You are here: Home / Communications / News / An NWCPHP Family: Fred, Marlene, and Ellie Abrahamson

An NWCPHP Family: Fred, Marlene, and Ellie Abrahamson

Fred comes out of his exciting semi-retired life to help NWCPHP manage contracts and create spending plans for our grant-funded projects.
An NWCPHP Family: Fred, Marlene, and Ellie Abrahamson

Fred, Marlene, and Ellie Abrahamson enjoy a beautiful summer day in the Pacific Northwest.

Fred comes out of his exciting semi-retired life to help NWCPHP managing contracts and creating budgets and spending plans for grant-funded projects.

October 3, 2012

In this time of pinched funding, Fred Abrahamson is one of the many talented staff members who keep the variety of activities at NWCPHP running smoothly in support of public health.

Fred, semi-retired, works with NWCPHP two days per week managing contracts and creating budgets and spending plans for grant-funded projects. He uses his experience working with health agencies, such as the Washington State Department of Health, the University of Washington, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to ensure that we are good stewards of the money from our funders.

“Because of my 40 years working in health programs, I can provide a lot of advice and guidance that comes from experience. I pride myself in sending back as few dollars to our sponsors as possible,” says Fred. “They want us to spend the money.”

But that’s not the only reason: “I’m a little competitive,” he adds with a grin.

It doesn’t take too long to learn about Fred’s quiet competitive side. He has a slew of hobbies—ranging from weekly games of duplicate bridge to involvement with Kitsap County Master Gardeners Foundation—that keep him busy in his “retired” side of life. It’s not uncommon for him to come in to the office on any given Monday with, for instance, news of winning Best in Show at a wine making competition. Just this August, he entered four wines at the Kitsap County Fair. His Chardonnay was selected Best White Wine of the event, and he also took a second place for his Syrah.

This summer, he and his wife, Marlene—also a staff member at NWCPHP—adopted a sheepdog puppy. They have been busy raising and training their new family member to become a champion show dog. Frequently, “One Elegant Rose,” a.k.a. Ellie, joins Fred at work and has won the hearts of many in the office. Born on Valentine’s Day 2012, Ellie is quickly becoming quite the decorated show dog, to boot. In her first show, the Enumclaw Sheepdog Show on August 17, she took Best Female Puppy (6–9 months old), Best Puppy (6–9 months old), and then Best Puppy in Show (including all puppies 6–12 months old). Later this month, Fred and Marlene will take Ellie to a show in Vancouver, where she can begin to earn points toward becoming a true champion show dog.

In the meantime, however, Fred has plenty of work to do harvesting grapes and getting ready to make another year’s batch of his award-winning wines—500–600 bottles of them, in fact. Just this week he began the destemming process on his Madeleine Angevine grapes. Soon, he'll also receive a handful of varieties of grapes grown near the Columbia River, so he can make other popular wine varieties including Barolo, Montepulciano, and Syrah.

In two years, these bottles will be aged and ready to accompany Fred to face the competition. And, with a little luck, they'll add a few more ribbons to his collection.

STORY TO SHARE?

We love public health stories! We feature them in our postcard series, Spotlight on the Field, and news items. Please contact us to share your story!