|Barbara & Doug Twibell & Rusty, Owners|
Office Phone: 360-532-0220
Doug was born in Tacoma just a few short months before the outbreak of World War Two . He was a graduate of Lincoln High School and attended Washington State University, University of Puget Sound and graduated magna cum laude from the California College of Mortuary Science, Los Angeles, in 1964.
He will have been in funeral service for 50 years in 2011. He worked for Mill & Mills Funeral Directors of Olympia purchasing the company in 1980, This later was merged with another funeral home and cemetery in Olympia and through acquisitions over the next few years grew to a company comprising of 19 other funeral homes and cemeteries in Washington, Oregon and California, which in turn became a part of a large corporate company. Doug and Barbara decided to get back to basics as Gordon Peterson in Aberdeen decided to retire. The Twibell's purchased Fern Hill in 1994.
Doug is past president of the Washington State Funeral Directors Association, and was honored as the Funeral Director of the Year in 2005. He was a seven year member National Funeral Directors Association Policy Board; a member and past president of the Rotary Club of Aberdeen and serves as its current treasurer. He is a member Immanuel Baptist Church, Hoquiam, former chairman of Immanuel Baptist Church Building Committee; and a forty year member and past master of Harmony Lodge, No. 18, F&AM, Tumwater , a member of Scottish Rite Bodies, Valley of Olympia and the Afifi Temple of the Shrine; Past Royal Patron of the Order of Amaranth, Capitol Court No. 37, Olympia; and the Order of Eastern Star, Olympia Chapter No. 36; and Olympia Elks Lodge, No. 186.
Doug was married to Barbara, an Olympia girl, in 1963 and has two sons, one of which, Keith, works in the funeral home as a director and embalmer. His second son is a registered nurse and works with an ambulance company in Seattle. There are also 5 grandchildren.
He has had a life long interest in skiing starting when he was 13 on Mt Rainier at Paradise. He continues to ski at the age of 69 being sure that his sons don't always beat him to the bottom of the hill.
Doug has had great enjoyment with boating on Puget Sound, the San Juan Island and the Gulf Islands of BC. In 2001his wife, Barb, their dog, Chester, and Doug fulfilled a dream of many years by taking six weeks in their own boat to go to Alaska via the inside passage to Skagway and return to Puget Sound.
Funeral directing has been a lifelong passion for Doug. He knew as a teenager that this was what he wanted to do. Helping others when they cannot have the ability to help themselves because of the stress of perhaps their most crucial time of their lives, loosing a family member or close friend that meant so much. That is the greatest reward to Doug, and now in a funeral home that involves his own family members, that they too have dedicated themselves to serving their community.
Barbara, Doug's wife since 1963, was born at Ft. Vancouver, WA, as her father was an Army officer. She spent most of her time in the Columbia Gorge on the Washington side at Cape Horn. She had also lived at Des Moines, WA and later at Olympia where her father could be near Madigan Amy Hospital., he having been severly wounded in the Philippines during World War Two.
Barbara graduated from North Thurston High School, but had attended Washougal and Rochester High Schools. She had been a percussionist in all three school bands and had uniforms for all three schools in her closet so that she could play in any event any of the schools would have.
After she graduated from high school, she attended beauty school and worked in salons in Olympia and Lacey. During her careen in hairdressing she was honored to have Nancy Evans, wife of the governor, as a client, going to the mansion or other venues for quick comb-outs for events. While her husband, Doug, attended college in Los Angeles, Barbara attended advanced styling classes at Comber & Duran in Hollywood.
She continued hairdressing until the sons were in school and she had the opportunity to take up school bus driving for the Olympia School District. This was really convenient for it put her home at the same time that the boys were home after school and during vacations.
Barbara later attended Central Washington University, Seattle campus classes, to secure accreditation in drivers education, but her husband's career and family involvement in ownership of a funeral home in Olympia would intercede, From that point on Barbara and Doug would be totally involved in the operation of funeral homes, first in Olympia and then in 1994 at Fern Hill Funeral Home, Aberdeen.
Having experience in establishing Widow/Widower programs in Olympia and other funeral homes in Washington, Oregon and California, Barbara established the same type of programs for Aberdeen and at Westport, supporting those that have lost their mates through educational programs, social contact and some travel experiences. This has been an ongoing organization, calling themselves "Solos" for the last 15 years.
Barbara also helps out around the funeral home, assisting in the office, taking paperwork around where it needs be and most of all she is the on staff hairdresser, plying her professional training in being sure our lady clients look their best.
And still she had time to author a book "Daughter Of The Gorge" about her years as a young lady living summers with her grandparents at the homestead at Cape Horn on the Columbia Riveer. It can be found at Amazon.com
Above all she is Grandma to five grandchildren and she can still beat a mean drum!