Frederic Merrihew Krecker (September 10, 1918 - May 3, 2017)
Frederic Krecker died Wednesday, May 3 at Agrace Hospice in Fitchburg, Wisconsin.
He was born in Columbus, Ohio but spent most of his childhood in Athens. Frederic and his sister Elizabeth spent summer months at the family-owned apple orchard in Canal Winchester with his mother, aunt and uncles while his father pursued research near Lake Erie. His education was interrupted by World War II, during which he served in the Army medical corps, and he later graduated from Ohio University. A lifelong interest in travel was sparked while still in high school when his parents encouraged him to join three college-age friends on a cross-country trip to California. Few memories lit up Frederic's face, or those of his listeners, as much as recounting the stories from that trip: from long, dusty drives on desolate roads across the plains to harrowing descents in the mountains without benefit of headlights or reliable brakes. The wooden spokes of the wheels contracted in the dry, hot conditions of the southwest, thereby loosening the grip of the rubber tires, a problem the resourceful travelers addressed with novel solutions when water was in short supply. A 1920s era Packard was their craft and the boys reportedly sold the car for $50 after returning to Ohio, a profit of almost $20 over its purchase price.
Frederic married Maxine Machacek in 1949. The two had met while working summer jobs at Glacier National Park--Frederic as a driver of the iconic red tour buses and Maxine as a switchboard operator. They eventually settled in northwest Indiana where they raised three children; Maxine worked as a schoolteacher and later a realtor; and Frederic was a journalist at The Times. His career with The Times spanned 30 years and included nearly every job in the newsroom. He started as a reporter covering City Hall and worked his way to city editor and later associate editor and editorial page editor, a position he held for the last 16 years of his career. He received awards for editorial excellence from the Inland Daily Press Association and the Hoosier State Press Association, and he served as president of the Hammond Newspaper Guild and the Midwest District Council of the Guild.
Following retirement, Frederic and Maxine relocated to Hendersonville, North Carolina where they were deeply involved in community activities and continued to pursue a passion for travel. Between editorial duties for local newsletters, volunteering at and serving on boards of directors for the Hendersonville Friends of the Library, Opportunity House, Mainstay, and their home owners association, Frederic and Maxine criss-crossed the US and Canada in their small motor home ("the buggy") to visit the few national parks they had not already seen. Ultimately, they toured all of the lower 48 states, four Canadian provinces, and ventured overseas as frequently as their travel budget afforded. Maxine died in 2006 and Frederic returned to the Midwest a few years later. He lived in the Madison, Wisconsin area from 2008 until his death.
He is survived by daughters Barbara Reno of Tryon, North Carolina, Margaret (Peggy) of Madison, and son Jon of Longmont, Colorado. Three grandsons reside in North Carolina, Seth, Nicholas, and David Tousey; a niece Elizabeth Sergent lives in Lexington, Kentucky, and a nephew Timothy Baker in Richmond, Kentucky.
A private memorial service will be held at a later date.
Memorial contributions to Agrace Hospice (5935 E. Cheryl Parkway, Fitchburg, WI 53711) will be greatly appreciated by Frederic's family.