Fred Reich passed into the loving arms of Jesus on Monday, December 1, at the age of 90. He was born in Irvine, Alberta, on August 25, 1913 and lived in Medicine Hat, Alberta, until 1946. He lived in Chilliwack for the past 57 years and died at home surrounded by his family.
Fred was a machinist by trade. He worked at Med Alta Pottery and owned a foundry in Medicine Hat. He worked at Frank Edward’s Garage, Jesperson’s Welding, Wahleach Power Plant and Dairyland in Chilliwack. For the war effort, he made munitions in Med. Hat. Fred and Elsie owned the Bon Marche for a number of years and together they built the Bridal Falls Motel.
Fred’s love for his family and his dedication to the First Baptist Church were paramount. Latterly, he worshipped in the Christ Lutheran Church. He was keenly interested in traveling abroad and in his RV. After retiring he began a new life of volunteering in the community – driving for the Canadian Cancer Society, helping to found the Golden K. He became a charter member in 1989 and remained very active until he died. He worked on his dream of having a Safety Village come to be and he was a member of the Safety Committee for Chilliwack. He was also a Mason for a few years.
Fred loved life. He was a great storyteller with a sharp memory. He loved square dancing, fixing things, inventing and designing machines, writing his memoirs, and doing lapidary work. A Celebration of His Life will be held at 1:00 pm on Monday, Dec. 8, at Henderson’s Funeral Home, Chilliwack with Rev. Gayle Haugen officiating, assisted by Rev. Ian Grant. His Interment will follow at Chilliwack Cemeteries. Viewing will be available on Sunday, Dec. 7, from 7:00 – 8:00 pm or at 12:00 just prior to the service.
Casket Bearers are Don Reich, Clayton Reich, Darren Williamson, Shawn Hiebert, Todd Boles, Doug Reich, Terry Reich, and Scott Jackson. Honourary Bearers include Michelle Hiebert, Kristal Boles, and (in absentia) Amanda Bell.
Fred is survived by his wife, Martha Reich, one son, Don Reich, two daughters, June (Fred) Eckert, Gail (Ray) Williamson – all of Chilliwack, BC, one step-daughter Melody (Gordon) Lenz of Calgary, Alberta, five grandchildren, Michelle (Shawn) Hiebert, Abbotsford, Kristal (Todd) Boles, Surrey, Darren Williamson, Chilliwack, Clayton (Kristen) Reich, Breton, Amanda (Keith) Bell, Parksville, two step-grandsons, Brian Lenz and Michael Lenz, Calgary, three great-grandsons, David Hiebert, Matthew Hiebert, and Tristan Reich. Also surviving Fred are a sister, Marion (Peter) Evans, North Vancouver, sister-in-law, Peg Reich, Chilliwack, brother-in-law, Jim Barry, Medicine Hat, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Fred was predeceased by his first wife, Elsie, in 1975, his parents, Jacob and Selma Reich, his brother, Art Reich, his sister, Esther Barry, his infant daughter, Shirley Reich, and his grandson, Randy Eckert.
If friends so desire, donations may be made in his memory to the Canadian Cancer Society or to the Golden K Bursary Fund.