Ralph Fredrickson

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Ralph Albert Fredrickson was born Aug. 15, 1935, in Hettinger, N.D., to parents Peter Rassmosen Fredrickson of Reva, S.D., (born April 24, 1887), and Nina Lenora Oliver of Ogilvie, Minn. (born Oct. 5, 1905).
Peter and Nina were married in South Dakota on Oct. 4, 1934. They had two children: Ralph Fredrickson and June Artyce Fredrickson (born Oct. 27, 1938). The family lived on Peter's farm in Reva, S.D., until Peter's death on Jan. 12, 1942.
Shortly thereafter, Nina moved with the two children to Hot Springs, S.D. Ralph attended Hot Spring High School graduating in May 1954. He worked summers as a ranch hand and as a laborer and truck driver on construction jobs.
Ralph entered the U.S. Navy on Sept. 21, 1954, and was stationed on the USS Intrepid, CVA-11, with a home port at Portsmouth, Va. He was responsible for maintaining fire control equipment and associated gun control systems. Ralph was honorably discharged on Oct. 3, 1958 - after four years and 13 days - as a Second Class Fire Control Technician (FT2). During his service, Ralph was awarded a Good Conduct Medal. He remained an active member of the USS Intrepid Association of Former Crewmembers.
Ralph attended one year of school at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, S.D. In September 1960, Ralph was employed by the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) as an electronics maintenance technician in Fairbanks, Alaska, then in April 1961, as an electronics installation technician in Anchorage, Alaska, responsible for the installation of FAA communications and navigational aids.
In August 1975, Ralph became a flight inspection electronics technician with the Anchorage Flight Inspection District Office (FIDO), responsible for the airborne evaluation of ground navigational aids to aviation located in Alaska, Canada and Greenland. On Jan. 29, 1981, Ralph was promoted to Supervisory Electronics Technician in the Anchorage FIDO, serving as the acting supervisor of the FIDO from time to time. On May 28, 1991, Ralph retired after 34 years and nine months, in service to his country.
Ralph met his future wife, Lena Elizabeth "Doodles" Fava (born Nov. 4, 1933), in the early 1960s, while both of them were working in rural Alaska, she as a nurse and he with the FAA. They stayed in touch somewhat over the years and eventually married on April 28, 1979, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Anchorage.
Ralph died in the early morning hours, 4:43 a.m., on April 9, 2017, in the midst of two wonderful caregivers, friends and neighbors. He and his steadfast character and kindness will be missed, but it is comforting to know he is "home at last." Ralph's ashes are buried at the Slim Buttes Lutheran Church Cemetery in Reva, S.D.
Ralph was predeceased by his father, Peter, on Jan. 12, 1942; his mother, Nina, on Aug. 20, 1995; his sister, June, on Oct. 9, 2009; and his wife, Lena, on May 28, 2013. Ralph is survived by a cousin, Dorothy Holt of Ralph, S.D.

Published in Anchorage Daily News from Oct. 12 to Oct. 13, 2017
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