In Loving Memory of
Carl Eric Fredericksen
Carl Eric Fredericksen
The heavenly chorus gained a fine bass on Tuesday, March 8th, after the passing of Carl Fredericksen at age 83. As a devoted family man with a knack for solving any problem, Carlâ€™s twinkling smileâ€"evidence of his inner faith and simple joyâ€"is now remembered and reverenced by those he loved.
Born on December 18, 1932, in Ripon, CA, Carl was welcomed to the world by his Danish parents, Carl Peter Fredericksen and Lora Ellen Burkettâ€"who farmed pigs, poultry and dairy cattle, between them. Carl was one of six siblings, including: Paul David Fredericksen (and wife Marie), Ellen Marie Fredericksen (and husband, Thomas Oâ€™Shea), Alvin Henry Fredericksen (and wife Shirley). One brother and one sister preceded Carl in death: John William Fredericksen (survived by wife Jessica) and Ruth Margaret Fredericksen.
Growing up in such a large, loving family, Carl and his siblings worked long hours doing farm chores and helping his grandparents with their vineyard; however, he still found time to run barefoot everywhere, catch frogs, fashion slingshots, and climb the massive trees in the olive orchard across the road. During Carlâ€™s junior year at Ripon Union High School, his father died suddenly. Carl then left school in order to help sustain his family and run the farm. Against long odds, Carl returned to receive his diploma a few years later in 1954, graduating along with his brother Paul and sister Ellen. Somehow, he also found time to participate in Glee Clubâ€"which helped shape his lifelong love of musicâ€"learn the violin and play basketball.
After graduation, Carl enlisted in the United States Air Force, where he enjoyed a 17-year career as a successful Navigator, Radar Operator and Senior Weapons Controller. Carl achieved the rank of Captain and during the course of his career was entrusted with "Go/No Go" codes for missile launch during the Cold War and Vietnam Era, performed radar support for the Apollo missions, flew reconnaissance missions in the EC-121D "DEW line," and was responsible for the DRONE mission for the 966th Squadron. After his military service, Carl pursued and received an Associateâ€™s degree from the Texas Institute of Electronic Science at Texas A&M (as a student, he delivered The Houston Chronicle and even worked as a camera man and engineer for KBTX). Later, he served as a Research Specialist in the Civil Engineering Department at TAMU. Carl was an expert in his field, often involved in many high profile technological advancements such as testing the heat shield tiles for the space shuttle, determining tensile strength of solid rocket fuel for NASA, and assisted in the tensile strength testing of suspension bridge spanning beams. He would ultimately hold two patents in different technological fields.
Thankfully, Carlâ€™s professional success was matched by his blessings in terms of family. A few years after joining the Air Force, Carl met his wife, Angela Scarmardo Fredericksen, at his brother Paulâ€™s weddingâ€"where Paul married Angelaâ€™s sister, Marie, at St. Anthony Catholic Church. Carl and Angela were smitten with each other and married six months later at San Salvador Church in Caldwell on May 3, 1958, in that churchâ€™s first-ever wedding ceremony. The Fredericksens would eventually add three children to their family: Anita Marie Fredericksen Kapchinski (and husband Karl), Peter Eric Fredericksen (and wife Stacy), and Scott Alan Fredericksen (whose wife Nicole passed away in February, 2016). The family relocated often during Carlâ€™s time in the Air Forceâ€"largely residing in Florida, where Carl owned a boat and loved to fish. The Fredericksens then came to Bryan/College Station in 1970, after Carlâ€™s military retirement.
Here in the Brazos Valley, Carl settled into a quiet life with his family. He loved nature and birds, in particular, spending hours making suet for his bird feeders at home and keeping up with his vegetable garden. He was always joyful, cheering others with his signature laugh and lighting each room he entered with his broad smile. In the community, Carl joined the American Legion and sang with the St. Joseph Choir, later joining St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church. Carl never lost his love for fishing or the outdoors (he even made the trek to Alaska to visit his sister, Ellen) or his ability to tinker with and fix things in his workshop, especially after promising, "Iâ€™ll fix it." At home, Carl was usually first to sit down at the dinner table and the last to leave; he enjoyed a rare steak and was often found on his back porch snacking on smoked salmon and nuts while savoring cold Budweiser and watching his beloved Aggies. Ultimately, Carl traveled to California for the reunion of his former unit, "the Fighting 437th," but he was just as happy to stay home and enjoy the company of his large family, who now mourn his passing and find comfort in his deep testimony of faith.
Carl is survived by his beloved wife, Angela, as well as their three children and five grandchildren, including: Kristopher Louis Kapchinski (and wife Jessica), Kyle Alan Kapchinski (and wife Meredith), Kevin Eric Kapchinski (and wife Amanda), Tyler Andrew Fredericksen and Victoria Peed. Carl was also blessed to be a great-grandfather to Jennifer Renee, Kade Louis, Kristopher Brandt, Kaleb Alan and Lena Rose Kapchinski.
Family and friends will gather to honor and remember Carlâ€™s life on Saturday, March 12 from 5:30 - 7:30 PM at Hillier Funeral Home, 4080 State Highway 6 South in College Station. All are invited to join together as a community at 6:30 pm; kneeling in humbleness before God, occupying their voices, minds, hearts, and bodies by praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy to ask for God's Grace. His Life Celebration and Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 2 PM on Sunday, March 13 at St. Josephâ€™s Catholic Church, 600 E 26th St, Bryan, Texas 77803 with Monsignor John A. McCaffrey officiating. Final commendation and blessing will follow at Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Bryan.
The family invites friends to consider a donation in Carlâ€™s memory to St. Joseph Catholic School of Bryan.
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