Frederick P. Adolph Jr.

July 10th, 1926 to November 10th, 2020

Frederick P. Adolph, Jr., 94, of Fort Gratiot, passed away on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 after a brief illness.

Fred was born July 10, 1926 in St. Clair to the late Frederick P. Adolph Sr. and Nellie Veneklasen Adolph. He met his future wife, Diane Coon, at Garfield Junior High School where both were teaching. They were married on March 18, 1961 in the First Congregational Church in Port Huron, MI. They had three children, Fred III “Fritz”, Kurt and Andrea. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in July 2011 with a large (200 people) fundraising "Brunch on the Lake" which raised over $3,500 for Mid-City Nutrition.

Fred attended Algonac High School where his father was Superintendent. He played basketball on two outstanding teams under Coach Truman "Red" Pippel. He also ran the half mile and mile in track, hitch-hiking due to wartime gas rationing to the state finals to compete. He started working weekends and summers in shipping at Chris-Craft Corporation at the age of 16, and continued throughout high school and college. He helped to ship out some of the 10,000 LCVP's (Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel) during World War II & "speedboats" and "cruisers" after the war. Fred graduated in 1944 from AHS as Vice President of his class and was a National Honor Society member. He lettered in basketball (3 years) and track (3 years).

Upon graduation on June 15, 1944, he immediately joined the U.S. Navy at age 17 and took his boot camp training at Sampson Naval Training Center at Lake Geneva, NY. Upon completion of “Boot Camp,” he was transferred to U.S. Navy Radio School in Indianapolis, IN. After intensive training there in Morse code, he was transferred as a volunteer to the U.S. Submarine School in New London, CT for submarine training. He was then transferred to Pearl Harbor, HI for assignment to the submarine tender U.S.S. Proteus and subsequent assignment to the submarine U.S.S. Argonaut II, SS475. Upon its successful patrol of the Sea of Japan Formosa Straight and the East China and Yellow Seas, including the "at sea" rescue of one downed U.S. airman, the next assignment called for refitting and updating at New London, CT. Upon the completion of refitting, U.S.S. Argonaut II headed for Panama but a collision with the cruiser USS Honolulu caused extensive damage to his submarine, forcing it to turn back to Portsmouth, New Hampshire for major repairs.

World War II ended August 14, 1945 and he was subsequently discharged in June 1946. He was awarded the Pacific Theater ribbons.

Fred graduated from Michigan State University in 1950 with a B.A. degree in Economics and Social Science. He received his M.A. degree from Western Michigan University in Political Science in1959 and a Specialist (SpA) degree in Political Science from Eastern Michigan University in 1964. His thesis of “National” Communism took him behind the Iron Curtain in the summer of 1978 to 88 to communist countries where he discovered and wrote about each country defining their own brand of Lenin’s "International" communism.

Fred did an additional 30 graduate hours from the University of Colorado, University of Michigan, Western Illinois and Wayne State.

He began teaching at the Garfield Junior High School in 1951. He thoroughly enjoyed teaching 9th grade civics from 1951-1961 while also teaching night school at Port Huron Junior College and teaching Selfridge Air Force Base personnel in the 1960s & 70s. He was extremely proud to not only teach civil rights but to practice his beliefs in equality; teaching many southern blacks (operation Bootstrap) in his SAFB classes. He made many life-long friends with students at Garfield Junior High School and PHJC/SC4 and was always proud of their many achievements later on in life. He took a leave of absence in 1953-54 to teach in Linz, Austria at a U.S. Armed Forces High School. His dormitory students were from Linz, Salzburg, Vienna, Austria, and Leghorn, Italy. He and a fellow teacher took extensive trips throughout Western Europe to10 countries from Norway to Spain and Eastern Communist Europe in Austria and E. Germany while teaching in Linz, Austria. After 10 years of teaching at Garfield Junior High School and Selfridge Air Force Base, he accepted a position at PHJC (SC4) where he taught several political science courses including basic 101, International Relations, National Policies, and Contemporary Affairs.

