Robert G. (Gordon) Fredrickson, 94, died on December 21, 2020. He was the third generation from the Fredrickson family to live in and serve the Cañon City community. Service and duty were Bob’s prevailing life orientations and motivated most of his decisions and actions.
He was born on August 10, 1926 in Cañon City to C. Arthur and Blanche (Becky) Sharp Fredrickson. He had an older brother, Donald. Graduating from Cañon City High School in 1944, Bob attended the University of Colorado (CU) - Boulder on a merit scholarship earning a chemistry degree in 1947. Thereafter, to further his education, he enrolled in Mexico City College to live with a Mexican family and learn Spanish. In 1949, Bob moved to Chicago and worked as a chemist for Swift & Co.
Bob was an officer in the U.S. Navy. He graduated from Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island and then served as a CIC and personnel officer seeing combat duty during the Korean Conflict aboard the U.S. Destroyer Chevalier. He flew the American flag from a tall pole in his front yard for the rest of his life as a symbol of his patriotic support for his country.
After the Conflict, Bob attended and graduated from CU Law School. He moved to Cañon City and started up his own law firm practicing law for the next 54 years, most of those years with Bruce Johnson. Bob’s law firm was and is very well known and highly regarded by former and current clients and it was the focus of his life. He provided sound and consistent legal advice and always with the highest levels of honesty and integrity. He was a member of the Colorado Bar Association from 1947-2011 and President of the local bar from 1978-80.
While in law school, he married Carol L. Mentzer on June 11, 1955. Together they had three sons within the first eight years of their 64-year marriage. He was very proud of his boys and the families they would eventually have themselves.
Bob’s civic involvement was vast. He was the second charter member of the local Rotary Club and spearheaded the water fountain project in Veterans’ Park. He served on many boards and most in leadership positions: Cañon City Public Library, Cañon City Abbey, Salvation Army, the American Heart Association, and the American Cancer Society.
In addition, Bob was involved in several local business ventures over the years, both as an investor and as a developer. In particular, he was instrumental in developing the former Power & Shower car wash at 7th & Royal Gorge Blvd., the current Sonic Drive-In, Sunflower Bank, and the 9th & Main professional building. Interestingly, he was responsible for the construction of the building at 6th & Greenwood which is now the site of the hospice which served him at the end of his life.
As a CU alumnus (undergrad and law school), Bob was a life member of the CU Director’s Club and a former member of the Alumni Board. He and Carol were avid fans at CU football games year after year.
Also of special note is how committed Bob was to the United Presbyterian Church where he was a member from 1938 until it closed in 2017. He was a faithful financial steward for his church, served in leadership roles, and provided legal services to promote its mission.
Bob was licensed as a private pilot and enjoyed flying in his younger years. Other hobbies included watching sporting events and reading books about history. He and Carol travelled to Scotland, Holland, and France as members of the CU Roaming Buffaloes and they were also well- travelled within the U.S. and took trips to Spain, Venezuela, and Morocco.
Bob’s parents, brother, and wife preceded him in death. He is survived by sons Bryan (Jill) Fredrickson of Cañon City, Barry (Lisa) Fredrickson of Novelty, Ohio, David (Johnna) Fredrickson of Wareham, Massachusetts; eight grandchildren, Alexa, Matthew, Jenna, Grace (Tommy), Paul, Hale, Colin, and Jared. He also had one great-grandson born this year, Wylie Robert.
The Fredrickson family is grateful to the Florence Care Home for its staff’s loving and professional care for Bob as his days came to an end. Bob appreciated receiving visits from members of Christ Episcopal Church.
A private graveside service will be held at Lakeside Cemetery. Next summer the family plans to have a full service with military honors at the United Presbyterian Church and will invite the public to Bob’s Celebration of Life ceremony at that time.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bob’s name to Florence Care Home, 1230 W. 3rd St., Florence, CO 81226 and/or to Sangre de Cristo Hospice, 601 Greenwood Ave., Canon City, CO 81212.
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