Keith Marsden celebrates 88th birthday
August 27, 2008 · Updated 4:43 PM
ARLINGTON As Keith Marsden celebrated his 88th birthday with his family in Arlington, he reflected on his life and one of the contributions that his family made to the areas history.
Marsden turned 88 Aug. 23, and his family built the largest log cabin on Lake Goodwin, starting in 1929 and working for the next two years.
My dad, my two brothers and my three brothers-in-law hauled the logs from Darrington, said Marsden at his birthday party, held Aug. 18. It was one of the largest hauls from Darrington at the time. It took a while because you had to let the cedar age.
Once completed, the cabin included 10 bedrooms, a large front room and an overhanging loft, facing a fireplace that was built from large stones in the cabins backyard.
We had to chip away at it, bit by bit, Marsden said. Well, technically it wasnt chipping, since what we did was built huge fires on the stone, and cool it down to crack it. Wed build as many as two to three fires in a weekend to crack that stone.
The cabin also included granite from Granite Falls, which Marsdens stonemason uncle from Portland helped put in. While the structure still stands, its since passed out of the familys hands.
Marsden is the last surviving member of his generation of the family, since the two brothers and five sisters that he knew have all passed away. He had a son and three daughters with his first wife, Ruth, to whom he was married for more than 35 years before she was passed away, and those children have given him 10 grandchildren, who have produced four great-grandchildren in turn.
The month of August includes a number of important dates for Marsden, since his sons birthday is Aug. 29, his current wifes birthday is Aug. 10, and his anniversary date with Helen, his current wife, is Aug. 20.
Keith Marsden was a salesman for a number of years, from Seattle to Spokane, and son Chris Marsden described him as a people-person first and foremost.
Hes a really affable guy, said Chris. He likes people more than anything else, and he has a wealth of friends.
Chris recalled tales of his father and grandfather working together in the Lake Washington shipyards during World War II, installing sonar on Allied ships.
Daughter Bonnie Blowers presented her father with a performance by the Washington Scottish Pipe Band, and proudly cited his positive traits.
He is the most knowledgeable, kindest, most loving and forgiving man Ive known, Blowers said. All his life, theres never been anything that he couldnt do. Hes taught me so many lessons that Ive been able to apply in my own life. He is a true Renaissance man.