Frederick L. Schrade, 87, Had Engineering Career

Frederick L. Schrade of Waterview Farm, Oak Bluffs, died on Dec. 1 at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital at the age of 87. He was born in Springfield on June 5, 1919, the son of Arthur Lewis Schrade and Bessie Griffin Schrade.

He was educated in the Springfield school system where, in 1932 at the age of 12, he competed in a Springfield Union-sponsored marble tournament, advancing to the district and state titles. He gained much admiration and affection from the readers, and eventually advanced to the National Marble Competitions in Ocean City, N.J., where he was eliminated in a controversial final tournament. He was a favorite of the boardwalk fans who nicknamed him PeeWee Schrade due to his diminutive stature and his prowess with the peewee marble.

Graduating with honors from Springfield Technical High School in 1937, he then attended Northeastern University's Evening Division from 1938 to 1942, where he was a member of Pi Tau Kappa fraternity, Delta Chapter. He pursued a degree in business administration in engineering prior to military service.

He met Shirley Jean Merry after asking her out on a 50-cent bet. They married in 1943 at the Emmanuel Church in Springfield, where they both had been baptized and Frederick had served as president of the Pilgrim Fellowship.

While working as an apprentice designer for Package Machinery Company in Springfield, he left to serve in the Naval Air Force from 1943 to1945. As an aircraft radio/radar technician, he concentrated on developing use of radar in detecting kamikaze planes intent on bombing American naval fleets in the Pacific.

After an honorable discharge in 1945, he continued at Package Machinery as an engineering designer and eventually sales engineer and manager of product and market research and planning. He and his wife, Shirley resided on Pease Road in East Longmeadow for 20 years. They raised their two children, Jon Frederick Schrade and Susan Elaine Schrade. Fred was a member of The First Congregational Church in East Longmeadow and was a member of The Lions Club.

In 1969, he left Package Machinery to join Beech-Nut/Lifesavers, a division of Squibb Pharmaceuticals in Canajoharie, N.Y. After residing in Johnstown, N.Y. for one year, the engineering department transferred to Manhattan. He and his family moved to Ridgefield, Conn., where they resided until 1980 when Fred and Shirley retired permanently to their summertime love, Martha's Vineyard. Fred was a member of The Federated Church in Edgartown and Farm Neck Golf Club.

Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Shirley Merry; a sister, June S. Carman of Springfield; two children, Jon F. Schrade and wife Jackie Freeze of Rock Springs, Wyo., and Susan Schrade Seidler and husband Harold of Jamestown, R.I. five grandchildren, Jill Schrade Channell, Matthew G. Schrade, Julia M. Seidler, Amanda B. Seidler and H. Alexander Seidler; three great-grandchildren, Alec and Marc Saxton and Mason Schrade; and a niece and three nephews.

He was predeceased by a sister, Madeline S. Waters of Naples, Fla.

He treasured his wife, children and grandchildren. He had a passion for golf and played softball, basketball and bowled in his earlier years. He loved (and hated) his Red Sox and Patriots. In his later years, you'd most likely find him sitting on his deck, reading a good book and enjoying his precious water view. His "never been better" response to family and friends became a philosophy that he lived by for most of his life.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Federated Church on South Summer street, Edgartown.

In lieu of flowers, donations will be welcome for the Steeple Fund of the Federated Church, P.O. Box 249, Edgartown, MA 02539 or the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 1132, Fairfax, VA 22038-1132 in honor of Frederick Schrade. Arrangements are under the care of Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Oak Bluffs.