Fred McLeod After 98 years filled with good humor and family fun, Fred McLeod peacefully passed away March 6, 2017. He'd lived with his daughter and son-in-law, Beth & Jerry McClanahan, in Hendersonville, N.C, in recent years. Born Dec. 9, 1918, on the windswept prairies of Alberta, Canada, Fred was the fourth child of Etta and Fred McLeod. He was 4 when his father died. His mother moved her children to Michigan. Fred grew up in Kalamazoo. As a young adult, Fred was a part-time jockey, riding thoroughbreds in regional races. He married Annamae Stohrer on Nov. 13, 1942. She worked as a licensed practical nurse at Borgess Hospital, and later, at White Oaks Assisted Living Center in Lawton. She died in 1991 of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. During their marriage, Fred became a U.S. citizen. He and Annamae have three children: Merikay, Patrick and Bethanne, three grandchildren: Mandi and JP McLeod, and Jessica McClanahan; and three great grandchildren: Billie and Evergreen McLeod, and Riley Joy Guild. Fred and Annamae were members of the Kalamazoo Seventh-day Adventist church, and later, the Paw Paw SDA church. Fred worked for 16 years at Kalamazoo State Hospital. He later worked for Kalamazoo's public school system, retiring in 1980. During all his working years, he owned his own tile and countertop business: McLeod Remodeling. Many homes in the Kalamazoo area enjoyed new tile floors or countertops because of Fred's artistic work. "My dad liked to work. Most evenings and some weekends, he was busy with tile jobs," said Merikay. "He also enjoyed fishing and swimming in Crooked Lake, where I spent my childhood." But life wasn't all work. Fred loved to travel. Before he married, he hitchhiked with a friend to the 1939-40 New York World's Fair. "He told me that they slept one night in an abandoned house. Another night they slept in a graveyard," his daughter, Beth, said. "When I asked him what it was like sleeping in a graveyard, he said, 'It was quiet.'" Fred and Annamae took their family on many summer road trips -- going to Yellowstone, Mammoth Cave, Laura Ingalls Wilder's home in Mansfield Missouri, and many other places. In addition to his hard-work ethic, Fred was known for his sense of humor and wealth of funny stories. He loved entertaining people, and could be found at a church potluck or family pick nick sharing a story that ended with everyone in laughter. "When we were little, Dad often told people that he'd given up water skiing because Mom could not row the boat fast enough," Patrick said. "My friends remember that story to this day. It still gets a smile or two." A celebration of Fred's life will be held Saturday, August 5, at 3:01 p.m. at the Paw Paw SDA church.