Fred Oscar Widicus passed away peacefully on November 7, 2023, at the age of 97. He was born on October 18, 1926, in New Baden, IL, to Fred and Cora Widicus.
Fred was a beloved husband, dad, and grandpa. He leaves behind his wife of 67 years, Joan, his sons Roger (Judy) and Michael (Amy), and his grandchildren Gwen, Claire, Anna, and Griffin.
Fred was born and raised in the small coal mining town of New Baden, IL, an only child raised by his father after his mother passed away when he was three. He graduated from New Baden High School and worked his way through college as a machinist apprentice. After completing a degree in education from McKendree College (University), he returned to his hometown high school, where he taught all the math and science classes. When the school was consolidated with one in another town, he decided to move north to teach in the suburbs of Chicago, first at Proviso (East) High School and then at Proviso West High School, where he taught Algebra and Geometry for more than 30 years. He earned a Master of Education degree from the University of Illinois and completed additional studies at Northwestern University and the Illinois Institute of Technology. After retiring from teaching, he worked at the Jewel in Elmhurst for more than a decade.
Fred was an active member of St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Elmhurst for more than 60 years, where he was able to apply his commitment to education as the Superintendent of Sunday School and as a Sunday school teacher.
Fred’s interests also extended to music and gardening. At home, he played trombone, and sang and played guitar, often alongside his sons in whom he inspired a lifelong interest in music. His vegetable garden annually produced bushels of vine-ripened tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, lettuce, turnips, beets, asparagus, rhubarb, and the only vegetable unanimously approved by all of his grandchildren, “Grandpa’s green beans.”
A private service will be held with interment following at St. Peter’s Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Elmhurst.