Frederick Soule Stearns|
January 21, 1924 - May 10, 2014
Fred Stearns, a member of Westminster Presbyterian church in Salem, Oregon, passed away May 10 after a 90-year demonstration of a life well-lived. Born in Concord, Massachusetts in the cradle of American liberty to a family with roots extending back to the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock, Fred was the patriarch of a large family and a tremendous example of a man who chose to live his life in the service of others.
Fred was pre-deceased in January, 2009 by his wife of 61 years, Marjorie Stearns, and leaves behind Cola Seiffert Stearns, his current wife and loving companion since December 27, 2009. Also left behind are Fred's sister Vicky Lloyd of St. Louis, Mo., four sons, Dr. Clark Stearns of Corpus Christi, Texas; Robert Stearns of Salem, Oregon; Karl Stearns of Bedford, Texas; and Kenneth Stearns of LaGrange, Wyoming. Additional survivors are twelve grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren, four adoring daughters-in-law, and numerous nieces, nephews, and loving members of a large extended family including those related to Fred's wife Cola who came to love Fred during his marriage to Cola.
As a man who set the finest example of integrity and selflessness, Fred Stearns demonstrated his passion for service throughout his long life. He served bravely and honorably in the United States Navy during World War II, paying a heavy price for his love of country with a life-long disability that was service-connected and ultimately the cause of his death. Fred went on from his military service to fight his way out of numerous Veterans' Hospitals enough to rise up and earn advanced academic degrees leading to a career in public education, business, and civil service. After his retirement in 1989, Fred selflessly gave of his time and energy to serve as City Councilman and then Mayor of Fairfield Bay, Arkansas where he also took part in numerous philanthropic and service projects. Few who knew Fred Stearns would ever doubt his lifelong commitment to service and the betterment of others, often at personal expense. This commitment was an expression of his personal faith in his God and Savior, Jesus Christ, Who no doubt has welcomed him to glory with appreciation for having been a good and faithful servant.
Memorials may be made to charities of personal choice, the VFW (of which Fred was a life member), or Hillsdale College in Michigan. A memorial service is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. on June 19 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3737 Liberty Rd. S., Salem, to be coordinated through Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service of Salem, Oregon (www.vtgolden.com).
Published in StatesmanJournal on May 18, 2014