BIO Index

Ro Frederick

 After graduating from SHS, I attended UF, and roomed with Jerry Ludwig. That part was great but the grades, not so great. So, I returned to Sarasota the next year to attend MJC. Graduated from MJC in '64 and decided on FSU for my junior and senior years. Roomed with John Anderson and had a ball. We still talk about the good old days at SHS and FSU when we are together. Go Noles!

Graduated from FSU in May of '66 with a Marketing Degree, and began working for Shell Oil Company, retail dept, in Miami the next week. I was about to be drafted in'67 (yes, Ben, we remember the draft.) Somehow I found an Army National Guard unit in North Miami ( remember MASH? That was us). I signed up ASAP since it was the only open unit in the state. I was in San Antonio, TX, as a Medic and Operating Room Specialist. After the initial 8 months training in an operating room, I returned to Miami to continue with Shell and attend weekly NG meetings.

I met Donna Branson (Riverview HS class of '61) at Paula Miller's apt. in Ft Lauderdale one evening when they were looking for a 4th for bridge and that was it.. We were married in April,1968 in Sarasota. While we were planning the wedding, LBJ called up 25,000 National Guard troops (remember the Pueblo incident??) and the North Miami unit was one of the units called up. After our rescheduled wedding, we were off to Ft Benning, GA, where I was to be re-trained and shipped out to Viet Nam. But I was lucky again and received orders for Korea (2 of us to Korea and 80 to Viet Nam) for the year of 1969. I was "Radar" (Company clerk) for 1 year in Korea. Donna returned to Miami and taught high school in Miami Springs.

I was discharged in late 1969 and returned to Donna and Shell in Miami. We were there until early '77. Our first daughter was born in South Miami in 1973. In '77 I was transferred to the Quad Cities, Iowa, where I was Sales Manager for Shell for 4 years. It was a weather and culture shock but a great place to live. Second daughter was born in Davenport, IA, in '79.

I was transferred to Shell Houston Head Office in 1981, (a second weather and culture shock) to continue work in Retail. Over the next 18 years I was in the Shell Lubricants business, Chemical business (Detergents) and finally in the Solvents business center as Product Manager, Americas. I retired from Shell Dec 31, 1999, after 34 years, the last 19 years in Houston. I worked part time for a loan investment bank for 3 years after Shell.

The best 2 decisions I ever made were working for Shell (BIG OIL) and marrying Donna.

We have 2 fantastic daughters and 2 fine sons-in-law. Our older daughter, Rae, is in Denver with our two GRAND grandkids, a boy 5 and a girl 4. Kate lives in The Woodlands (north of Houston) close to us. Our hobbies were tennis and golf for about 30 years, playing as often as we could both at home and all over the country. Now we spend much of our time playing Duplicate Bridge. We play at clubs here in Houston and clubs and tournaments around the country. We spend 30 or more days a year at our condo in Pagosa Springs, CO. That plus additional travel takes up about 3 months a year, most of the time in Houston, Colorado and Florida. We generally spring for at least one non-US trip each year. I've become a pretty good cook and enjoy spending time in the kitchen, a major factor in staying married so long. She likes my cooking.

Donna and I still keep in touch and visit with Jerry and Sherri Ludwig, John and Janice Anderson, Paula (Miller) and Barry Davidson and Vicki (Voyles) and Buck Frye. We still consider Sarasota our home base and look forward to our trips there to visit family and friends. We keep track of real estate in the area and talk about getting a small place there one of these days. The last 50 years have been great, although too fast, and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone in May.

Ro Frederick