Frederick “Fred” Joseph Gedemer, age 93, of Appleton, entered eternal life on Sunday, March 11, 2018 surrounded by his family. Fred was born in Racine, Wisconsin, on February 20, 1925 to the late Peter and Louise (Moritz) Gedemer. After graduating from St. Catherine High School in Racine, he proudly served his country during World War II aboard the U.S.S. Hudson DD 475 in the Pacific theater, including the Mariana and Palau Islands campaign (the “Turkey Shoot”) and the Battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Following discharge from the U.S. Navy, he graduated from Marquette University with a degree in mechanical engineering.
On February 18, 1950, Fred was united in marriage to Mary Ann Prudlow at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in West Allis. The couple enjoyed 50 years together before Mary Ann passed away on May 29, 2000. As a professional engineer, he worked in paper machinery design and manufacturing, retiring in 1986 from Voith Paper Inc., after 28 years of service. He married Dorothy “Dot” Rowe on November 24, 2001. Fred belonged to the VFW Post 2778, American Legion Post #38, Tin Can Sailors Association, Knights of Columbus - Fr. Fitzmaurice Council 607, Appleton Evening Lions Club, and the People of Praise. He volunteered at the St. Joseph Food Pantry and at the Salvatorian Mission Warehouse in New Holstein. He was a strong advocate for vocations, being active in the Serra Club for many years. He generously applied his design and drafting expertise to numerous building projects for the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, including his home parish of St. Pius X, the Catholic Youth Expedition - St. Joseph’s Formation Center, and the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. Fred could fix anything, took great pleasure in gardening and woodworking, and enjoyed learning new crafts when he and Dot wintered in Florida. He loved family reunions and vacations, where he instilled an appreciation for the great outdoors in all of his children and grandchildren. He was an active member of St. Pius X Catholic Church for many years.
Fred will be missed by his wife Dorothy, of Appleton; 2 daughters: Mary (Mark) Gedemer-Jensen of Racine and Jane (Gregory) Latz of Carthage, Indiana; 5 sons: Bill (Marilyn) Gedemer of West Allis, Larry Gedemer of Minocqua, Bob (Ann) Gedemer of Medina, John Gedemer of Kimberly, and Richard (Julie) Gedemer of Fond du Lac; Dot’s children: Carol (Don) Kronforst of Chicago, David Rowe of Boston, and Steve Rowe of Appleton; 18 grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; a brother, David (Barbara) Gedemer of Racine; sister, Eleanor (Jerry) Maller of Racine; brother-in-laws: Ed Kretschmer of Burlington and Patrick Prudlow of Milwaukee plus many nieces and nephews.
Fred was preceded in death by his parents, first wife Mary Ann, sister Louise Kretschmer, brother Bill Gedemer, brother-in-law Robert “Bob” Prudlow, and pre-term infant children.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 am on Saturday, March 17, at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 512 W. Marquette St. Appleton, with Father James Jugenheimer officiating. Visitation will be at Brettschneider-Trettin-Nickel Funeral Chapel, 606 N Oneida St, Appleton on Friday, March 16, starting at 4 pm and ending with a Rosary at 6 pm. Friends may also visit at the church on Saturday from 9 am until 10:45 am. Interment will take place at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Appleton. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established.