Sam Baretich Sr. died peacefully on Saturday March 11th at Harborview Medical Center with his two children by his side. He was born on January 6, 1937, in Hoquiam, Washington and was the only child of John and Opal Baretich. He graduated from Weatherwax High School in 1955. On February 22, 1969, he married Marguerite “Peggy” Carniel and they moved into their first home that they built on Bench Drive where they remained. It was here that they started their family and established life long friendships through St. Mary’s School and Catholic Church as well as connections made through the timber industry.
Sam was always a hard worker. At age 9, he had his first paper route which took him all over the lower Wishkah Valley on his bicycle. At around age 12, he began working at the local grocery store eventually becoming a butcher. At the age of 15, he was left alone to run the store and make deliveries prior to even having a driver’s license. Sam always knew he wanted to work in the woods. One of his customers at the store was the superintendent of Rayonier’s forestry division. This contact led to his first job with Rayonier as part of their survey crew. He spent several years with Rayonier until he went to work on Mayr Brothers cutting crew as a timber faller. He eventually went back to work for Rayonier as a timber faller and he even spent some time falling timber in Sitka Alaska before being called into active duty by the US Army. Once he fulfilled his military obligations, he returned to Rayonier’s cutting crew where he met Pete Papac. The two of them spent the next 10 plus years trying to outwork one another and eventually formed P&B Logging. The partnership dissolved in 1973 and Sam formed his own company called 77 Logging. He eventually managed the sorting yard for Roderick Timber Co. and worked for many other companies building miles and miles of logging roads with his beloved D6C CAT. Before retirement, Sam worked for several different construction companies as a heavy equipment operator and was a member of the Operating Engineers Local 302.
Sam was preceded in death by his parents, a sister Kathy, and his wife Peggy. Having never met his mother, who died due to complications from childbirth, he was raised by a family effort at his grandparents house, showered with the love of several aunts and uncles until his father remarried Cynthia Baretich. He is survived by a sister Francine Davis, a brother Frank Baretich, his children; Mary Baretich Taft (Tom Taft), Sam Baretich II (Alecia Atack Baretich); and three grandchildren: Gabriella (Ella) Marguerite Taft, Julia Angela Taft and Nina Therese Taft.
Sam will forever be remembered for his witty sense of humor and for being a strong man both in stature and personality. He valued a strong work ethic and treated those who shared that value with great respect. He was one of a kind who was liked by many and will be missed by many more. His surviving family will love and miss him every single day.
Sam’s family would like it to be known that he passed away due to complications from a spinal surgery that took place after he suffered a fall.
There will be a private graveside ceremony on Saturday April 15th followed by a Celebration of Life at the Aberdeen Elks starting around one o’clock in the afternoon. Everyone is welcome. Sam was a great storyteller and his colorful life gave him plenty to tell about. The family encourages anyone who knew him to come and share a story and enjoy some good company at the event in his honor.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances and donations can be made in the name of Sam to the Nick of Time Foundation. Last June, Sam’s youngest granddaughter Nina survived a sudden cardiac arrest on a soccer field. The AED that saved her life had been placed there by this foundation. https://nickoftimefoundation.org/
Nick Of Time Foundation
PO Box 14178, Mill Creek, WA. 98082.
Phone: (425) 967-5828.