Frederick R. Haswell |

Frederick R. Haswell

01/30/1934 – 12/12/2015

Auburn native and longtime Truckee resident Fred Haswell passed away peacefully on Dec. 12 in Auburn. He was 81. Devoted family man, father, friend, husband and family historian, Fred was preceded in death by his loving wife of 49 years, Mary Ann, as well as his sisters, Barbara Comstock and Sharon Bates Haswell. Fred Haswell was the son of Wes Haswell and Thirza Birdsall Haswell, two storied families in the annals of Northern California and Auburn’s frontier history. The Birdsall’s settled and developed what became known as Aeolia Heights in Auburn, planting olive trees along the hills of the neighborhood in the 1890s. The family ran the award-winning Aeolia Olive Oil Company until it closed in the early 1970s. The Haswells settled in Capay Valley in the mid-1800s, descendants of Anthony Haswell of Vermont, a minor historical figure in the founding of the United States. Fred graduated from Placer High School in Auburn in 1952 where he was a standout athlete in football and baseball. He played a season of freshman football at the University of Oregon and earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Fred remained a lifelong Ducks’ fan and frequently visited the campus in later years, reuniting with members of his fraternity. Fred joined the Teamsters and entered into construction in his 20s and spent his professional life as a truck driver. He was working on the building of the I-80 freeway in the late ‘50s when he met his wife, Mary Ann Tonini, a Truckee native. The couple purchased property outside of Truckee where they would live the rest of their lives. They had two sons, Robert and Russell, both graduates of Tahoe-Truckee High School, to whom they devoted their lives. Fred enjoyed the outdoors, was an avid fly fisherman and baseball fan. He loved old cars, old westerns, Dixieland jazz, Oregon and Placer football, and watching his sons and grandchildren play sports. He was a devoted friend and family historian. In his later years, Fred was determined that the Birdsall and Haswell names live on. He personally raised money for plaque’s commemorating the Birdsall legacy in Aeolia Heights and, in the final months of his life, completed two books on the family histories for the Birdsalls and the Haswells. He is survived by his sons, Robert and Russell; his daughter-in-law’s, Kim and Stephanie; his grandchildren, Anthony, Riley, Kennedy and Martin; and members of his extended family that he’s always loved. There will be a Celebration of Life for Fred on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016 at the home of Russell Haswell, 1600 Foxridge Circle, Auburn, from 2-5 p.m. You can rsvp by email: or by calling 530-852-2340. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider making a contribution to The Hillmen Foundation (

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