Living a full life to age 77, Rolf G. Beckhusen Jr. was born December 27, 1944 to German immigrants. Rolf was raised in Barryville, NY, where his father, Rolf Sr., ran a restaurant and his mother, …
Living a full life to age 77, Rolf G. Beckhusen Jr. was born December 27, 1944 to German immigrants. Rolf was raised in Barryville, NY, where his father, Rolf Sr., ran a restaurant and his mother, Gertrud, was a seamstress who enjoyed horse-race betting. Rolf spoke only German when he started classes at Eldred Central School, which led to him getting on the wrong bus home often. One of Rolf’s fondest memories from childhood included being at Woodstock in nearby Bethel, NY, road trips in his VW Beetle, and attending many baseball games in the 1950s at Ebbet’s Field, watching his beloved Brooklyn Dodgers. Rolf brought his family back to Barryville on several occasions to visit childhood friends, attend his 50th high school reunion, and float the Delaware River.
Rolf attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids, IA, studying history. He later attended law school at the University of Cincinnati. In the Vietnam era, Rolf served as a scout dog trainer for the U.S. Army, trained to sniff out land mines.
Rolf started his private practice law firm in 1979 in Bellingham, WA. Rolf was the type of lawyer who truly went out of his way to help the little guy. He went about this with amazing equanimity in situations where most would have lost their cool. Rolf often traded legal services for skilled labor for folks unable to afford payment, never wanting to turn anyone away.
Rolf raised his three children in the historic Deming Inn. He always put his family ahead of his work, seldom missing any of the kids’ sports games. Rolf considered his children his proudest accomplishment.
Rolf served on the Mount Baker school board and coached his kids’ Mount Baker youth soccer teams for over a decade. Rolf’s patience, sense of humor and dedication to his children made him an incredible coach.
Rolf loved sports, especially baseball. When his three kids were all old enough to walk, the family’s first big vacation included a stop at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Rolf sponsored adult basketball and softball teams called the “Rolf’s” for the better part of three decades.
Rolf renewed his passion for pingpong during the pandemic. Rolf had a goal of being the best in his age category on a regional level before his blood cancer diagnosis. Rolf would always say how much he looked forward to playing pingpong with his friends, one of his few social activities during COVID.
Rolf is survived by his daughter Lisa (Beckhusen) Aspessi, sons Zachary Beckhusen and Joshua Beckhusen, and his five grandchildren: Madeline, Thomas, Carter, Cameron and Ryan. Rolf relished being “Opa” to his grandchildren and was quick to entertain them with his Donald Duck impression or have them listen to the ticking of his wristwatch.
We will all miss Rolf for his sense of humor, generosity and kindness.
A celebration of life event for Rolf will be held on Saturday, July 30 from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Ave, Bellingham, WA. All are welcome to attend.