Biography of Emil G. Sick
An obituary is hardly the place to chronicle the achievements of a
person's life, and that is especially true for this man.
Washingtonians of the '50s & '60s the name Emil Sick conjures up the good life - balmy summer
days with cold beer and the glory afternoons of Pacific Coast League baseball.
Sick meant that to many. He owned the brewery that brewed Rainier Beer, and he owned the baseball club that played its way into the hearts of
fans, the Seattle Rainiers.
Those were just two facets of the many-faceted life of the Tacoma-born,
Canadian-reared brewer. Sick learned the brewery business at his father's
breweries in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Before he wound up his business
career, Emil controlled the largest number of breweries under single
management in the world.
As a businessman he was successful beyond ordinary hopes and dreams. As a
baseball club owner he gave Seattle five pennant wining seasons with many
memorable teams, and heroes who have lasted through the ages.
Beyond that, Sick was a dynamic civic booster, a man who could get things
done and who contributed so much to his adopted city.
But the greatest loss may have been felt by those to whom Emil Sick meant
good times and baseball and sunny afternoons.
is from the November 11, 1964 edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
Emil Sick, Civic Leader, Baseball Patron, 70, Dies
Emil G. Sick, 70, long-time Seattle civic and business leader, died early
yesterday morning in Swedish Hospital of a stroke following an operation.
Mr. Sick had been in failing health recently but had continued to take an
active part in his numerous and varied business interests in, the United
States and Canada.
He was chairman of the board of Sick's Rainier Brewing Co. and president
of Sicks' Brewery Enterprises, Inc., both of Seattle, and a director of
three other firms, Molson's Brewery, Ltd., and Sicks' Breweries, Ltd.,
both of Canada, and the Peoples National Bank of Washington. He also was a
director of the Seattle World's Fair.
Mr. Sick was equally well known for his leadership in civic activities. He
led two successful $100,000 fund raising drives. One played a leading role
in saving St. Mark's Cathedral. As chairman of the non - denominational
committee, he saw $100,000 collected to wipe out the church's debts and
beautify the picturesque building.
As president of the Seattle Historical Society, Mr. Sick led the drive
which collected $100,000 for construction of the Museum of History and
Mr. Sick was a long-time leader of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce,
serving as its president in 1941. Thirteen, years later he was elected an
honorary life-time member.
Mr. Sick entered the brewery business as a shipping clerk with Lethbridge
Breweries, Ltd., in Alberta, Canada, which was founded and owned by his
In the following years he headed numerous corporations which
operated breweries in Spokane; Salem, Ore.; Missoula and Great Falls,
Mont.; Vancouver, B.C.; Edmonton and Lethbridge, Alta., and Prince Albert
and Regina, Sask. Some of these later were closed or sold.
In 1937, Mr. Sick purchased the Seattle Rainier baseball club and a year
later built the stadium which bears his name. The club was sold in 1960.
He also was past state chairman of the National Foundation for Infantile
Paralysis and was a founder of the King County Central Blood Bank.
In 1949, Mr. Sick became the first Washingtonian to be named for the
Disabled American's Veteran's award for outstanding civic leadership. And
he was named Greater Seattle's First Citizen in Sports for 1963.
Mr. Sick was born June 3, 1894, in Tacoma. He attended Western Canada
College, Calgary, and Stanford University. He resided at 260-39th Ave. E.
He married Kathleen Thelma McPhee in 1918. She died in 1962, and last
December he married Mrs. Martha Gardner, widow of a Seattle business
Survivors include his wife, Martha; sister, Mrs. J. A. Blair, Vancouver,
B.C.; three daughters, Mrs. Chandler Thomas, Guatemala City, Guatemala;
Mrs. Robert Minton, Concord, Mass.; and Mrs. Winston Ingman, Mercer
Island; a son, Timothy Sick, London, England; an adopted son, Alan
Ferguson, Seattle, and 16 grandchildren.
From the foregoing it's obvious that more is to be said about this remarkable
man and his achievements. Planned topics include: The House of Lethbridge, Sicks'
Breweries, Inc., and the Seattle Rainiers.
2004 by BreweryGems ~ All Rights Reserved.
For any comments, additions, or corrections please contact me:
Brewery Gems™ ~ since