Fred E. Searls, Jr., 80, died Friday, September 24, 2021 at Rock Creek of Ottawa.
Fred was born on October 23, 1940 in Des Moines, Iowa, the only child of Virginia and Fred E. Searls, Sr. Growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, he graduated from Southwest High School in 1958.
Following graduation from High School, Fred continued his education at Baker University where he was recognized for his leadership abilities by being elected as president of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. He graduated from Baker University in 1962 and was hired as operations manager for Shore Tire Company in Kansas City from 1962-71. Moving to Ottawa 1971, he bought Ottawa Tire and Supply which he owned and operated for eight years. He was hired as manager and buyer for Town and Country Supply which he enjoyed for 26 years retiring in 2004.
While his work kept him busy during his life as an Ottawa resident, Fred still found time to be active in the community. A member of the Chamber of Commerce, he served as its chairman in 1976 and 1992 and held many other Chamber positions as well as serving on the city’s Planning Commission for eight years.
Fred was a member of the local Kiwanis Club for 34 years and volunteered at the Visitor’s Center for 14 years where he visited with a lot of interesting people. As a volunteer at Ransom Memorial Hospital/Advent Health for 5 years, he loved working in the cafeteria and getting to know the people at the hospital. He said working in the cafeteria was the best job in the hospital.
Fred was active in Boy Scouts of America as a teenager achieving the highest rank of Eagle Scout. He is also a recipient of the God and Country award and is a member of an elite group of scouts who have received the Mic-O-Say Award. He is the recipient of the highest award given in scouting – the Silver Beaver Award. Fred was an Assistant Scout Master for 2 years and Scout Master for 17 years.
An active member of Westminster Presbyterian Church for 48 years, Fred loved his church family. He was an ordained Elder and served on the church stewardship and finance committee, property committee, worship committee, personnel, Endowment Committee and volunteered in the church office.
Fred never met a stranger and always had a friendly greeting and interesting story for everyone he saw. He was a friend to many and will be truly missed. We are grateful for his dedication to serving his community is so many ways. He gave unselfishly of his time, talents, and energies to make Ottawa a great place in which to live.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and by his cousins Karl Searls and John Searls.
Fred is survived by his cousin Gifford Searls, China, and his cousin-in-law Mrs. Karl (Joy) Searls, of Kansas City, Missouri, as well as the children and grand-children of Karl and Joy Searls.
Memorial services for Fred will begin at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, October 16, 2021, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 401 W. 13th St., Ottawa, KS. Family will greet friends following the service at the church. Private burial will be at Mt. Moriah Cemetery, Kansas City, MO. Memorial contributions may be made to Westminster Presbyterian Church, Baker University – Business Department, or Ottawa Boy Scout Troop #74 and may be sent in care of Lamb-Roberts-Price Funeral Home, P.O. Box 14, Ottawa, KS 66067. Condolences may sent to the family at www.lamb-roberts.com.
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