Fred Desautels died of brain cancer on Friday, Oct. 27, 2006, at his home in Fargo.
Born in Michigan, ND on May 28, 1929 to Ernest and Rosalia (Fink) Desautels, Fred was the seventh of eleven children.
Throughout his life Fred displayed a tremendous work ethic. As a boy, he worked on area farms during the summer months and during the rest of the year at the family meat market. A diligent student and standout basketball player for the Michigan High School Bulldogs, Fred graduated from high school in 1947. He then worked at Lamb’s Bank in Michigan. At age 22 he joined the U.S. Army and admirably served his country for two years, including a tour of duty in Korea during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged in 1953 with the rank of sergeant.
Shortly after his military service Fred moved to Fargo. While a student at Dakota Business College (DBC) he met and soon fell in love with Doris Tollefson. Fred and Doris both graduated from Dakota Business College and were married at St. Mary’s Cathedral June 11, 1955.
Fred continued his studies at DBC and also taught classes there. He worked as an accountant at Smith Inc., Fargo, for ten years. He then worked as the controller at Branick Manufacturing (Branick Industries), Fargo, and was a partner in the company for several years. He retired in 1995.
Fred’s main goal in life was to please the Lord with his actions and thoughts. Fred and Doris have been active members of Holy Spirit Catholic Church for over 51 years, and have made many friends there. For nearly 50 years Fred was a dedicated member of the choir. He offered his services to the church in many ways including helping with the flowers, mowing, and making the Easter candle for many years. Fred was also a long time member of a small group Bible study, and looked forward to his weekly adoration time with the Lord.
He volunteered for many organizations including the American Legion Bicycle Program, Churches United Food Pantry, and St. Vincent de Paul Society Thrift Store. Fred cultivated many diverse interests throughout his life: singing, photography, cooking, curling, clock making, remodeling, birding, gardening, yard work, camping, and enjoying the outdoors. He was an excellent example of a dedicated family man. He was a fun-loving, supportive grandpa who enjoyed his grandchildren. He loved playing games and singing with them and rarely missed attending their many sports and arts activities. Fred had a quick wit and a memorable dry sense of humor.
He is survived by his loving wife Doris, three sons, two daughters and 19 grandchildren. They are Edward (Julie), Alexandria, MN and children: Christi, Teresa (Elijah) Jeffery, Joanna, Kevin, Anne, and Katie; Sharon (John) Beauclair, Fargo and children: Rose, Aaron, Mary, Naomi, David, and Gregory; Lisa (Jon) Bergerson, Moorhead, MN and children: Ernest/EJ, Joshua, and Daniel; John (Mary), Chanhassen, MN, and children: Claire and Nicholas; Joseph (Khristen Carlson), Montgomery, AL, and children: Norah and Fionah.
He is also survived by his sisters Jean Herrmann, Esmond, IL, Barbara Stump, Fountain Valley, CA; Rita Raschke, Henderson, NV; Bernardine Paulson, Fargo; Annette (Eugene) Farrell, Eau Claire, WI; Reine (Philip) Freeman, Grand Forks; and brothers Herman (Gretchen), Granada Hills, CA; Richard (Carol), Springhill, FL; Ramon Arthur (Jean), Crookston, MN; and Ernest (Judy), Brookfield, WI; and many nieces and nephews.
Fred was preceded in death by his parents Ernest and Rosalia; daughter Joan Marie (1986); and four infant grandchildren.
Prayer Service: 8:00 p.m. Friday, November 3rd Holy Spirit Church, Fargo.
Visitation: 7:30 ? 8:00 p.m. Friday, November 3rd Holy Spirit Church.
Mass of Christian Burial: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, November 4th Holy Spirit Church with visitation one hour before.
Internment: Holy Cross North Catholic Cemetery, Fargo.
Memorials to the Fred Desautels Scholarship at Shanley High School or the JP Smith Foundation at Holy Spirit Church.