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Fred J. Wiest

Fred J. Wiest Obituary
Attorney Fred J. Wiest, 101, of Minersville, passed away Wednesday at Providence Place, Pottsville.

Born August 10, 1915, in Pottsville, he was a son of the late Frederick and Lulu Clappier Wiest.

Fred was a 1933 graduate of Minersville High School, a 1937 graduate of Swarthmore College, and a 1940 graduate of Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Mass. He was a member of the United Presbyterian Church of Pottsville.

Fred was admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in 1941. On Feb. 12, 1942, he was inducted into the military and served mainly in the Northern Pacific Theatre of Operations. He was discharged as a captain in the Army Air Force in 1946.

Fred was a sole practitioner of the law for 22 years until he joined the firm now known as Williamson, Friedberg & Jones LLC in 1968. Ultimately, he practiced law for more than 70 years and even though he retired in 2012 at the age of 97, he continued to grace the halls of the firm until the age of 99.

Known as a remarkable scholar and a true gentleman in every sense of the word; he was also an avid reader, an amateur dendrologist and keenly interested in astronomy and the stock market. Fred's longevity and his dedication to the law, his community, and his family and friends have been unprecedented.

Fred was very much involved in his community. As a member of the Schuylkill Educational Foundation (SEF), he participated in raising money for college scholarships. The SEF became the Advisory Board of the Schuylkill Campus of Penn State University and his joint membership extended from 1954 to 2015. Fred was also a member and the last president of the Minersville Borough School Board, and served on the Minersville Planning Commission (forerunner to the Schuylkill Economic Development Corporation). In addition, he was the solicitor for Minersville Borough and the Tremont Municipal Authority. As a member of the Benevolent Association of Schuylkill County's board, he helped provide funds for low-income residents of the coal-mining region.

Fred received many accolades and awards over the years but he will be remembered for his humility and grace.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth Schwenk Hay; a son, Frederick J. Wiest III; a sister, Jean C. Wiest.

Fred is survived by two children, Marian (wife of Glen Sommerfeldt), Green Lake, Wis., and Richard (husband of Rosalie LaPlaca), Schuylkill Haven; two grandsons, Jeffrey and Daniel Sommerfeldt.

A funeral service will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday from Dutcavich Funeral Home, 200 Sunbury St., Minersville, with Pastor James Shields officiating. Family and friends may call at the funeral home from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Interment will be in Charles Baber Cemetery, Pottsville. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Hospice of Central Pennsylvania, 1320 Linglestown Road, Harrisburg, PA 17110; or to the Fred J. Wiest STEM Scholarship at Penn State Schuylkill, 200 University Drive, Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972. Donations will be accepted at the funeral home. Visit www.dutcavich.com.

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Published in Republican & Herald on Jan. 19, 2017
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