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Poland - Frederick (“Fred”) W. Viehe III, an emeritus Youngstown State University professor, historian, father and grandfather who dedicated his life to his country, his community and his intellectual pursuits, died late Monday, November 13, 2023, surrounded by his children, Ariella and Thomas. He was 79.
Drafted into the military in 1963, Fred volunteered to be a paratrooper and later to go to Vietnam. Life had other plans. Discovering his aptitude for typing, the Army assigned him a data processing job at Ft. Bragg, NC, where he remained for the duration of his service. After leaving the military, he enrolled at Lewis and Clark College outside Portland, OR to pursue a degree in history. As a student, he learned that every soldier he had trained with during basic training had been killed in Vietnam. Convinced that his life had been spared to help end the war, he dedicated himself to the anti-war movement, working with protest leaders throughout the Pacific Northwest, and serving as the leader of Moratorium Day in Portland, OR. Years later he would learn that these efforts earned him a spot on Nixon’s Enemies List.
Despite the allures of politics and protest, Fred pursued a quieter life of trails and libraries. When he was not in libraries or classrooms, he could be found hiking, camping, or white water rafting with friends, family, or even perfect strangers. He continued his academic career, pursuing a Master’s and Doctorate in history from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and eventually accepting a position as a professor at Youngstown State University in 1985. As a professor, Fred took great pleasure in guiding and mentoring his students, finding fulfillment in fostering their intellectual growth and personal development. He cherished witnessing brilliance and creativity blossom in so many of his students.
A devoted member of the Poland Presbyterian Church, Fred served as a deacon, performed in the Church’s theater troupe, and dedicated almost a decade to hosting The Breakfast Club, a morning program between Sunday services. In this capacity, he interviewed people of interest from across Mahoning Valley, including moderating political debates between candidates during election years.
Fred was born July 21, 1944 in Phoenix, AZ to Frederick and Sara Catherine (Barrier) Viehe, who preceded him in death. He is survived by two children: Ariella R. (Matthew McQueeney) Viehe of Brussels, Belgium and Thomas F. (Elizabeth Roberts) Viehe of Washington, DC; and four grandchildren: Maxwell McQueeney, Samuel McQueeney, Eleanor Viehe, and Margot Viehe.
Family and friends may call on Wednesday, December 20, 2023, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. at Poland Presbyterian Church, 2 Poland Manor. A memorial service celebrating Fred's life will follow at 11:00 a.m.
The family requests that material tributes take the form of contributions to Poland Presbyterian Church, 2 Poland Manor, Poland, OH 44514 or to the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, 305 Wick Avenue, Youngstown, OH 44503 in memory of Fred.
Please visit www.beckerobits.com to share memories and condolences with Fred's family.
Poland Presbyterian Church
2 Poland Manor, Poland OH 44514
The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County
305 Wick Avenue, Youngstown OH 44503