In 1969, during his time at PHJC/SC4, Fred began to co-sponsor 12 Euro-Tours in the 1970s, 80s, 90s, taking 300 college-credit students throughout Western Europe and behind the Iron Curtain/Berlin Wall to Czechoslovakia, East Germany to Tangiers, Morocco, Budapest, Hungary to Moscow-Leningrad, USSR, and middle Western Europe and the Soviet Union (Moscow). He also co-sponsored 3 trips to Spain during spring breaks. Since his retirement, he co-sponsored as an adjunct professor/coordinator of 3-credit tours to Cuernavaca, Mexico in 1998, 1999, and 2004, where students took total immersion courses in Spanish and Mexican culture at Bi-Lingual College.

Fred’s personal and professional associations included the Blue Water Ski Club, the YMCA Y's Men's Service Club and Y Toastmaster's Club, First Congregational Church, US Submariner's Association, PHEA Treasurer, MEA, and NEA (Lifetime Member). He was very proud of the fact that he practiced what he preached (civil rights) when his wife Diane and three children marched with several thousand NEA members on the Republic of South Africa Embassy in Washington, D.C., protesting the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela in the 1980s. He also was a member of the VFW, American Legion and BPOE 343 (Elks). Fred and his wife, Diane, enjoyed their association with the Elks Golf Club and over 25 years with the Tuesday Couples Golf Club. They also enjoyed being members of the Elk's Dance Club and the Wednesday Night Dance Club.

He was active for over 25 years in the Fort Gratiot Lions Club, serving as President in 1991-92, chairing the Scholarship Committee for many years and taking part in many other volunteer activities including Old Newsboys, White Canes, and 4-H Gatekeepers. He also was the club's Lion of the Year in 2009.

Fred was very active in the St. Clair County Community College Retirees organization, President (twice), chairing and serving on the scholarship committee for many years, and hosting an annual luncheon on the lake for many years. Fred was a life-long MSU alumnus serving on the area's scholarship committee.

He and his wife continued to travel in their retirement, driving through ten Western and Eastern Continental European Countries with side trips to Gibraltar, Morocco, Croatia and Serbia. They also traveled extensively on several trips around and through twelve South and Central American countries.

Fred also was known for his MSU "Go Green-Go White" Spartan loyalty, attending/watching MSU football/basketball games over the years. He frequently wore his favorite colors - green and white - and always departed from his friend's company with a hearty “Go Green.”

He enjoyed biking for over 50 years, biking well over 35,000 miles, including doing the Blue Water Ramble (30 & 40 "milers") for many years.

He and his wife Diane formed Adolph Development Corp. and developed several subdivisions that they sub-divided from an original plat The Village of Gratiot Centre (1875). Spartan Drive off of State Road is one of them.

Fred’s favorite activities were working outside with his 1973 Ford backhoe/53 Ford Golden Jubilee tractor and his Ford trucks clearing and developing their property. He played basketball for many years in the P.H. City and Industrial Leagues for the Valarcs (Valentine Architects). He also enjoyed skiing in the Alps; Berchesgarten, Austria and Garmish, Germany.

Fred is survived by his wife of 59 years, Diane; daughter Andrea Adolph; sons, Kurt and Fred III “Fritz” & wife Connie Adolph; grandsons, Bradley and Connor Friedle; and great grandson, Judah Robert Friedle. He was preceded in death by his brother, Ralph V. Adolph.

He and his wife Diane loved raising 13 boxer dogs over the 50 years, all named Spartan (I through XIII). Memorial contributions may be made to the Blue Water Area Humane Society in the name of his dogs, Spartans I through XIII.

Visitation will be held from 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. on Friday, July 9, 2021 in Karrer-Simpson Funeral Home.

A Green and White Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 10, 2021 in Karrer-Simpson Funeral Home, on what would have been Fred's 95th Birthday. Everyone is encouraged to wear green and white. The Reverend Dr. Thomas Seppo will officiate. A private graveside service will be conducted prior to the memorial service.

Arrangements are by Karrer-Simpson Funeral Home. To send condolences, please visit

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