Fred J. Chenail, age 78, of Gladstone, passed away Wednesday June 10, 2020, at Bishop Noa Home in Escanaba.
Fred was born in Escanaba, Michigan on July 4, 1941 to Ruth Agnes (Niemi) and Fred B. Chenail of Rapid River, MI.
Fred grew up and graduated from Trenary High School in 1960. He started his career with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), Department of Highways and Bridges in May of 1960, prior to his high school graduation! His very positive attitude and great work ethic helped him to steadily rise to become the Assistant to the Engineer, a position he retained until his retirement from MDOT.
Fred married his wife, Ellen Lusardi (whom he had loved since his childhood) in September 1961 and they became parents to three loving children.
Fred and Ellen spent 22 years downstate in Swartz Creek, MI where they raised their family, while Fred worked on many roads and bridges in lower Michigan. During those years, Fred was a very active member of the Knights of Columbus Council at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Swartz Creek.
In 1990, he took a transfer with MDOT back to his much loved U.P. of Michigan and worked here in the U.P. until his retirement in June of 1997 after 37 years of service.
Fred loved to hunt with his father when he was younger and later with his oldest son Douglas. He also loved to travel and took his family on many wonderful trips, in their motorhome and many different camping trips, all over the U.S.
Fred loved to golf and he and his golf partners took several tournament championships throughout the years. He enjoyed ice fishing with his mom and dad and loved to play cards in his later years.
Fred was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2006 but kept a very active lifestyle to keep the disease at bay. However, in February 2019, after a short hospital stay, the disease began to take its toll. He then began a downhill slide and Parkinson’s dementia began.
Fred was a very faith filled man and could be seen being pushed down the halls of the Bishop Noa Home making the sign of the cross quite frequently during his one year and four-day residency there. He loved the people there and was known to smile most of the time and had a very friendly demeanor. He also dearly loved everyone, especially Aimee from U.P. Health and Hospice who cared for him daily during the week.
He is survived by his loving wife and only love, Ellen of Gladstone, his two sons, Douglas (Debra) of Swartz Creek, MI and Ronald of Escanaba, and his daughter, Lori (Jim) Viau, also of Escanaba. He is also survived by his mother, Ruth of the Bishop Noa Home, Escanaba, his brothers Robert (Barbara) of Gwinn and Donald (Joy) of Escanaba. Also surviving is his brother in law, Wayne (Nancy) Lusardi of Troy, Michigan. He is further survived by his grandchildren, Morley (Christina) Diment of Prairieville, LA, Joseph (Marly Watts) Chenail of Escanaba, Halle (Garrett) Marenger of Escanaba and Kadey (Eli) Mai, also of Escanaba. He is survived by his great grandchildren, Elliott Marenger, Marvin Mai, Zoe Diment and Freddy Diment.
He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and great nieces and great nephews, as well as many cousins.
Fred lost his precious newborn granddaughter, Lilah Irene Marenger after 2 days of life, on December 11, 2018.
He was also preceded in death by his father, Fred B. Chenail, his father-in-law, Adlore Lusardi, his mother-in-law, Ingrid Lusardi and his brother-in-law, Marvin Lusardi.
Family will receive friends on Thursday June 18, 2020, from 3:00PM to 5:00PM, at the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone. Mass of Christian Burial will follow visiting hours, at 5:30PM, at All Saints Church in Gladstone, with Rev. Fr. Jamie Ziminski officiating. Fred will be laid to rest in the Trenary Cemetery on Friday morning, June 19, 2020, at 11:00AM. With regret, a funeral luncheon cannot be provided due to COVID 19 restrictions. If desired, contributions can be directed to All Saints Catholic Church Renovation Fund. The Skradski Family Funeral Homes of Delta County are assisting with arrangements.
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This link will direct you to Zoom where you will be able to attend live services for Fred. Please call the funeral home if you have any questions.