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Fred Byron Stevens, Sr.
December 2, 1928 - August 2, 2017
Service Date: August 7, 2017
Funeral services will be held on Monday, August 7, 2017at 11:00 a.m. at the Arkdale Trinity Lutheran Church, 1650 Church St., Arkdale, WI. Private inurnment will take place in Arkdale Cemetery.
A visitation for Fred will be held on Sunday, August 6, 2017 from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Roseberry’s Funeral Home, 512 Main Street, Friendship,WI and again at the church on Monday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service.
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, memorial remembrance’s be directed to Adams VFW Post # 6279, P.O. Box 787, Adams, WI 53910.
Fred Byron Stevens, Sr., was born in Del Rio, Texas, the second son of Warren Harvey Stevens I and Hilda Stevens. The family returned to their home state of Wisconsin when the dam project on which Warren worked as a foreman was completed. Fred attended schools in Keystone, Bob Lake and Colfax, Wisconsin, graduating in 1945 from Colfax High School where he participated in numerous activities and sports.
Fred joined the Army and shipped out to Alaska just after the end of World War II, where he served before returning home and joining the reserves. He worked as a carpenter apprentice, with his father, in Castle Rock, WI, for a short time, during which he met Esther Helen Pedersen and soon married her at Arkdale Trinity Lutheran Church on December 17, 1949. The newlyweds moved to Minnesota, only to be called back to Arkdale, WI when Fred received orders to report for active duty. He served as a Seventh Cavalry Sergeant in the Korean Conflict and was honorably discharged after he was wounded in the back by shrapnel. He received the Purple Heart as well as other commendations for his service, and he is a veteran of both World War II and Korea. He was an active member of the VFW and the Purple Heart, and he served in the VFW Honor Guard in Adams-Friendship, WI, honoring fellow service members.
Fred rejoined his family, including his seven-month old son, Fred Bryon Jr., in Arkdale before moving them to Kenosha County. He worked as a carpenter, but then attended vocational school to study engineering. He worked at the Tri-Clover Division of Ladish Corporation in Kenosha, working as a parts programmer, supervisor, plant shift superintendent and Impro-Share Coordinator for the company’s profit sharing program. He retired after more than 30 years in 1989. He was a charter member of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Employees Local 92.
Fred was a family man, being part of a large extended family, and he enjoyed visiting with them all, young and old. He could be found discussing controversial politics one minute, then making faces and laughing with a baby the next. He entertained his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, whether teaching them to fish, or bouncing them on his knee. He was known to kick up his heels at dances, and he loved to polka. He brought his family camping and travelled throughout the US, Canada and Europe on many a vacation with Esther and other family members. He took part in Boy Scout activities with his sons and occasionally served as a chaperone for Bradford High School Band.
His faith journey started in the Lutheran Church Wisconsin Synod in Chippewa Falls, WI. During his life in Kenosha, he joined First Congregational Church and attended services there for many years before returning to the Lutheran Church when he and Esther joined St. Mary’s Lutheran of Kenosha. After retirement, he and Esther moved back to Arkdale to live closer to family members and were both active members of Arkdale Trinity Lutheran Church.
He died this week following a long battle through the labyrinth of Alzheimer’s disease, during which he always kept his sense of humor and recognized the love flowing to him from his family, even when he didn’t recognize them.
Fred is preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, Robert and Warren II, two infant twin sisters, and numerous family, including brothers and sisters in-law and friends. He is survived by his loving wife of almost 68 years, Esther Helen (nee Pedersen) who currently resides in Kenosha; sons, Fred Jr. (Pat Chastain) of Kerrville, TX; Ronald (Betty) and Jeffrey (Donna Gaddy) of Kenosha; daughters, Debra Stevens (Bob Wheeler) of Kenosha and Susan Dempsey (Jeff) of High Ridge, MO. He is also survived by grandchildren, Joseph, Michael, Michelle, Samantha, Stacy, Amanda, Brianna, Abigail and Ethan, and great-grandchildren Haley, Jenna, Trista, Landon, Ivy, Lena, Julian, Gino, Dante, Isabella and two on the way. Other members of his surviving family include his brother, Thomas (Vero Beach, FL); sisters, Dorothy Hedman (Hayward, WI), Patricia Balk (Kenosha), numerous sisters and brothers-in-law, cousins, nieces and nephews.