Clifford “Soup” Corwin Sr., was born on Oct. 28, 1917, in Bay Center, Wash. to Maude Pickernell and Benton Corwin. He was raised on a homestead in Nemah, Wash. by his grandparents Rosa and Alfred Pickernell. At the homestead they had no running water or electricity and his daily chore was to fill the oil lamps in the house. It was also not uncommon for him to walk five miles of beach and wooded trail to the closest home with children his age to visit, namely the family of George and Millie Lagergren who became lifelong friends.
His formal education ended at third grade, mainly due to the fact that his grandparent’s Model T was unreliable and often broke down. His real education was learned from his grandfather who taught him hunting, fishing and trapping. At age 16, he started working picking oysters. This led to him becoming a successful commercial clam digger and fisherman of crab, salmon and tuna.
His fishing took him from as far north as the Canadian border to the southern border of Oregon.
Clifford met his lifelong love, Ethel “Ishky” Bastian as a teenager. They were married for sixty-five years and made their first home in Bay Center, Washington. Together they had their only child, a son, Clifford “Spud” Corwin Jr.
Clifford continued to make his living as a fisherman and eventually he and Ethel moved to their final home at the mouth of the Quinault River and the Pacific Ocean in Taholah, Wash. Together they enjoyed camping, bark peeling and fire watching on the Queets Ridge. In addition to fishing and clamming, he bought clams for ten years on the Quinault Reservation. He would weigh the clams and his wife Ethel would run the calculator. He also spent time monitoring the tribal beaches as a security guard in the mid-seventies.
A well respected tribal fisherman, his fishing ground is the furthest up river located by Chow-Chow. He fished this river from age 45 until his mid 90’s. He also trapped bobcat, beaver, otter and raccoon for approximately 25 years. He made several hunting trips to Montana with close friends up into his 80’s and 90’s.
An avid sports fan, he attended the opening day at Safeco Field as well as many football games in the King Dome. He also followed the sports activities of grandchildren and great grandchildren with great pride. It was not uncommon for him to travel to a “better spot” for radio reception so he could listen to a ball game.
Cliff’s goal was to reach the age of 100, which he did last October. He was celebrated with a party at the Quinault Beach Resort surrounded by family and friends.
A respected Quinault Tribal Elder, he died peacefully in his sleep on Feb. 11, 2018. He was preceded in death by his wife, Ethel, who died in 2002. He is survived by his son Clifford “Spud” Corwin (Laurie); eight grandchildren, fourteen great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be at the Coleman Mortuary on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A graveside service will be at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, at Hoquiam’s Sunset Memorial Park. A celebration of life will follow at 1 p.m. at the Community Center in Taholah.
Arrangements are by the Coleman Mortuary, 422 – 5th Street in Hoquiam.
Please take a few moments to record your thoughts for the family by signing the on-line register at www.colemanmortuary.net.