Carl Frederick, a longtime resident of Groundbirch, BC, was taken from us suddenly on Friday, December 21, 2018 at the age of 76 years.
Morning everyone, my name is Roland Frederick, 3rd of 4 children to Carl and Sue Frederick. Dad was born at home on the farm in Worth county Missouri along with his twin sister, the first two of three children, to Dale and Lorene Frederick. Dad grew up in a midwestern farming community and this is likely where his love of the land was born. At 15 dad and the family moved to Monte Vista Colorado. He would continue to enjoy the outdoors in Colorado, and throughout his entire life.
I’m reminded of a story a few years ago, Dad, my wife and I went fishing out in the pine pass. We parked by the honeymoon creek maintenance yard and started hiking through the woods along the creek headed for the Misinchinka river. We rounded a corner on the trail and not 20’ away was a black bear just as startled to see us as we were to see her. The bear darted off the trail and started thrashing in the bushes, I dropped my fishing rod, tackle box and reached for the shotgun I was carrying. My wife was a trembling wreck, glued to me and that shotgun until we got back to the truck. (she learned then that guns can be good and do have a time and place) Dad however seemed so calm and collected as though it wasn't that big a deal. Turns out dad had had closer calls before. Uncle Bob told me a story about when him and Dad went to go fishing with their uncle Clifford and cousin John in Keebler pass Colorado as teenagers. While out there the three boys and their dog came across a bear cub and the dog took off after the cub. Leaving the boys to deal with an angry momma bear who chased all three boys up 3 different trees. Staying in those trees for what I'm sure felt like a very, very long time before they felt it was safe to come back down. No wonder he seemed so calm with Lara and me.
After high school Dad helped grandpa on the farm for a period but at that point in his life wasn't ready to settle down to a quiet farming life and went looking for something else. That led Dad to join the United States Air Force in 1960 at the age of 18 and he attended basic training at Lackland air force base Texas. Dad eventually gave 6 years of his life to the service and to his country and was stationed at Fairchild air force base in Spokane Washington as an aircraft mechanic for the better part of his enlistment. After his enlistment was up, dad left the air force and got his discharge papers on July 10th, 1966. The skills he learned as an aircraft mechanic served him well his entire life and after the air force we worked for Lear Siegler (LSI for short) as an aircraft mechanic and traveled all over the country. Working in places like West Virginia, Wyoming, Alaska, Florida and Nebraska just to name a few.
It was during this time that a couple major events would happen to shape dad’s future. His dad, our grandfather who for his own reasons decided to sell everything in Colorado and move 2000 miles away to establish himself in the Chetwynd area. At the time crown land could be purchased from the government and you could homestead your own slice of heaven not unlike the wild west of old. I believe My grandfather had a dream that all his children would also come to Canada and I’m told he canvased them often to make the move. At this point in Dads life I think he was getting ready to settle down, maybe growing tired of the nomadic life style his job created and on top of this, listening to his father, whom he admired as a role model, talk of the farming and homesteading opportunities In Canada.
Another major event during this time while back home in Colorado, Dad met mom who he was introduced to by his mother as they worked together in the same restaurant. After a brief courtship of only 2 dates my dad proposed, and they were married in Fort Walton, Beach Florida in 1969. Now I don’t know exactly when he ultimately made the decision to move to Canada, but, when my mother tells the story she will say that after they were married, he casually mentioned “by the way we are moving to Canada” so one can only assume his mind was made up prior to that. After they married, they lived in Lincoln, Nebraska for a short time before moving north to start a new life together in 71. Within a couple years, dad had acquired his own piece of land 5 miles down the road from grandpa that he would work and improve upon the rest of his life. He loved farming but had to work off the farm as well to support a growing family. He worked a couple of different places, before ending up at Canfor’s saw mill in Chetwynd where he worked over 25 years as a millwright mechanic until his retirement at age 63.
I think he enjoyed his work off the farm and put in his time as required, but I don't think he had enough time when it came to working around home, in addition to farming he loved mechanics and wrenching and always had a vehicle or piece of farm equipment tore apart. The whole time I was growing up the only reading material I ever saw my dad read was auto trader. Dad wasn't interested with anything unless it had a classifieds section. As a consequence, he amassed quite an impressive boneyard over the years with all kind of vehicles, farm equipment and other projects scattered around the yard in various stages of completion. I think he really cherished everything he acquired over the years and true to his farmer mentality everything he had was worth top dollar in his mind.
In many ways he was a simple man, he wasn't flashy or extravagant. Dad also wasn't one to show or talk about his emotions much and he prescribed to a tough love philosophy with us kids. Dad would always push us to be and do better in everything. He would show his love for us in his own way.
Rebecca can remember his bringing home lifts of lumber and other building supplies for the sole purpose of fort making or whatever our imaginations were inspired to build, and dad would assist in our wild and whacky projects. Jodi remembers a particular time trying to wear his coveralls that were way to big and going out to help him on his current project and dad would light up when one of his children shared in a common interest. For myself as a young boy growing up, I didn’t always understand dad’s methods and I would often push back, to the point where dad would have to remind me of my place in the father son relationship. Dad was always there for me though, I can remember a time when I was 17-18, up to no good, partying in Grande Prairie. My truck had broken down on the way home, my buddy and I tried hitchhiking back to Dawson Creek only to be picked up by the RCMP and informed hitchhiking was illegal and driven back into Grande Prairie. With no money left and other options exhausted, I called home. Hoping that mom would answer and not dad, wasn't my lucky day and I had to plead my case to dad. Who sticking with his tough love mannerisms told me exactly what I didn't want to hear. Nonetheless mom came and picked me up that night and the next day Dad and I made the long journey back to Grande Prairie, retrieved my truck, helped me getting it repaired and would only let me drive it back home after he replaced the tires because they were in such bad shape. I guess to an 18 year old beer money is more important that decent tires. I recall being grounded what at the time felt like an eternity, but in hindsight it wasn't long enough because I would make that call another time or two, always dreading the backlash but knowing he would always be there for me when I really needed him.
Reflecting on these stories, I can see that my dad, although tough on us showed through these actions that he cared about us. As I matured into adulthood, got married and have started working on building a family of my own I can draw on lessons he taught me and see parallels between us. I share in his love of the outdoors, I have purchased land of my own and we both admire our fathers. Everyone’s day comes when they meet god. Yours was Dec 21, 2018, but someone told me that the best possible outcome is to be predeceased by your parents and survived by your children. Although your passing was both tragic and unexpected, you have been blessed with the proper order in death and all your children are here in support of one another. Someone else also told me that in these times of sadness and sorrow there is also a lot of love shared between those who share in your memory. I know that you are looking down proud of me and how I live my life and occasionally shaking your head when I make a mistake. My boneyard needs a lot of work to catch up to yours, but to my wife’s chagrin I’ll keep plugging away at it. I love you and know your resting at peace.
A funeral service was held on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 11:00 am from Reynars Chapel. Pauline Haycock officiated. Interment followed in the in Mountainview Cemetery, Groundbirch, BC.
For friends so wishing, donations may be made in memory of Carl to the Mountainview Groundbirch Cemetery, PO Box 202, Groundbirch, BC V0C1T0
Very Respectfully Reynars Funeral Home & Crematorium