On March 23, 2013, Dan Fredericksen slipped away without pain and crossed over to a place where the October skies are always bluebird blue, the game is always plentiful and the hunting dogs always behave.
Daniel Bruce Fredericksen was born in Williston, ND, on Aug. 5, 1948, to Earl and Lillian Fredericksen. He fell in love with the great outdoors at an early age, while on pheasant hunts with his father and older brothers, and camping trips with the Boy Scouts. He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in high school. He was also introduced to the joys of fishing on family trips to Lac La Ronge, Sask. In later years he loved to fish for walleye on Lake Sakakawea and Lake Oahe.
He graduated from Williston High School in 1966 and entered the Navy that summer. He joked that he joined the Navy to see the world, but all he saw was California and Vietnam.
After receiving medical training at Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital in Oceanside, CA, he spent a year in Vietnam during 1968-1969, serving as a Navy medical corpsman attached to the 3rd Marine Battalion. He was known as "Doc Fred" by his comrades. He saw action during the famous New Year's Tet offensive. He was wounded in action and received the Purple Heart.
After leaving the Navy he attended Minot State College and worked as an ambulance driver. In 1970 he was selected from among thousands of applicants to be a member of the University of North Dakota's first-ever physician's assistant or - as it was known then - MEDEX program. At that time, only medics and corpsmen were selected for training as PAs. He trained at UND and in Langdon, ND, working with Dr. Bill Goodall and Dr. Nick Kaluzniak and the staff of Langdon Hospital and Langdon Clinic He spent five years as a physician's assistant in Langdon, and was known affectionately by all as "Doc." He was initiated in the art of goose hunting while living in Langdon.
On June 29, 1974, he was married to Julie Johnson in Langdon. The next year they left Langdon so that Dan could pursue a four-year degree at the University of North Dakota. He loved getting together with his friends from the UND Vets' Club to trade war stories. He also formed hunting friendships that lasted all his life.
In 1981 Dan accepted a position with Syntex Pharmaceuticals in Bismarck. This was the beginning of a long pharmaceutical sales career. He also worked for Bristol-Myers Squibb and Innovex. In later years he worked for Eide Ford in Bismarck.
Dan and Julie's daughter, Kristen Anne, was born on July 9, 1982. She was the light of his life and he was a terrific dad. He was extremely proud of her academic record and her accomplishments. He was also "Dad" to Val, our foreign exchange student.
Again in Bismarck Dan formed lifelong hunting bonds with new friends, and re-connected with old Williston pals for fun trips back to that area for yearly pheasant hunts. He also hunted grouse, ducks, deer and antelope in North Dakota, and deer and elk in Montana. He was so excited to bag an elk that he called Julie with his news from the side of a mountain.
He was a good golfer, an avid reader and a great amateur gourmet cook until his illness kept him from enjoying these hobbies. He loved to sit out on the deck of a long summer evening and he liked watching the History Channel, the Hunting Channel, and any sporting event on TV. He stayed loyal to the Vikings in good times and bad, and never missed, if he could help it, a televised game featuring his beloved UND Sioux Hockey Team. He was teased for watching his "redneck" shows, like Pawn Stars, Storage Wars and Moonshiners.
He was a kind, caring and generous husband. He always did sweet little things like starting Julie's car for her on cold winter mornings, even after he became ill. He was proud of his long marriage and had wanted to make it to his 39th wedding anniversary in June. One of his favorite leisure activities after retiring was to hang out with his pals at Sidelines in Bismarck.
He almost always had a canine companion or two by his side, starting with his boyhood dog, Copper, and later Jacques, Beau, Lady, Brandy, Penny and Gracie.
He was diagnosed with Stage IV gastroesophageal cancer in December 2011. After chemotherapy, he went into remission in April 2012 and remained in remission for 10 months. In February, he was diagnosed with leptomeningeal disease, a rare cancer of the lining of the brain.
He is survived by his wife, Julie, Bismarck; daughter, Kristen, Alexandria, VA; brothers Gordon (Sue), Oroville, CA, Dick (Bonny), Meridian, ID, and Scott (Dana), Great Falls, VA; sister-in-law Glori Fagerland, Lincoln; 10 nieces and nephews; numerous great-nieces and -nephews; and "adopted" second daughter Valentina Casas, Caracas, Venezuela. He was preceded in death by his grandparents and parents.