Dr. Frederic M. Ashler, beloved father, grandfather, brother, respected physician and friend, was called Home by his Lord on May 19, 2023. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends, his many patients he took care of over the years, his Homestead family and the town of Hamburg that he so enjoyed serving and supporting since 1959.
Frederic Maurice Ashler, son of Herald and Hilda (Lehnherr) Ashler, was born on July 5,1925 in Pine Island, Minnesota. He grew up attending rural schools and working on the family farm where he had dairy cattle, pigs, turkeys, chickens, and horses. He enjoyed 4-H, sports and band during his youth. He graduated from Wanamingo High School in 1943. Fred entered the US Navy and served as a hospital corpsman from 1945-49. He was stationed on the west coast and the Aleutian Islands where he worked on the Atomic Energy projects from 1947-49.
He married Hilda B. Kielhorn on August 30, 1947, at Berne Church near West Concord, MN. He began premed studies in 1950. Following a return to active duty in the Marshall Islands, he returned home in 1952 to pursue his education. He supported his family by building homes.
He graduated from Creighton University, Omaha, NE, as a medical doctor in 1957, followed by an internship and a residency in surgery in Lincoln, NE.
He began his family practice in Hamburg, lowa in July 1959 and continued to serve Hamburg and surrounding communities until he fully retired in 2000. His practice involved obstetrics, family care, and general surgery. Fred also practiced medicine in lowa, Nebraska, and Alaska following semi-retirement in 1995.
A large part of Fred's life involved flying. He began flying in 1959 and flew many types of airplanes: high wings, low wings, retractable gear and twin engines. He did extensive instrument flying. He used his piloting skills in his medical practice for many years. He was an accomplished carpenter and spent many enjoyable hours on various projects.
Fred and Hilda became the parents of five children: Fredrick, Robert, Sandra, Barbara and Mary. Hilda passed away in 1979. He remarried in 1982 to Sally Plummer and his family grew with the addition of Sally's five children: Laura, Gary, Julie, Pixie and Tom. Sally passed away in 2001.
Dr. Ashler has had a long and distinguished career. He has been an active member of many medical organizations: Railway Surgeon-30 years; Iowa Academy of Family Physicians-40 years, serving on their board and as president; Iowa Medical Society-40 years; Flying Physicians-25 years; board member on the State Board of Health-6 years; Commissioner for National Academy of Family Physicians-6 years; the Fremont County Board of Health-30+ years and was inducted into the Iowa Sports Physicians Hall of Fame in 1979.
He was also very involved at the local level. He has been a member of Kiwanis for 50+ years, an elder and board member at United Trinity Church, medical care at the Sidney Rodeo for many years, the sports team physician from 1959-93, served on the Grape Community Hospital Board, an integral volunteer in the Boy Scout organization, both locally and regionally, attended the National Jamboree in Idaho, 1969, and the World Jamboree in Japan, 1971. He received the Silver Beaver award. He contributed many hours to the Habitat for Humanity projects locally as well as at the Hamburg Community School District. The "Dr. