Fred Kistler, age 89, of Grand Rapids, Michigan passed Tuesday, after battling the acute respiratory effects of coronavirus disease 2019. Fred was born and raised in Stockbridge, Michigan. He was an Eagle Scout. As a teenager Fred enjoyed flying with his Dad, and obtained his solo pilot’s license on his 16th birthday. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Albion College in 1953, an MBA from the University of Michigan in 1956, and also a Certified Public Accountant certificate. He was drafted into the army and served as an accountant at the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah.
Fred married his wife Frances on a 3-day weekend pass. Raising their family in Grand Rapids, they enjoyed waterfront cottages and a home on Reeds Lake. They all loved sailing and boating. Fred and Fran were members of Trinity United Methodist church for over 55 years, and then joined Mayflower Congregational church. While working at Meijer for 33 years, Fred progressed from controller and office manager to treasurer. He was part of the group of supermarket executives that contributed to defining the numerical format of the Universal Product Code (UPC). After retirement he served as treasurer with Golden K Kiwanis for 18 years, and volunteered with the Service Corps of Retired Executives for over 20 years.
Fred was preceded in death by his parents, Everett and Nora, and his three sisters, Barbara, Marjene, and Marilyn. Fred is survived by his wife Frances, sons Donald (Lori) and David (Martha), daughter Laura (Dan Bialke), and eight grandchildren (Lynda Schmich, Michelle, Sarah, Stephen, Andrew, and Mark Kistler, and Bradley and Beverly Bialke). A family gathering is being held to celebrate Fred’s life. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Porter Hills Foundation Benevolent Care Fund or the charity of your choice.
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