Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published April 2, 2014 at 6:45 PM | Page modified April 3, 2014 at 6:26 AM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (5)
  • Print

Man who lost wife, son passes on donations to other families

Gerald Farnes, who lost his wife, Julie, and 23-year-old son, Adam, to the Oso mudslide, has been giving thousands of dollars in donations to other victims he believes need the money more.


Seattle Times staff reporter

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
AWESOME! What an amazing gesture!! All I can say is this man has restored my... MORE
Bless you Mr. Fames! I am also so sorry for your loss. MORE
Class. And a heart as big as Alaska. MORE

advertising

Gerald Farnes, who lost his wife, Julie, and 23-year-old son, Adam, to the Oso mudslide, has been giving thousands of dollars in donations to other victims who he believes need the money more.

The money includes $3,000 donated by friends in the Farnes’ former hometown of Cordova, Alaska, in a benefit pizza bake at Harborside Pizza, according to restaurant owner Brian Wildrick.

Cordova’s Moose Lodge donated an additional $500 on hand from its usual fundraisers, such as dinners and silent auctions, said assistant administrator Vicki Blackler. Many others added contributions, which are still being accepted to the Gerald Farnes Donation Fund at Wells Fargo Bank.

But Farnes, 62, hasn’t kept a penny for himself, according to longtime family friend Christian Johnson. Instead, he sought out Jonielle Spillers, whose 4-year-old son, Jacob, was rescued from the mudslide by helicopter, while her husband and three other children were killed or missing.

“He just handed it to Jacob’s mother,” said Johnson, who used to hunt with Gerald Farnes.

“He lost his wife, his home, his clothes, his guns,” Johnson said. “But he knows people who have way less than him.”

Julie, 59, and Gerald raised three sons in Cordova. The couple retired and moved with Adam to Oso a couple years ago. Another son, Garrett Farnes, still lives in Cordova. Their oldest, Brian, lives in Everett.

Gerald was not home when the March 22 mudslide hit.

The family has some retirement income to fall back on, from Julie’s work as a UPS delivery driver and Gerald’s job at a hydroelectric dam.

Johnson said Gerald Farnes mentioned to him in a phone call Tuesday: “I’m a man, Garrett’s a young man. We’re going to get ourselves back on our feet.”

Giving the Cordova money to others “is helping him to deal with his hurt, to do something for others,” Johnson said.

Mike Lindblom: 206-515-5631 or mlindblom@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @mikelindblom



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Hurry! Last two weeks to save 15%.

Hurry! Last two weeks to save 15%.

Reserve your copy of "The Seattle Sketcher," the long-awaited book by staff artist Gabriel Campanario, for the special price of just $29.95.

Advertising

Partner Video

Advertising


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►