Fred Boettcher

Friday, July 8, 2016 4:24 pm

Fred Boettcher, 91, of Calmar, died Tuesday, June 28, 2016, from complications of congestive heart failure, at the Aase Haugen Nursing Home in Decorah. Services are at 11 a.m., Thursday, July 14, 2016, at Calmar Lutheran Church, Calmar, with Pastor Phillip Olson officiating. Organist is Kathy Murray. Hymns are “Beautiful Savior,” “Jesus Loves Me” and “Mine Eyes Have Seen.” Solo is “Abide With Me.” Arrangements are being handled by Schluter – Balik Funeral Home, French Chapel, Calmar. Military rites are by Halverson – Giesen American Legion Post No. 266 Calmar. Interment is at Hawkeye Cemetery, Hawkeye.

Fred, son of Emma (Ungerer) and John Boettcher, was born Jan. 25, 1925, on the family farm near Hawkeye. He was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church, Hawkeye. Fred attended school in Hawkeye and while in high school he played football and participated in plays and drama. Just before his graduation he was drafted into the U.S. Navy. He graduated from High School in May, 1943, and was on his way to boot camp. Fred was assigned to the USS LeRay Wilson, a DE414 destroyer escort ship in the “South Pacific Theater.” He was a sonar technician. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy April 5, 1946. In the fall of 1946, Fred enrolled at Wartburg College in Waverly. He graduated June 2, 1950, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in secondary education. While attending Wartbug, Fred and his high school sweetheart Pauline Engelke were married at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hawkeye Oct. 19, 1947. After graduating from Wartburg, Fred began a long and dedicated career in teaching. He taught American and World History, speech and English. He was also the speech and drama coach and held numerous advisory positions. He retired from South Winneshiek Schools in 1988. Fred was very dedicated to his Church, Calmar Lutheran. He taught Sunday school and Bible school, served on the Church Council, led Bible studies and raised money for missions. He was a charter founding member of the Calmar Lions Club (1955). He was involved in all aspects of the organizing, up until he was 90 years old. He was also a member of the Halverson-Giesen American Legion Post No. 266 for over 60 years. Fred was also very civic minded. He served on the Calmar City Council for eight years and as mayor for four years. After his retirement, Fred continued to enjoy carpentry, gardening, having garage sales, playing cards, community organizations, civic activities and his family. He always had a passion for helping people in every one of these areas. In 2011, Fred moved to Eastern Star Assisted Living in Decorah. He enjoyed playing cards, attending their activities, and joined the Decorah Lions Club. While in assisted living he continued working on his passion for Church missions. For 20 years he wrapped and sold “Fred’s Gifts” for one dollar at Calmar Lutheran Church during Advent. Each year more than $400 was given to Lutheran Disaster Fund. He also removed the wires from electric blankets that were given to local churchwomen. They then used the blankets in the quilts that were given to World Missions.

Fred is survived by his daughter, Sue (John) Boehm, Decorah; granddaughter, Julie (Andy) Saxton, Ames; great-grandchildren: Lincoln, Addy and Grace Saxton, Ames; two sisters, Erma Jo Boess, Hawkeye, and Verla Olsen, St. Cloud, Minn.; seven nieces and two nephews; many cousins; and his very special friend, Lorene Geiselhart, and her family.

Fred was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Pauline, June 25, 1990; sister, Alice; brother, George; and a niece.

Memorials may be given to the Calmar Lutheran Church, 200 East Street, PO Box 398, Calmar, IA 52132.

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