Laurence Frederick Fredriksen, 86, of 15438 Bayside Ave., Clear Lake, died Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011 at Mercy Medical Center North Iowa, Mason City, Iowa.
Funeral services were held Monday, Oct. 10, at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Clear Lake with the Rev. John R. Tilp officiating. Burial was in Clear Lake Cemetery with military honors provided by the Clear Lake V.F.W.
Laurence was born Nov. 24, 1924 in Clear Lake, the son of Jens and Barbara (Katterhenry) Fredriksen. He attended Clear Lake schools and graduated in May 1942. Growing up, his spare time was spent in his father’s blacksmith shop sweeping the floor, holding the twitch on the horses while they were shod, and starting the forge.
Laurence was one of the first groups of 18 years olds drafted from Cerro Gordo County during World War II. He served his country in the Army from November 1942 until March 1946. A little known expertise of his was creating a portable still for making spirits which could be dismantled and hidden when their unit was on the move in Europe.
Laurence married Florine Elmina Luther on Nov. 15, 1949 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Clear Lake. In July of 1950 he was recalled into the armed forces and served in Korea, being discharged in September 1951 attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant
Upon returning to Clear Lake after World War II Laurence reopened his father’s blacksmith shop which had been closed for several years. Business grew slowly, as there were four other blacksmith shops in town at that time. Over the years the other shops closed and Laurence’s business grew. He had a custom of buying a new piece of equipment each year, always updating the shop so that it changed from being a blacksmith shop to a modern welding and machine shop. He made a point of going to Ames, Iowa each year to take advanced welding classes to learn the most advanced techniques in the field and to work with the most modern equipment.
Laurence was a frequent volunteer in the blacksmith shop at the museum and on special days he demonstrated the art of the forge, which he thoroughly enjoyed. Other hobbies included wine making, telling jokes and reading. His projects include restoring the blacksmith shop at the Kinney Pioneer Museum, restoring old farm equipment for the museum, building fireworks barges, flower pot hangers, signs for Clear Lake and various community and church projects.
A sculpture he designed and built that is hanging at St. Patricks Catholic Church is an award winning metalcraft by American Craftsman, awarded by the National Ornamental Metal and Manufacturer Association in 1975.
Laurence is a lifetime member and past commander of V.F.W. Post 4868 and was a member of the Honor Guard; a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus; past State and National President of the Blacksmith and Welder Association; member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church; a board member of Kinney Pioneer Museum and was a member of the local North Iowa Wine Club.
Laurence is survived by his four children, Jon (Kathleen) Fredriksen, Washington, D.C., Mary (Allan) Lauck, Algona, Iowa, Paul (Ranae) Fredriksen, Clear Lake, and Ann (Tim) Kaduce, St. Paul, Minn.; and four grandchildren, Christopher Lauck, Algona, Allana Lauck, Ames, Iowa, Nick Fredriksen, Mason City and Seth Kaduce, Ames.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; brother, Julius; infants sons, Joseph and Mark; and his granddaughter, Rebecca.
Ward-Van Slyke Colonial Chapel was in charge of arrangements.