Famed western painter and cowboy, Fred Oldfield, died Friday, just weeks before his 99th birthday.
Known to many as 'Cowboy Fred,' Oldfield was a legend in the Puyallup area. The Fred Oldfield Western Heritage and Art Center at the fairgrounds is named after him.
Oldfield's family announced his passing on Facebook. He was in hospice care and family had gathered around him.
His daughter wrote on Facebook, "There was nothing normal or ordinary about being the daughter of Fred Oldfield and why I was the lucky one to have had that privilege I will never know, but I have thanked God thousands of times!"
The Fred Oldfield Western Heritage & Art Center also posted a video celebrating his life and the impact he had.
The Tacoma Art Museum, which recently featured some of Oldfield's work, posted, "This lively gentleman was an artist, a humanitarian, an educator, a cowboy, a family man, and so much more."
A 99th Birthday Celebration Breakfast that was scheduled for March 17th will go on. The family says a memorial will be held in the late spring.
Here's the statement from Cowboy Fred's family:
“Cowboy Fred”, as the world knows him, has left us to start his next painting adventure. I just know he’s dancing with my beautiful Mother and celebrating with all those he has loved and lost over his almost 99 years! There are no words ~ just no words, to express the loss of the most amazing Daddy, Grandfather, Husband, Friend, Artist and “Gramps to hundreds of children”. I am filled with gratitude for the Blessing of so many years, days, hours and moments filled with extraordinary memories. There was nothing normal or ordinary about being the daughter of Fred Oldfield and why I was the lucky one to have had that privilege I will never know, but I have thanked God thousands of times! I know you all have wonderful memories and many funny stories of your own ~ Daddy was like that ~ he touched so many lives. So please take those memories and hold them close, share them, treasure them and may they give you comfort and joy. Our family wants to say a heartfelt thank you to all of you who have been with us on this journey ~ some of you for years and some of you for only days. We know his impact was mighty! So, thank you for the love, cards, calls and prayers. Fred’s 99th Birthday Celebration Breakfast will go on as planned, nothing was more important to him than a place for the kids to learn about art and the old west. A memorial will be planned for late spring. Please know we will continue to Celebrate Daddy for years to come. Keep an eye on the sky dear Friends, I know Daddy will be sending us some gorgeous breathtaking scenes very soon. My heart is filled with love and gratitude for you!!