Deacon Frericks served in Blue Grass


Deacon Donald Frericks of Eldridge, formerly of Blue Grass, died May 14. He was 83.

He was born Sept. 18, 1937, in LaPorte City, Iowa, the son of Henry B. and Mary T. (Benda) Frericks. He married Sandra “Sandi” Brown on Nov. 26, 1960, at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids.

He received a BS in mechanical engineering (1960) from Iowa State University. Upon graduation, he worked for Chamberlain Corporation in Waterloo as an industrial-mechanical engineer setting up plants and designing equipment. The family then moved to Maryland where he was employed with NASA at Goddard Space Center while continuing his education. He received his MS in

Engineering (1966) from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. The family moved to Michigan where he worked at Bendix Research Laboratories in the field of fluidics, doing research with vortex technology. A transfer to Bendix Corporation brought him back to Iowa where he worked in Instruments and Life Support as a project manager working on cryogenic valves for oxygen and nitrogen used in the Apollo programs.


Deacon Frericks then moved to the Ware Simulation Center at the Rock Island Arsenal. He retired as Chief of the Center in January 1996 after almost 31 years. He then worked for the Davenport School District as a custodian, retiring again in 2004.

Bishop Gerald O’Keefe ordained him a deacon for the Diocese of Davenport in 1992 at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport. Deacon Frericks was a founding member of St. Andrew Parish, which later became his diaconate assignment. He served 12 years as parish life administrator, retiring in 2017. He was a 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus, Loras Council 532.
He is survived by his wife and five children, 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

His funeral was scheduled for May 19 at St. Andrew Church. Burial will be in Cedar Memorial Cemetery in Cedar Rapids. Memorials may be made to St. Andrew Church.

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