Our dad, Paul Edward Werth, of Ferndale, Washington, passed on Dec. 24, 2019, at Bellingham’s St. Joseph hospital after a brief illness. He was 84 years old.
Born in Milwaukee, Paul was preceded in death by his mother, Gladys Werth (nee Coffeen); and father, Albert Werth, brother James Werth; and daughter Julie Gompper (nee Werth).
Paul is survived by daughter Cynthia (Tom) Kuderer and son Paul (Sherry) Werth; also grandsons Andrew Gompper, Jonathan Kuderer, Christopher and James Werth; sister-in-law Barbara (nee Klien) Werth; nephew Jim (Cindy) Werth; son-in-law Jeff (Jan) Gompper; and many others.
Paul was raised in the post-Depression era, wearing clothes fashioned from flour sacks. Having attained a high school education while in poverty, he excelled in scouting and swimming. Over time, Paul earned Eagle Scout rank. He also attained the title of All-American and Wisconsin’s All-State swimmer for the breaststroke with frog kick. His records stand today. After briefly attending the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Paul went ahead and competed in Florida for the chance to earn a spot on the 1956 Olympics swim team. Upon missing the qualifying mark by .2 second, he directed his efforts to coaching. Our dad produced many acclaimed swimmers. All through life, Paul was a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan.
Our father was a welder by profession. His skillset prompted many international businesses to seek his portable welding, fabrication and repair expertise. After succeeding in numerous opportunities, he started Werth Welding. Over a 50-year span, Paul could also be found in Hawaii, New England areas and Alaska pursuing what he enjoyed most, fishing. Mahi-mahi, Bluefins and Halibut all feared him.
Later in life, our dad learned more of his Bavarian and Native American descent. He could be found researching his ancestry, learning the Narragansett language and attending numerous Brothertown Indian Nation Gatherings. In later life, he turned toward carving potatoes for the Lynden Community Center, as well as wood carving. His creations turned ordinary wood into amazing fish. With Paul’s easy-going demeanor, he made friends with everyone he met.
Per his wishes, there will be no ceremony. His ashes will be committed to a watery depth.
We thank St Joseph’s medical staff, especially those who supported our father and this family, during those last few days.
If you care to donate, please consider your local food banks, as he always supported their mission.