WAUKESHA

Frederick ĎFredí E. Warden Jr.

Oct. 4, 1930 - Aug. 19, 2007

Frederick "Fred" E. Warden Jr. died Sunday, Aug. 19, 2007, after a brief struggle with pancreatic cancer. He was born Oct. 4, 1930, to Frederick E. Warden and Beulah (Stapleton) Warden, Hardman.

Married on March 31, 1951, Fred leaves behind his one and only love, Elizabeth (Betty); three children, Michael, Patricia (Bill) Cupery and Kathleen (Greg) Gapinski; and five grandchildren, James Szajna (fiancee Jamie Leban), Brian (Melissa) Szajna, Alexander Gapinski and Mathew and Adam Warden. Fred also leaves a brother, Gerald (Carol) Warden of Denver; his dear aunt, Charolotte of Pewaukee; brothers-in-law, Robert (Jean) Weber of Ocala, Fla., Marvin (Betty) Weber of Bloomer and Bill and Karen Hansen of Seattle; along with nieces, nephews, cousins and a lifelong list of friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; stepfather, Vernon Hardman; and his beloved son, Timothy.

At age 16, Fred left school and entered into a carpenter apprenticeship program.

After five years, he became a master carpenter and it was not long before he knew he wanted to be his own boss. In 1955, Fred started Fred E. Warden Inc. and in 1965, he transitioned into Warden Builders Inc. Fred and his sons would design and build homes, factories, schools and churches and even built a billboard off Interstate 94.

At age 17, Fred joined the Navy Reserve as a Seabee, and was assigned in a replacement unit for nine years. During that time, they would draw numbers out of a hat each meeting. Fred was one out of three Seabees whose name was never selected, and soon after, was discharged.

Fred was a man among men and along the way developed many friends in the building business. Fred was fortunate to have mentors who had faith in his abilities, and Warden Builders was in business for 25 years.

In 1980, Fred changed hats, and decided to go into the hardware business. In 1981, Ace Hardware of Delafield was established with the help of his son Tim and his daughter Kathleen. Fred sold the business in 1990 to his son Michael and daughter Patti, and for the next 17 years, he continued to work at the store helping his customers.

Fred and Betty designed and built their current home in 1972. Fred enjoyed the land and trees, which interestingly enough, gave him another of lifeís joys. When a tree would fall, he would cut them into logs, make them into boards and dry them. Fred then would create beautiful grandfather clocks, furniture or whatever his family requested and even a few items for friends.

Fred was a well-rounded man and very talented in so many ways. Those of us who loved him were privileged to have him in our lives. He guided us and took care of us with all the love in his heart.

Visitation is from 1 p.m. until the 4 p.m. Mass of Christian burial Thursday, Aug. 23, at St. Anthony on the Lake Catholic Church, W280-N2101 Prospect Ave. (Highway SS), town of Delafield. The interment will be private for the family at St. Paul Church Cemetery in the town of Genesee.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in Fredís memory to Waukesha Memorialís Cancer Research Center in Waukesha, AngelsGrace Hospice in Oconomowoc or St. Paulís Church in Genesee Depot, where Fred was an active parishioner for 34 years.

Harder Funeral Home of Brookfield is serving the family. For more information, call 781-8350 or visit online at www.harderfuneralhome.com.