Cover photo for Frederick "Fred" R. Saunders's Obituary
Frederick "Fred" R. Saunders Profile Photo
1937 Frederick "Fred" 2020

Frederick "Fred" R. Saunders

March 3, 1937 — November 11, 2020

Frederick “Fred” R. Saunders, 83, Rockford. It is with a heavy heart that we announce that Frederick “Bucko” Saunders left this world on November 11, 2020, due to contracting Covid-19, despite following strict safety protocols. While he is gone, we are reminded of his story and the impact he had on our lives. Fred was born on March 3, 1937, in Rockford, IL to Donovan and Viola (Farr) Saunders. He graduated from West High School in 1955. He began working as an apprentice carpenter at 16 years of age, and progressed to master cabinet maker at Schmeling & Sons. Embarking on a new career in 1964 Fred began work for Commonwealth Edison as a lineman, and retired in 1994 as a crew leader. Always wanting to be his own “boss” he owned Dick’s Christmas Trees for many years where his children would “volunteer” to work every Christmas season. He would later start up another west-side business, Fred’s Mopeds.

On July 27, 1957, Fred married Sandra Iseli and raised three beautiful children: Caren (James) Samorian, Robert, and Pam (Dan) Appino. He was preceded in death by Sandy in 1993. In June of 2005, Fred married Kathy Green. Survivors include his wife, brother Jeff (Grace) Saunders, children, 6 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren; Kathy’s children, Kelly (Jim) Hollis, Wendy (Jim) Himmel, Karl (Grace) Green, 7 grandchildren, 5 great- grandchildren; a niece, 2 nephews, an aunt, a host of cousins, his childhood best friend, Skeeter (Nora) Young, and Fred’s four legged friend, Sophie. Predeceased by his son-in-law, Kevin Green.

Known as “Bucko” to his grandkids (and most other young people), Fred enjoyed his life by spending time with his family and dogs, traveling in the RV while making new friends along the way, watching his grandchildren compete in sporting events, and experiencing the Northwoods at his former beloved cottage on Amacoy Lake and current cottage on Potato Lake in Wisconsin, where he grew up as a child. He was an avid Bears fan. If Bucko wasn’t working on a project he wasn’t happy! In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Potato Lake Association c/o Eric Anderson, 616 Putman Dr. Eau Claire, WI 54701, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, KS, 66675, American Cancer Society, 4312 East State St, Rockford, IL 61108, or the charity of donor’s choice. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Fitzgerald Funeral Home and Crematory assisted the family. Share online condolences at

Always remember to hold onto your loved ones because tomorrow is not guaranteed. I should have hugged you tighter and longer the last time I saw you….

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