Frederick R. Sutherland, M.D.

July 17, 1927 — March 15, 2017

F.R. Sutherland, MD It seemed like a good life. But wait 'til I tell you...In the hearts and minds of the many who knew and loved F.R. Sutherland, MD, it was truly a great one. Born Frederick Richard Sutherland, to Anna Beatrice and Donald Paul Sutherland, on July 17, 1927 in Monticello, Iowa, many in the community will remember him as "Doc" Sutherland, others as "F.R.,” and a few of the most fortunate, as Dad or Grandpa. F.R. grew up in rural Iowa, where his most beloved memories were made in the long summer days playing on his grandfather Frederick R. Decker’s farm. While practicing medicine was always Dr. Sutherland's dream, he loved his country above himself and enlisted in the Navy at age 17, where he served for three years during WWII. After honorable discharge as a Lieutenant Junior Grade in 1946, he attended the State University of Iowa and the Iowa College of Medicine, earning his Doctor of Medicine in 1952. It was at medical school that he first saw the love of his life, an R.N. named Charlene Flickinger, though it took a bold friend to introduce the two, as Dr. Sutherland was both too shy and gentlemanly to approach the beautiful nurse. The two were married in a blizzard in Iowa City the night of December 15, 1951. Travel plans forcibly abandoned, they enjoyed a burger and milkshake that evening--a tradition that would continue for the 65 years of their marriage. Dr. Sutherland completed his internship and residency in Seattle, WA, and then the couple moved to North Bend, WA, where he entered private practice as a family physician. Over the next 35 years, Dr. Sutherland would raise five children, lovingly tend to his own patients, risk his life repeatedly as a volunteer firefighter, start the first EMT training program in the Snoqualmie Valley, and become a life-long patron of high school sports. He freely gave over 50 years of service as team doctor to the local football, wrestling, and basketball teams, first in Snoqualmie and later when he moved to Long Beach, WA, for which he was honored with a place in the WIAA hall of fame. Dr. Sutherland loved looking out for the kids, hoping he would never be needed as more than a dedicated fan or kindly father-figure. As a gifted physician, he did not retire from practicing medicine until 2013. Dr. Sutherland was a member of the North Bend Community Church for 35 years and later, after moving to Long Beach, the Ocean Beach Presbyterian Church. He sang in the OBPC’s church choir for 20 years. While travel was not a particular passion for the home-loving Dr. Sutherland, travel he did, including particularly memorable trips to Australia with the Ilwaco High School football team, and a return to his ancestral homeland of Scotland where he spent an entire afternoon sitting in a sunny mountain valley, listening to a lone bagpiper play, and finding his own piece of heaven on earth on the Isle of Skye. When not working or volunteering, Dr. Sutherland could be found leading his loved ones beach combing for glass floats or building great happenings of stone and driftwood, guiding song fests with the entire family taking part or just playing the piano for all to listen. He was always happiest when the close-knit, adoring family it was his greatest wish to build was gathered under a single roof. He now serves as a loving guardian angel to his wife Charlene, children Sue (Sutherland) and Jeff Freese, David and Sheryl Sutherland, Steven and Debbie Sutherland, Ann (Sutherland) and Dan Davis, and Thomas and Garnette Sutherland, as well as 13 grandchildren: Kyle Sutherland, Jared Sutherland, Bradley Sutherland, Kathryn Freese, Kristina Freese, Todd Sutherland, Tyler Davis, Ryan Sutherland, Kelly Freese, Decker Davis, Owen Sutherland, Corbin Sutherland, and Evan Sutherland, who will forever remember him with joy and laughter. And, although he has at last been guided home, he will always be their fearless leader of expeditions, teacher of the world's wonders, healer of hurts, instigator of laughs, and most beloved friend. (Dr. Sutherland is survived by his beloved wife of over 65 years, his five children and their spouses, thirteen grandchildren, sister Judith Pahnke Sutherland, and many other friends that he considered family. Memorial Services will be held this Saturday, March 25, 2017 at the Ocean Beach Presbyterian Church, 5000 N Place in Seaview, WA 98644, at 1:00PM. He was a champion of many causes; in lieu of flowers, the family requests that any contributions in his memory be made to the charity, church or foundation of your choice. Messages and memories can be sent to the family at www.penttilaschapel.com
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