Born March 21, 1942 to George and Margaret Padberg, Fred was the youngest of five children. Preceded in death by his parents and his beloved older brother Tom (Nancy), he is survived by you. We know this because you’re reading this.
He is also survived by his four children Cindy (Bob), Matt (Rebecca), Julie (Wayne), and Paul (Marsha) and their children Emily Koehler, Lyla Tukey, Sasha Padberg, Molly Padberg, Spencer White, Greta White, Jakob White, and Cole Padberg. He also survived by his three sisters, Mary Gerau (Walt), Jane Gray (Chuck), and Grace Padberg, and their children and grandchildren, his ex-wife Carol (Braun) Padberg and his partner of the last 20 years, Martha Evans.
He now is with his mom for the first time since he was 13. He is with his dad and brother, his good friends Gary DiProspere, Vince Kaelin, Rich Silverman, and many others he held dear, his nephew Danny Gerau, and Tim and Anna Haber.
A Tribute from Fred’s Eldest Son, Matt
A grown man with the energy and wit (and some might say sensibilities) of a teenager, Fred lived on his own terms and died on his own terms. This shocked absolutely no one.
He served his country in the Army, including a stint in Korea, although luckily not during the war. His sister Mary would send him art supplies so he could make a little extra money drawing caricatures.
Following his father’s advice to “do something he loved”, he turned his love of drawing into a career. He was rather talented. In high school, he drew the mascot that his beloved St. Mary’s used for years. It was a ferocious and awesome dragon. That dragon aged as he did, though the dragon lives on, as he would update the dragon every five years for the Class of 1960’s reunions.
One of his friends pointed out to Fred’s grandson Sasha that Fred’s high school nickname shown in the yearbook was “Gasser”. This surprises absolutely no one. The rate of global warming may have slowed just a little bit with Fred’s passing.
He was talented at line drawings, technical engineering drawings, graphic art, and oil painting. While he loved oil painting the best, he did it the least because he had this pesky concept of “supporting his family”.
And he did that well. He sent his four kids to Our Lady of Sorrows grade school, private Catholic high schools, and helped pay for college for each of them. He was an engaged father who was involved, coached, and cared. Sometimes a little too much. How many other parents were yellow carded at a soccer game … as a fan? He took us on phenomenal vacations and expanded our horizons. He loved the West and traveling. He taught us to love reading, humor, having fun, nature, the mountains, hiking, and skiing. He sacrificed for us.
He loved playing soccer and sometimes the ball was involved. The local hospitals noticed a marked decreased in middle-age men with soccer injuries after dad retired from playing. His nickname was “Hammer”. We saw him play. It was an accurate and maybe even kind moniker.
Two weeks ago, he checked himself out of the hospital against medical advice. While he told no one, he knew he was dying. He wanted to go out on his own terms. He had one last breakfast the next day with his beloved St. Mary’s friends. He had his last meal at Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill because he wanted to see his grandson and fellow St. Mary’s Dragon, Sasha Padberg, one last time. The last picture of Fred before he went into the hospital is of him eating crème brulee, the last food he ever ate, with Sasha standing next to him dressed up quite handsomely while working as a bus boy. Can you imagine a better last meal? Jesus is jealous of Fred’s last supper.
He lived life to the fullest and squeezed every ounce out of his body. When he was done with it, he gave what he could to others. He was an organ donor. He gave all in life and in death.
While his life was a success in many measures, he did fail on two fronts. First, he never did find the elusive free “extra eggroll lying around back there” that he attempted to order at every Chinese restaurant he ever visited. Second, the owner of many watches, he never seemed to figure out their actual function. He joked for his whole life that he was “going to show up late for his own funeral”. Well, we all think he left us a bit too soon. Too make his dream come true, his funeral is delayed for a week until Monday, September 23rd.
Heaven just got a little more juvenile and a lot more
Funeral from Kutis Affton Chapel 10151 Gravois Rd. 63123 on Monday September 23 at 9:15 am to Basilica of St. Louis, King of France (Old Cathedral) for 10:00 am mass. Interment at J.B. National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers contributions to St. Mary’s High School, A.C.L.U. or a charity of your choice appreciated. Visitation Sunday September 22, from 2-6 pm.