Fred Roemheld was a man of many diverse interests and loves. He enjoyed a good glass of wine or sake while listening to Ella Fitzgerald, Pink Floyd, Yo Yo Ma or Wagner. Fred was a sharp and intelligent man, and accomplished much throughout his career. Fred will be dearly missed and fondly remembered by his family and friends.
Fred was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Lothar B. and Ruth M. (Blau) Roemheld on December 14, 1931. He joined his older sister, Priscilla, who had been born 7 years earlier. Fred’s father worked as a pharmacist and was an accomplished artist and painter. Fred’s mother was a homemaker and secretary. Fred grew up in Wauwatosa Wisconsin. He attended Wauwatosa East High School and took a great interest in math, art and the Marine Corps.
After graduating from Wauwatosa East High School, Fred joined the U.S. Marine Corp Reserves in January of 1949. He transitioned to active duty in July 1950 and was based at Quantico, Virginia. While stationed at Quantico, Fred was dating a girl from Washington D.C. when he was introduced to her roommate, a pretty young woman named Nancy Stevens. Fred and Nancy were married in September 1952 in Worchester, Massachusetts. At the time of their marriage Fred was stationed at Camp Lejeune so they moved to Wilmington, North Carolina. Very shortly after they arrived in Wilmington, Fred received orders to ship out to Korea. He served in Korea for 18 months.
After his honorable discharge in July 1954, Fred and Nancy returned to Milwaukee. Fred began taking classes at the Milwaukee School of Engineering where he studied Mechanical Engineering. For many years he worked as a Quality Control Engineer for the General Motors Corporation. Fred worked on guidance systems used in the Gemini and Apollo space programs.
Fred and Nancy raised four children; Joanne, Kathryn, Steven and MaryBeth. The family had many happy times together and several cats joined the family over the years. Although Fred’s marriage to Nancy ended in divorce in 1975, they remained lifelong friends.
Fred enjoyed a good glass of wine and had an appreciation for music of all varieties. From classical to jazz, Fred’s tastes varied from the alternative group R.E.M. to the progressive sounds of Pink Floyd. He especially favored the music of Ella Fitzgerald whom he had the pleasure of meeting once at a club. Some of his other favorite music included Beverly Sills and Janis Joplin.
Fred was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in the late 70s. He was proud to have participated in an MS research study that included treatment with plasmaphoresis. He responded well to the treatment and was able to live independently for the rest of his life.
Fred enjoyed spending time with his family and friends and especially enjoyed traveling. His most memorable trips included going to Germany and Austria with his daughter Kathy, an Alaskan cruise with his sister Priscilla and visiting the Harry S. Truman birthplace in Missouri with his friends Jim and Shirley Roberts.
Fred always possessed a good sense of humor which was quite evident at a candlelight service at church on Christmas Eve. While handing out programs and candles at the service, a man asked Fred, “what does the candle represent?” Fred replied, “whatever you want it to.” The man then responded, “but I’m an alcoholic?” Fred responded, “then don’t breathe on it.” That was Fred … straight forward and no nonsense. It was the very reason he was so endearing to those who knew and loved him. At the age of 78, Frederick L. Roemheld passed away on Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at the Heart Hospital of Wisconsin.
He was the father of Joanne R. Jeanguenat, Kathryn C. (Mick) Zunac, Steven F. (Margaret) Roemheld, and MaryBeth (Laurie Gift) Roemheld: former husband and friend of Nancy Roemheld; brother to the late Priscilla Welles and uncle of Bryant (Kathy) Welles. He is further survived by Kristen and Jonathan Templin, other friends and family.
Family and friends will gather at the Suminski/Weiss Family Funeral Home, 1901 N. Farwell Avenue, (414)276-5122 on Saturday, March 6, 2010 from 12:00 PM until the time of his Memorial Service at 2:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Sierra club are appreciated. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to leave a favorite memory or photo of Fred or to sign his online guest book.