“Tieton From Hatton Road Looking Northeast”

Ozzie Bedard

Born May 2nd 1939, Ozzie felt, whether warranted or not, that he was “the odd child” being squeezed between his twin sisters and the baby of the family. As he was to think of himself, “Yes, yes I was a rebel.” He was a difficult child to discipline and as a result his family sent him to St. Paul’s, a Catholic school in Yakima, for his fourth grade year and a portion of the fifth grade before allowing him to return to Cowiche and attend school with his friends and neighbors. 

He named John Caffrey, Karl Pursley, Pink Robbins, Arvel Eshelman and Daryl Sauve among others, as being among his best friends when growing up. None of whom would probably fully understand him until many years after they were out of school. As stated, he saw himself as a rebel in many ways. His favorite movie growing up was a popular movie about a troubled child entitled, “The Bad Seed.” His favorite color was “black” and he seemed to be at constant odds with his father. He was to run away from home more than once and had many tales to tell about his travels as the years went by. On one occasion, he reported getting as far away as Wyoming before being jailed. 

Ozzie was not allowed to participate in his class graduation ceremony having been arrested for vandalism of school property just days before his graduation. Few of his classmates were aware of his punishment at the time and regretted years later of not having the opportunity to protest for what many regarded was too sever punishment following his agreement to pay reparations. He was granted his high school diploma in late spring 1957 and almost immediately traveled to Camp Pendleton, California for six months of Marine Corps military training and active service. 

All Ozzie ever wanted he said, was “to follow in his Dad’s footsteps and be a farmer,” but that wasn’t to be. After returning home in the spring of 1958, he stayed but a short while, and moved back to California to live with his mother’s sister and her husband. His aunt’s husband was a welder for American Pipe and was able to get Oz a job with his employer. What followed was a life long career as a pipe-fitter. 

For many years he welded pipe all over America and later on, fitted pipe for other welders. Oz moved with the work of course, first starting in California, then to Oregon working on various hydroelectric projects, then to Connecticut, Missouri, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, and toward the end of his career the length and width of California, where his pipe fitting career ended.

Ozzie died in surgery at UCLA Medical Center November 18, 2005 where he had known that he was not likely to survive attempts to repair multiple aneurysms on his aorta. He was survived by his wife Julie, and his four children, Rick, Glenna, Cheryl and Krista. His son-in-law, Craig Randall, who married Ozzie’s daughter Glenna, asked that the following be passed on to Oz’s classmates. “To an outsider, Oz may have been a bastard, but to those he called family, we were among the lucky ones that he shared his final days with. We sincerely appreciate your positive thoughts …, if you have another opportunity to update your classmates regarding Oz, would you be kind enough to let them know he did have kids and grandkids, and all of them along with Julie, are very sad to not have him around anymore.”

Gilbert “Ozzie” Bedard was said by his friends to have been a courageous, loyal and loving person. In many ways, he took after his uncle “Ozzie” who gave his life for his country in WWII. He was no bastard; we knew both his mother and his father. If there are those that think of him in such terms then let it be known, he was our friend and we feel honored that he was. Yes, and we too are sad not to have him around anymore!