Ressie was born December 6, 1930 in Sedro-Woolley, Washington, to Walter and Irene Windish. He passed away on March 23, 2021 at home in Sedro-Woolley. Ressie grew up in Big Lake, WA, and attended the Big Lake school and Sedro-Woolley High School. He married Betty, his beloved wife of 52 years, in 1968 in Clear Lake, WA. Ressie was a true son of the Pacific Northwest, a great grandchild of pioneers of Skagit County and worked on boats on the Skagit River, and he logged starting when he was 16. Ressie was a truck driver for nearly 50 years and he loved it. He started at the age of six with a little dual wheel wagon and driving logging trucks at 17. He drove for numerous logging companies including Puget Sound Pulp & Timber, Vandergrift and Janicki. He started long-haul in the late 1950s going back East and at one point bought his own truck. A highlight of his career was making two-week round trips from Seattle to Alaska on the Alaska Hwy in the 1960s. After marrying Betty, they lived in Edmonds, WA, where he hauled lumber. In 1980, he changed jobs and moved the family back to Sedro-Woolley. He retired from trucking in 1995. Ressie worked hard and played hard. Ressie and Betty loved the cabin they had built in Mazama, WA in 1976 where they enjoyed the beauty of the mountains and many family vacations and holidays. He was known for his pancake breakfasts cooked over the fire. In retirement, he and Betty lived in Mazama for 12 years, involved in the community, and Ressie was a volunteer firefighter. They spent countless hours hiking, biking, Jeeping, and cross-country skiing. He also loved his trucks and mountain cars, especially the 1969 Land Cruiser. They RVed around the US, Canada and Alaska on numerous trips. In the winter, they went south to visit his daughter, Ressina, in Mesa, Arizona, and loved to hike and bike there in the desert. In 2008, they settled back in Sedro-Woolley and gardened, biked, and traveled to see grandkids and other places. Ressie was a kind and loving husband, father and friend. He loved his kids and was proud of all his children and family. We are so thankful he made his choice to serve God in 1996 and was faithful and steady in his place growing daily in God’s service and will for his life. On trips, it was a highlight to meet in the home on Sundays with others in his church.
Ressie is survived by his wife, Betty; children, Judy Bernard, Susan Johnson, Ressina Windish, Georgia Edie, Leif Windish, and Ryan Windish; niece, Kenda Akin; nephew, Matt Windish; 15 grandchildren; 20 great grandchildren, and many dear friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Daniel Windish and Dines (“D.D.”) Windish; nephews, Mark Windish and David Windish.
A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00, Saturday, April 3, 2021 at Lemley Chapel, 1008 Third Street, Sedro-Woolley; please be aware of continued masks and social distancing requirements. Watch the service and enter password “BigLake2021!”
Please share memories of Ressie and sign the online guest register.