Dr. Robert C. Frederich

RAYMOND — Dr. Robert Charles Frederich of Raymond died on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011, at Maine Medical Center after a long illness, which had kept him hospitalized since August of last year. He is free at last, enjoying his Lord and his love.

Prior to his illness, Pastor Frederich served as pastor of First Baptist Church of Portland from 1989-1997. After retiring from that role, he remained fully engaged in a mentoring program involving New England pastors until days before his death.

Robert Frederich was born in Lowell, Mass., to Charles and Alice Balentine Frederich, who were living in North Tewksbury at the time. He grew up in Rangeley where his family moved when Robert was two years old. Upon graduating from Rangeley High School in 1944, Robert joined the Navy, where he served until the summer of 1945.

Upon discharge from the Navy, Robert attended Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill. There he met his lifelong sweetheart Nona Lee Peterson. Upon graduation in June of 1949, he and Nona married. From that day and for 59 years until her death in 2008, Nona was Robert’s soul mate, ministry partner and (eventually) mother of their five children.

Following college graduation, Robert and Nona moved to Pasadena, Calif., where he attended Fuller Seminary, graduating in 1952.

From his graduation in 1952 until 1997, Robert pastored churches in California, Illinois, Iowa, Colorado and Maine. Additionally, he exercised ongoing leadership within the Conservative Baptist Association of America, serving at various times as president of the organization, as well as the Conservative Baptist Home and Foreign Mission societies, and president of the board of Denver Seminary. In recognition of his denominational leadership, Robert was awarded a doctor of divinity degree by Denver Seminary in 1978.

Robert’s love for his family was always apparent, and grew deeper with his years. His authenticity and integrity played a key role in all of his children choosing professional or lay ministry. He traveled the world to visit them and experience firsthand how God was using them. He visited his daughter Karen in China; his son Peter in Panama and Germany; his daughter Kristin in Scotland and Wisconsin; and his sons, Bob Jr. and John, lay ministries in New Jersey and California. He spent much of his wintertime in each of their homes; but every summer he most enjoyed being with the parade of children and grandchildren who vacationed at the lake cabin in Wayne. The entire family will continue to enjoy RobMir (named after him and his sister) — the simple lakefront-cabin that he built when he was 13 years old. He was blessed to be at that cabin with family in the weeks preceding his hospitalization in August.

Pastor Robert Frederich will be remembered for his passion. He was a faithful and dedicated mentor to his children. He was tireless in pastoring and fostering personal and spiritual growth in the people God put in his care. The pastors whom he mentored in later years were also dear to his heart.

He is survived by his five children and their spouses; his sister, Miriam Frederich Brenner; and 15 grandchildren.

Visitation was held on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011, at Jones, Rich & Hutchins Funeral Home, 199 Woodford Street, Portland, and on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011 at First Baptist Church, 360 Canco Road, Portland. The service celebrating the life of Pastor Robert Frederich’s was held at the First Baptist Church. Please visit www.jonesrichandhutchins.com for additional information and to sign Pastor Frederich’s online guestbook.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his memory to: The World Mission Fund of the First Baptist Church, 360 Canco Rd., Portland, ME 04103.

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