Ronald H. Fredrickson, 86, Osage City: June 24, 1931 – Jan. 2, 2018

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – Ronald Harold Fredrickson, 86, passed away peacefully at home on Jan. 2, 2018, following a sudden brief illness. He was surrounded by family and loved ones facing the east window overlooking the farm. Ron was born at home on the family farm west of Osage City, Kan., on June 24, 1931, to Harold and Olive (Anderson) Fredrickson.

He was baptized and confirmed at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Osage City. He graduated from Rapp School, a one-room schoolhouse, attended Miller High School, and graduated from Osage City High School in 1949. He then enrolled at Emporia State University, and it was there he met the love of his life, Patricia Ann (Keck) Fredrickson, when they were both in the marching band. He was active in campus life as the president of the student body and was influential in establishing ESU’s chapter of the Mu Epsilon Nu independent and integrated fraternity.

He and Pat were married their senior year on April 5, 1953, and after graduation they embarked on their next adventure during the five years Ron was an active duty officer in the United States Navy. Ron logged another 16 years in the Naval Reserves, retiring as captain. Towards the end of his active duty Ron became a discipline officer and it was through this work that he decided he wanted to go into educating counselors, specifically to help young people. He completed his graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, earning his Ph.D. in psychology in 1962, and began his career on the faculty and in administration in the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Over the next three decades he authored numerous research articles and two books. Much of Ron’s work was dedicated to establishing the state mandate requiring school counseling in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He then founded the Center for School Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation, dedicated to improving educational opportunities and outcomes for all children through identifying and developing research-based and effective school counseling practices. In 2012, the center was renamed for him. He retired from the university as professor emeritus in 1992. While in Amherst, Ron was an active member of Immanuel Lutheran Church serving on several boards and singing tenor in the church choir.

As they say, you can take the boy off the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the boy. And so, he and Pat returned to Kansas, near Ron’s home west of Osage City, to help his parents and develop their own diversified farm and cow-calf operation. Ron was always committed to conservation, and strived to improve the land, considering it God’s gift and his way of honoring Him. Ron’s unwavering faith in God and dedication to his family have always been at the center of his life, believing that through his work he showed his love for both. Ron and Pat were honored to receive the Master Farmer Award in 2015 in recognition of their environmental stewardship and service to their community. He was also a member of the Kansas Farm Bureau for more than 40 years, and served on the Melvern Lake Watershed Advisory Group and local watershed board. He also helped raise funds to restore Rapp School, which is now a national and state historic site. Ron remained active in Grace Lutheran Church, Osage City, serving on the church council, Men in Mission, and choir.

Ron continued his dedication to improving educational opportunities for young people even on the farm. He and Pat welcomed many young family members and neighbors to come to work and learn on the farm. Ron was always a believer in second chances and tried to offer his support in helping them achieve their goals.

Ron was a lover of people and had countless friends and neighbors for whom he always had a smile and encouraging word. His optimism was genuine and infectious. He will be immeasurably missed by all who knew him.

Ron is survived by his wife, Pat, of 64 wonderful years; daughter, Anne (Sue Zschoche), Wamego, Kan.; sister, Marlene (Lloyd) Switzer, Ottawa, Kan.; brother, Duane (Nancy) Fredrickson, Lindsborg, Kan.; and seven nieces, six nephews, many grand and great-grand nieces and nephews, two step-grandchildren and five-step great-grandchildren to whom he was lovingly known as Papa Ron.

He is pre-deceased by his parents and his beloved son and best friend, Doren, who died in 2008.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 6, at Grace Lutheran Evangelical Church. Family will receive friends 5-7 p.m. Friday evening at VanArsdale Funeral Chapel, 107 N. Sixth St., Osage City. Military burial honors will be at Union Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Fredrickson Scholarship Fund at Grace Lutheran Church, 210 Holliday St., Osage City, KS 66523, or the Osage County 4-H Scholarship Fund. Condolences may be express at vanarsdalefs.com.

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas