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Congratulations to Fred Abrahamson on His Upcoming Retirement

After four decades in service to the State of Washington, NWCPHP Fiscal Advisor and Contract Manager Fred Abrahamson is set to retire at the end of March.
Congratulations to Fred Abrahamson on His Upcoming Retirement

Fred, Marlene, and Ellie the Sheepdog at their home in Seabeck.

After four decades in service to the State of Washington, NWCPHP Fiscal Advisor and Contract Manager Fred Abrahamson is set to retire at the end of March.

March 27, 2014

Fred’s story of retirement starts 13 years ago.

In 2001 after 30 years working at the Washington State Department of Health in Olympia, Fred Abrahamson retired from his position as Director of Financial Services. Nine months later, however, he was back on the job at the University of Washington as financial manager for the Robert Wood Johnson Turning Point Initiative, in what was expected to be a five-year stint. When Turning Point came to an end, retirement again took a back seat when NWCPHP lured Fred to our team to assist with financial management.

“It was supposed to be for six months, but more than six years later…” Fred said with a smile.

This time, though, he says it’s true: Fred is really retiring.

"It doesn't seem like 13 years," he said, sharing that he has enjoyed working with staff at NWCPHP and the University of Washington. During his time on our staff, he has found satisfaction in helping people understand how to manage the money in their projects. His goal has been to show our faculty and staff how easy it is to understand the management of dollars and cents.

“Just last week, some PIs [Principal Investigators] started repeating back to me what I’ve been saying for years,” he said. “I thought, ‘The training has finally worked.’ They understand what they need to do to manage their money.”

Next up for Fred: travel, gardening, Old English Sheepdogs, grandkids, playing bridge, and winemaking.

Though he admits it is challenging to grow grapes fit for wine production in Western Washington, Fred is an accomplished wine maker, and he enjoys sharing his craft with others. His favorite is a Peach Ice Wine, which is “sweet, crisp and has a great peach smell. You drink it in small amounts, and it’s delicious.”

Fred and his wife Marlene often donate wine making experiences to nonprofits to auction as fundraisers. “Word has gotten around that it’s a good time,” he said.

From his home on the water in Seabeck, Washington, he's treated to the stunning backdrop of the Olympic Mountains to the west. “Every day on the water is a little different,” Fred said.

His last day is Monday, March 31, and we'll celebrate his tenure at a staff lunch potluck. We wish Fred all the best in his next chapter, and thank him for his contributions to the public service over the years.

Nonetheless, don’t be entirely surprised if he shows up at a workstation near you. “I’ve tried retiring a few times,” Fred said. “I’m not so good at it.”

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