Frederick E. Saefke Jr., 92, Bismarck, died Tuesday, June 25, 2013. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m., Friday, June 28, 2013, at the Church of Corpus Christi in Bismarck with Rev. Paul Becker officiating. Burial will be in the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Mandan.
Fred was born April 2, 1921, to Mary and Fred Saefke, Sr., in Fargo, N.D. He grew up the second oldest of five children in a close-knit family of three sisters and one brother.
He joined the Marine Corps on his 18th birthday and shipped out to war. He was captured by the Japanese and served three years as a prisoner of war–first on Corregidor Island in the Philippines and then in Japan–until he was released at the end of the war. He was awarded the Bronze Star. He told the story of how he took the train home to Fargo intending to surprise his family but he was the one surprised when his mother, ever his faithful supporter, met him at the train station.
He graduated from University of North Dakota School of Law in 1951. He married Frances Schubert on February 2, 1953, and they moved to Bismarck where they lived and where Fred practiced law, in the early years, from their apartment above the Sweet Shoppe, now the Blarney Stone Restaurant, on Main Street. He continued his practice of law for nearly 50 years, during that time he also served as Assistant City Attorney. Fred was proud to be the first recipient of the Light of Justice Award, presented to him by the Trial Lawyers Association in 1992.
Fred and Fran moved to their home of 60 years where they raised their three children and countless dogs. Fred was an avid hunter and fisherman and made lifelong friendships through the love of the sport. He participated as a volunteer and officer for the Bismarck Community Chest (now United Way), Bismarck Lions Club and Burleigh County Red Cross. He was Chairman of District 32 Republican Party and served on many committees of the bar association. He was active in his church, serving on the founding committee of Corpus Christi Church.
Fred is survived by his, three children, Sheila (Chuck) Gregory, Omaha; Sharon (John) Fox, Bismarck; Bill (Penny) Saefke, Houston; and his grandchildren, Tara Gregory, Dublin, Ireland; Heather Gregory, Omaha; John Fox III, Grand Forks; Taylor, Shelby and Samantha Saefke, Houston; and one great-grandchild, Charles Gregory, Omaha; and sisters Charlotte Cibrowski, Detroit; MaryJane (Dick) Akers, Fargo; and Ramona (Jim) Neeb, Minneapolis.
Fred will be remembered and deeply missed by those who knew and loved him for his courage, tenacity, honesty, energy, sense of humor, strong sense of right and wrong, and his generosity.
Fred joins his wife, Frances, his parents and his brother, John, in eternal life.
June 27, 2013