Fred W. “Fritz” Haier of Okawville, IL departed this life at his residence on Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 9:20 A.M. after an extended illness. He had attained the age of 79 years, 11 months and 23 days.
Fred was born in Chester, IL on November 10, 1936 the son of Fred O. and Esther (nee Baue) Haier. He was baptized in the St. John Lutheran Church in Chester on December 10, 1936 and was confirmed in the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Okawville on April 2, 1950. Mr. Haier was united in marriage to Eula Ann Krohne in Las Cruces, NM on July 5, 1957 and she survives.
Fred was a veteran of the United States Army, serving from 1955 until 1957. He served as an Okawville police officer in the 1960’s. He was a volunteer firefighter in Okawville for 33 years and served as Fire Chief for 20 of those years. He also served as Treasurer of the Okawville Fire District. Fred served on the Board of Directors of the First National Bank in Okawville from March of 1987 until November of 2015, when he was named Director Emeritus of the Board. He was part of the original group of Okawville citizens that helped form what is known today as the Okawville Youth Association. They worked to raise funds, purchase land and develop the first ball park and youth leagues in Okawville.
In 1966, Fred and Eula purchased the Lammer’s Hardware Store and that business continues today as Haier Plumbing & Heating Inc. Fred’s business began as a one-plumber operation which today employs more than 45 full-time plumbers, laborers, operators, truck drivers, carpenters and office personnel. Fred proudly grew his business with his strong work ethic and dedication. Because of these qualities, he became a well-respected and reputable contractor throughout Southern Illinois who was called on by engineers or municipalities for consultations. Through the years, Fred served on several industry-related committees. He was very proud of the company he and Eula built up over the years and remained active and interested even as his health declined in recent months.
Mr. Haier was a faithful, life-long member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Okawville where he served on the Board of Trustees and the Cemetery Committee.
Left to mourn his passing are his wife, Eula Haier of Okawville; three daughters, Katherine “Katie” Kramper and husband Dan and Nancy Rossel and husband James all of Okawville and Mona Mense and husband Kevin of St. Libory, IL; nine grandchildren, Justin (Breck) Kramper, Adam (Amanda) Rossel, Erin (Charlie) Kurtz and Alex Rossel all of Okawville; Emily Kramper of St. Louis, Anna (Tyson) Long of O’Fallon, IL, Kristen (Matt) Knake of Smithton, IL, and Luke Mense and Lauren Mense both of St. Libory; great grandchildren, Maylen and Ryerson Kramper, Ella and Jase Rossel, Caleb Knake, Evelyn Kurtz and Baby Long who is due to arrive any day; a sister, Gladys Knewitz of Smithton, IL; two sisters-in-law, Mary Sachtleben and husband Earl of Red Bud, IL and Mary Ann Krohne of Okawville, plus numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and a whole host of friends.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one brother, Dean Haier and his wife Kay; one sister, Martha Schuessler and her husband Stanley; two brothers-in-law, John Knewitz and James Krohne; and his father and mother-in-law, Willard and Beulah Krohne.
Funeral services were held from the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Okawville on Monday, November 7, 2016 at 11 A.M. with Pastor Eric Wood officiating. Interment was in the church cemetery. Military graveside rites will be accorded by American Legion Post #233 of Okawville.
Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to the Immanuel Lutheran Church or to Family Hospice and will be accepted by the Campagna Funeral Home.
Online expressions of sympathy may be made at www.campagnafuneralhomes.com