James's Story

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James Walter Frederick, age 97, passed away quietly at his home with family and devoted caregivers at his side. He was born Feb. 3, 1920 in Dunkirk, New York, to Karl and Eleanor Frederick.
On Feb. 13, 1943 he married Carol Mutz, who passed away in July 2015. Jim and Carol were married for 72 years and had one daughter who lives in Leland. They were very fortunate throughout their long, happy lives, enjoying good health, success, extensive travel and many lifelong friendships.
Together in 1959 they founded Boride Products, Inc. in the basement of their home in Birmingham. Boride, a manufacturing company which produces high-tech, and industrial ceramic products, grew significantly upon moving to Traverse City in 1970. The business was sold to Dow Chemical in 1984.
During World War II Jim served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He primarily flew in B-29 bombers, both as a navigator and bombardier.
After the war he attended the University of Buffalo in Buffalo, New York. Blessed with a well-ordered mind, he had a talent for both accounting and engineering. He thrived on precision and often quipped that measurements for his numerous projects needed to be "Frederick Perfect." The origins of his perfectionism were documented in his high school year book where his caption read, "I Like Everything Neat."
Jim served on the Munson Healthcare Board, the Leelanau Memorial Hospital Board, the Leland Volunteer Fire Department Board and participated in many other civic organizations.
His family was surprised to learn that he had mentored young students aspiring to become entrepreneurs. No doubt, these students were told the story of how he got his start in business. The story revolves around Jim picking up a hitchhiker, a Frenchman, who happened to be well versed in high density industrial ceramic materials. A few trips to France and the rest is history.
While Jim never took his golf game seriously, he enjoyed his golfing buddies at both the Leland Country Club and Moorings Club in Vero Beach, Florida. Most of all, this unassuming man enjoyed a robust walk in the woods with his family and much loved dogs. He loved all animals, especially dogs, and would continually marvel at the miracles of nature.
Family was always his first priority. No matter what else was happening, he made himself available. He had the wisdom to handle troubled times with encouragement, optimism and compassion. As a dad, he had a knack for creating absolutely thrilling childhood bedtime stories. Indeed, he was a wonderful husband and father.
In addition to his daughter, Judy Frederick, Jim is survived by his brother, Duane Frederick, of Gasport, New York; many nieces and nephews; a granddog, "Perry"; and his loyal team of caregivers who became like family after many years of service.
He was preceded in death by his cherished wife, Carol; and brothers, Donald Frederick and Paul Frederick.
Jim loved to laugh and reserved the best of his quick wit and sly humor for his closest friends and family. We will break out the "Dewars" to toast our friend. He was a true gentleman until the very end.
A graveside service and memorial reception are being planned for early summer.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the Leland Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 1112, Leland, MI 49654; ShareCare of Leelanau, 740 E. Duck Lake Road, Lake Leelanau, MI 49653; or a charity of one's choice.
Please leave memories of Jim at the Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home website at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
The family is being care for by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Published on May 28, 2017
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