Santa Paula, CA
Fredrick Wacker, 68, a resident of Santa Paula, CA for two years and a former resident of Madison, GA, passed from this earth to the sounds of Motown on June 7 after a yearlong battle with cancer.
Jean Ann (Bonvechio) Wacker, his wife of 45 years, was by his side, along with his sister, Alison Kiernan.
Fred, the father of two sons, David and Christopher, dedicated his life to serving the public. He retired as director and COO from the Home Depot Foundation in Atlanta where he focused on supporting affordable housing development and housing for veterans. He also worked with philanthropic programs with the Fannie Mae Foundation, Community Investment Services, and the Neighborhood Reinvestment Center.
When he moved to California in 2014 he quickly was appointed to the Santa Paula Planning Commission. He wanted to put his housing expertise to good use in the city he now called home. He attended his last meeting just two weeks before his death.
Fred was born in New Jersey, but moved to Ohio while he was in high school. He met Jean Ann at Ohio University in Athens. They were soon on the road to Arizona, where Fred served in the Army in Fort Huachuca for two years. Fred began his lifelong love of turquoise jewelry there, along with a commitment to cowboy hats.
They moved to North Carolina, Georgia (where they lived for 30 years), before moving to Santa Paula in 2014 - fulfilling their dream to return to the West.
Fred is survived by his wife Jean Ann and son, David of Santa Paula, and son Christopher of Athens, GA; his sisters Alison (Sean) Kiernan, and Robin (George) Rusnak of Cleveland, OH; sister-in-law Marty Bonvechio (Duane Dammeyer) of Ojai; sister-in-law Wendy Bonvechio of Ojai; brothers-in-law Todd (Peggy) Bonvechio, Matt (Robin) Bonvechio of Gnadenhutten OH, and Craig Bonvechio of Brecksville, OH; his mother and father-in-law Norma and Gene Bonvechio of Dover, OH; dozens of nieces and grand-nieces and nephews and grand-nephews, and his faithful dog Maxine who was by his side at his death.
He is also survived by his great friends Mary Jo and Jeff Paris, who he was proud of regularly beating in Liars Dice.
His parents, Winnie and Bob, preceded him in death.
A celebration of life for family and friends will be held 3 p.m. Saturday at the Bonvechio/Dammeyer home, 231 Boardman Road, Ojai.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to Assisted Hospice Care, 4450 Westinghouse St., Suite 103, Ventura, CA 93003.
Published in Ventura County Star on Jun. 12, 2016.