Thomas Lee Frederick, 81, passed away Thursday, July 8, 2021, at his home in Mishawaka, IN. On April 20, 1940, he was born to the late Leo N. and Elsie (Long) Frederick. Also preceding Thomas in death was his former spouse, Jewel Frederick.
Surviving Thomas are his daughters, Le-An (Tony) Lopez of Granger and Tara (Craig) Hill of Elkhart; grandchildren, Lindy (Jeff) Lawler of Fort Wayne, Blain (Tara) Frick of Carmel (with a baby girl due in December), Ty (Alise) Lopez of Granger, Jeremy (Bailey) Hill, Matthew (Rachel) Hill, and Zachary (Allie) Hill all of Elkhart; great grandchildren, Addison, Aiden and Adley Lawler, Rylan and Lennon Hill, Josie (Jewel) Hill, a new baby girl Hill due any day now; sister, Shirley Jurgonski; several nieces and nephews; and loving companion, Barbara Friedman.
Thomas began his service in the United States Army on August 5, 1958, right after his Mishawaka High School graduation. His first stop was Fort Leonard Wood, MO, then in October of the same year moved to Fort Benning, Georgia and by December he was in San Francisco. In 1959 he was stationed two years in Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, where he was honored to participate in the ceremonies on August 21, 1959, in Honolulu when Hawaii became the 50th state. Later he was deployed to Ft Lewis Tacoma, Washington where he was assigned to a combat strike unit that combined Marine’s, Special Forces and his unit, which took him to the Philippines, Hawaii, Midway and Guam.
Thomas began working as a paperboy at the age of 9 for the Chicago Tribune and South Bend Tribune. At the age of 14, he began to mow grass to be able to afford a car. Before the age of 16 he was working at Desota City Auto Sales in Mishawaka and then Blue Ribbon Bakery in South Bend working 40 hours a week all while going to school. In the 1950’s he worked at Downtown Mishawaka Shoe Store before going into the service. After getting out of the service he worked at Ball Band Warehouse, US Steel (Gary), S&H Carbonic (Mishawaka), and Midwest Fire and Safety out of Indianapolis. Thomas covered 14 counties in Northern Indiana from Chicago to Fort Wayne selling fire trucks and fire/police supplies. While working at Midwest some accomplishments were the introduction of the Jaws of Life, finished 6th in fire truck sales in the country, attended different manufacturing fire schools including Ansul, American LaFrance (ALF), Ward LaFrance, Pierce Manufacturing (special schooling), Emergency 1 (special schooling), Elkhart Brass (special schooling) along with task force tips, etc. He also was a Fire Truck Technical School Specialist to give classes to students learning fire truck specifications. Thomas loved always being surrounded by heros.
Thomas enjoyed staying active by either enjoying a game of golf, Racketball or Belgium Bowling. He also enjoyed taking walks, going to the lake, fishing, and hunting. Most of all, he loved his family. He loved cheering on his grandkids while attending their sporting events.
Family and friends may visit from 11am-1pm, Tuesday, July 13th at Hahn Funeral Home in Mishawaka. Funeral services will be immediately following at 1pm.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Center for Hospice Care 501 Comfort Place, Mishawaka, IN 46545.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thomas Lee Frederick, please visit our floral store.