Ronald Harold Fredrickson

June 24, 1931 – Jan. 2, 2018

OSAGE CITY — Ronald Harold Fredrickson passed away peacefully at home Jan. 2, 2018, following a sudden brief illness. He was surrounded by family and loved ones facing the east window overlooking the farm. He was 86.

He was born June 24, 1931, at home on the family farm west of Osage City, the son of 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 (MEN) independent and integrated fraternity.

He and Pat were married April 5, 1953, their senior year and after graduation they embarked on their next adventure during the five years Ron was an active duty officer in the U.S. Navy. He logged another 16 years in the Naval Reserves, retiring as captain. Towards the end of his active duty he 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 his 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 (CSCORE) 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, he 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. He was always committed to conservation, and strived to improve the land, considering it God’s gift and his way of honoring Him.

His 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.

He remained active in Grace Lutheran Church, Osage City, serving on the church council, Men in Mission and choir.

He 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. He was always a believer in second chances and tried to offer his support in helping them achieve their goals.

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

He is survived by his wife, Pat, of 64 wonderful years; a daughter Anne (Sue Zschoche), Wamego; a sister, Marlene Switzer and husband, Lloyd, Ottawa; a brother Duane Fredrickson and wife, Nancy, Lindsborg; 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 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.

Funeral services will be h 11 a.m. Jan. 6 at Grace Lutheran Evangelical Church. Family will be receiving friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 5 at VanArsdale Funeral Chapel, Osage City. Military Burial Honors 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 Osage County 4-H Scholarship Fund.

Condolences may be expressed at vanarsdalefs.com.

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