Obituaries: Frank John Brickwedel Jr. (1918-2007)

April 11, 2007 11:00 pm

Frank John Brickwedel Jr.

(1918-2007)

Frank John Brickwedel Jr., former gold miner, lumber cruiser and two-term Del Norte County Assessor, died Easter Sunday, April 8, in Crescent City. His wife, Betty Ellis Brickwedel, had predeceased him 41 days earlier.

He was also preceded by his parents, Frank and Maye Brickwedel.

"Brick," 88, was born July 27, 1918 in San Francisco to Frank and Maye Brickwedel.

During high school he would journey to Weaverville to join gold miners and pack teams. He also traveled into the Trinity Mountains when gold mining was at its peak during the 1930s.

He attended the University of Berkeley, where he studied forestry under the legendary "Mr. Redwood." He was a World War II veteran, and married his beloved wife in 1942.

Six years later the couple moved to Klamath Glen where they built a home and raised their children, son, Gary, and daughter, Bette Lou.

During the 1940s and 1950s, Brick cruised redwood timber on the Klamath River during a time when no timber had been commercially cut below the town of Johnson's, which did not have road access.

Brick would travel from the family home on the Klamath River by boat to the tracts he would survey and cruise, and was gone for weeks at a time.

Because of his extensive knowledge of land and timber, he was elected to two office terms as Del Norte County Assessor from 1964 to 1972.

He had an influential role with the State of California in eliminating the depletion allowance for the timber industry, which was initiated by Jones Lumber Company in a lawsuit with Del Norte County.

The flood of 1964 swept away the family home, forcing Brick and Betty to move closer to Crescent City, where they developed the Church Tree Ranch and 50 home sites. He loved the outdoors, but also had a great interest in gold mines, purchasing Monumental mines in Del Norte County, and a mine in South Africa.

The couple traveled the world.

He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Gary and Lynn Anne Brickwedel of Indian Wells; his daughter and son-in-law, Bette Lou and Fred Hollis of La Center, Wash.; sister-in-law, Jane Pollock of Wilsonville, Ore.; brother-in-law and wife, John and Royce Ellis of Shelby, N.C.

He is also survived by his granddaughters and husbands, Camille and Brooks Franklin of McKinleyville, Faye and Ian Danielson of Pleasanton, Jacquelynn Anderson of El Dorado Hills; great-grandchildren, Tia Bella and Ty Ellis of McKinleyville.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. April 14 at Wier's Mortuary Chapel, 408 G St., with interment following at Del Norte County Veterans' Cemetery.