Fred S. Lange, 101, of Fort Myers, Florida passed away on Sunday, January 9, 2022 at the Lodge at Cypress Cove. He was born on August 4, 1920 to the late Frederick Lange and Thelma Louise Stacey in Dayton, Ohio. He was an enterprising young man, having paper routes for both Dayton papers. He built his customer base to over 300, which necessitated his developing an accounting system for billing and building a hitch and wagon assembly to attach to his bicycle. Among those on his paper route was Orville Wright, who he remembered as a wonderful storyteller.
Not surprisingly, Fred graduated from the University of Dayton with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration May 20, 1942 and soon began working for General Motors in the propeller plant as a cost accountant. Soon after, he married Ruby, literally “the girl next door.”
During college Fred was active in ROTC and had aspirations of being a pilot, so during his junior year he applied. While he was rejected because he was too tall, it did not diminish his desire to serve. He enlisted August 1, 1942 and served in the European Theater in ordnance and intelligence from December 1943 through September of 1945. In January he received his honorable discharge. In Fred’s own words, “I helped the heroes; I am not one.” Fred’s own story of his years in the service is in the Library of Congress as part of The Veterans’ Heritage Project.
Over the course of his life, Fred built a 35 year career with PPG Industries in their automotive paint division and with Ruby, raised three children. Eventually the family settled in Detroit Michigan, where Fred, an avid golfer joined the Detroit Country Club. His final assignment with PPG was as Director, European Operations Automotive Refinish.
Upon retirement they moved to Fort Myers, settling in the golf community, The Forest. Not one to be idle, he served on the board and continued his passion for golf. At eighty he shot his first hole-in-one. He and Ruby discovered a love of cruising and took numerous Caribbean cruises.
Fred is survived by two of his children, Marc Frederick (Vicki) Lange of Prescott, Arizona, Christine Stacy (Brian) Sarver of Beverly Hills, Michigan, six grandchildren; Errol (Emilie) Lange, Marisa (Matt) Elich, Michelle Lange, McKenzie Sarver, Ian Sarver, Laura (Joseph) Colletti, and five great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Ruby, his son Gregory Neil Lange, his mother, father, stepmother and brother.
Donations in Fred’s honor may be made to Gary Sinise Foundation that servers our nation’s veterans at garysinisefoundation.org