Frederick "Fred" Piekielniak, 84, of Amarillo passed from this life on Friday, January 11, 2019. Family and friends will gather to celebrate his life at 2:00 pm Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at the Southwest Church of Christ with Mr. Brent Adams officiating. Arrangements are under the personal care of LaGrone Blackburn Shaw Funeral Directors, 8310 S. Coulter Road.
Fred was born on October 12, 1934 in Three Rivers (Palmer County) Massachusetts to John and Karoline Piekielniak. He was the fourth of six children- four brothers and one sister, and they all grew up in Michigan City, Indiana. He entered the United States Army and served 20 years in such locations as South Korea, Bamberg, Germany, as Administrative Supervisor, Inspector General's Office, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, Military Assistance Group, Taiwan; Attache Specialist, U.S. Embassy, South Korea, and finally at First Army Headquarters, Fort Mead, MD; 1st Guard, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, ROTC Instructor Group, Notre Dame, IN XVI Corps, Omaha, NE.
Upon his retirement from the army on September 1, 1972, he moved to Rolla, Missouri, one of his men wrote this tribute:
In Force Development Division it seems just yesterday;
We gained a Master Sergeant to "Square everything Away."
We tried and tried to say his name, but that just stopped us dead;
So finally, we gave up and called him "Sergeant Fred."
This guy seemed like Superman as he went about his tasks;
Whenever we needed anything, all we had to do was ask.
He fixed typewriters and adding machines, and did all kinds of chores,
He was the steadiest customer at the "Ole country store."
We had the supplies we needed; this Fred was just a "gem."
He had a smile for everyone, and we grew quite fond of him;
Now is the saddest time of all, it's time to say "Adieu,"
As he pursues his hope and dreams, we hope they all come true.
We'll miss him in days to come, his laugh, his smile, his jest;
But Fred, it’s been and pleasure, and we wish you all the best.
He then joined the US Postal Service, and after eleven years, was transferred to Amarillo, Texas where he retired in 1994, after serving 20 years. He was a member of Southwest Church of Christ.
He married Freida Ruger, the mother of his two children. She passed away in 1987. He later married Golden Campbell who passed away in 2005. He met Annell Clay Holland at church, and they were married on November 8, 2006 at the Little Chapel of Flowers in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Their joy was traveling extensively throughout Europe, Central America, Scandinavia, North America, Alaska, and Hawaii. With Annell, Fred enjoyed traveling, antiquing, estates sales, and entertaining, especially giving seasonal parties. Therefore, began another career-decorating their house for each month of the year. This they pursed with great passion, along with visiting estates sales, and seeking various mementoes that they both enjoyed.
He is survived by his wife Annell of the home; his daughter, Dori Wimberly and husband, Bill, of Dawn Texas; a son, John F. Piekielniak and wife, Elsa, of Houston, Texas; six grandchildren, Jacob Piekielniak, Ann Marie Piekielniak, Kitt and husband, James, Faith Ann Hoelscher and husband, Ryan, William Wimberley and wife, Kenely and Timothy Wimberly; one great grandson, Ryker Hoelscher; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 pm Monday, January 14, 2019 at the funeral home.
Memorial gifts may be sent to: High Plains Children's Home, P.O. Box 7448, Amarillo TX 79114-9984.