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Fred E. Sales


Posted By: Megan Ciha (email)
Date: 5/29/2021 at 10:56:25

Even though Fred has gracefully taken his last breath, his strength, wisdom and love of life were evident right until his last moments. Fred passed away just shy of 76 years old in Cedar Rapids, Iowa after a valiant and disciplined 22-year journey with a terminal illness.

Fred was born in Sibley, Iowa to Fred and Esther (Strom) Sales. Fred loved the simplicity of small town life and he especially enjoyed growing up as a younger brother tagging along on hunting, fishing, rock hunting and antiquing adventures with his 2 older and wiser siblings - his brother, John “Jack” Sales and his sister, Norinne (Sales) Petersen. After graduation, he worked as an apprentice in the family plumbing business alongside his father and brother.

Fred enlisted in the United States Army in 1966 and served 3 years in the Military Intelligence Corp. He was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant and served until 1969. Then went on to serve in the National Guard until he was honorably discharged in 1972.

During this time, he married Deborah (Koch) Sales Maysack. They lived in Detroit, Sibley and ultimately made their home in Iowa City. During their time there, they bought a condemned, historical house – the first hotel in Iowa City - with Fred’s brother and sister-in-law, Joyce. They spent many hours together restoring and learning about this historical home. They put those skills to work and built a home in rural Iowa City where they raised their 3 children, Kristin Sales, Karin Sabyan and Fred Brandon Sales. They have fond memories of him building birdhouses, setting up tents in the backyard, going fishing and camping, looking at rocks and minerals and spending many hours storytelling with family.

Fred spent his career as a counselor for the Iowa Department of Corrections and while working here he completed his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Iowa. He loved to go to the annual Halloween party with people from work and even won the best dressed couple once, with his children helping them create their award-winning outfit!

While working for the Iowa Department of Corrections, he married his wife, Marilyn (Reid) Van Tomme Sales. They blended their families and made their home in Cedar Rapids and West Branch with her daughters, Kelli Kelchen, Heather Burkart, Nicole Wagner and Rachel Van Tomme. They have special memories of their Wednesday night outings to the Sharpless Auction, Fred’s patience teaching them to drive stick shifts, going to flea markets, hunting and fishing on Poppy’s farm and cherishing the time around the piano as Marilyn played and Fred would sing.

If you’ve had the pleasure of spending time with Fred, you’ve spent many hours listening to his great stories and enjoying a meal. If you’ve ever made a meal for Fred, you know he’s particular about his food – for example, he liked his eggs a certain way but this could change day to day and he’s probably the only person you’ve ever met that eats his eggs with grape jelly!

The simplest pleasures in life brought great joy to Fred. He had such a will to live – so he could spend more time with his family – he was a proud Papa to all his children and grandchildren! He had such a sparkle in his eye when he would see his family and his genuine love and care for his family was evident in the ways he would ask how you were doing or just talk through things and provide his ever sought-out guidance. He lived his life with integrity and he instilled the importance of that in his children and grandchildren. He was so loved…and he so loved his family.

Fred is survived by his children, Kelli (John) Kelchen, Heather (Terry) Burkart, Kristin Sales, Rachel Van Tomme, Karin (Tom) Sabyan, Nicole (Eric) Wagner and Fred Brandon (Molly) Sales; sister, Norinne Petersen; 12 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter, numerous nieces and nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his wife, parents and his brother.

Fred’s loved ones will continue to honor his legacy by living their lives to the fullest.

Funeral services will be held at 1pm Sunday, May 30, 2021, at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service where Military Honors will be provided. (Services can also be viewed by family and friends through the livestreaming feature on the funeral home website @ www.gayandciha.com at Fred’s page under obituary) There will be a time of visitation one hour prior to the services and following the services. Graveside services will be held at 3pm Monday, May 31, 2021, at the St. Peter Lutheran Cemetery in Orland, SD. In lieu of flowers a memorial fund has been established in his memory.

Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service

Johnson Obituaries maintained by Cindy Booth Maher.
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