Golf Pro Sean Fredrickson Who Died in Plane Crash Had a Passion for 'Making People Happy,' Friend Says
"I think that's probably what the best thing about Sean would be, would be him as a father and a husband," general manager of Oswego Lake Country Club, Bryan Fisher, says
Bryan Fisher was with his family on the Oregon Coast when he received a text from an employee on Sunday that simply said, "Emergency. Call me."
Fisher, the general manager of Oswego Lake Country Club, initially believed one of the club's members had fallen and gotten hurt.
"She could barely speak," Fisher, 39, tells PEOPLE of what happened once he called Shelby Hunt, one of the assistant golf professionals at the club. "Just never in a million years would I imagine the words that came out of her mouth."
Hunt told Fisher that Sean Fredrickson — the club's beloved Head PGA Golf Professional — was killed along with his son Hayden and his stepchildren Sofia and Quinn Olsen when the plane they were in crashed into another aircraft above Coeur d’Alene Lake near Powderhorn Bay. An NTSB investigation into the crash is ongoing.
"I was just in complete shock. Like, there's just no way," Fisher recalls of hearing the news.
Fredrickson joined Oswego Lake Country Club a year and a half ago and took over all of the facility's golf operations, from tournaments to daily play, to oversight of merchandise and "anything golf-related," Fisher says. After his arrival, it didn't take long for the 48-year-old's presence to be felt.
"He was only here for about a year and a half before he passed, but he just made a significant impact on the membership," Fisher says. "That personality style ... He's able to talk the talk and make everyone feel included and welcomed."
Fredrickson's outgoing personality and passion for golf led to an increase in membership from people looking to refine their game and have fun at the same time with a one of a kind mentor.
"He's the first person in a group setting to come up to you and introduce himself, and if he sees that you're uncomfortable, he's the first person to pop up and take your hand and welcome you to make you feel comfortable," Fisher recalls. "That's the personality that he had, it's contagious and people just like to be around him."
"I found myself just going up to the golf shop and just spending time with him just because it felt good," he adds. "It felt really good to be around him."
While Fredrickson's dedication to the game was remarkable, he never lost sight of what was truly important to him, Fisher says.
"It basically felt like he was here every single day, and the guy was a really hard worker," Fisher says. "But he was also a really hard worker at home. I think that's probably what the best thing about Sean would be, would be him as a father and a husband."
Fredrickson and his son Hayden loved soccer and often visited Providence Park to catch a Portland Timbers game.
"He's just like a kid, he always liked to do fun things," Fisher says of Fredrickson's outings with his son. "They would take one of those little scooters around to go get ice cream and scoot around downtown Portland."
Fredrickson — who leaves behind his wife, 46-year-old April Fredrickson — always found a way to balance family time and his responsibilities at the club, and he'd often work long days to make sure he could fit in everything.
"Sean was very, very proud of his son," Fisher says. "He played soccer growing up, and his son was a really good soccer player at Newberg High School. So Sean would be here at 5 a.m. on a Saturday and he'd leave for a couple of hours and go catch the game, then he'd be back to finish up a tournament. I mean, that was him. He was just nonstop."
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But Fisher says he was "proud" when Fredrickson finally requested vacation days to spend time with family this past weekend. He never could have anticipated the tragedy that would follow.
Fisher says the club will soon be announcing programs in honor of Fredrickson that will focus on promoting diversity and inclusion, which were important to him. It will be a fitting tribute to someone who cared about so many.
"He's that type of person that puts everyone else first before him," Fisher says of his late friend. "His passion for people and making people happy was just contagious."
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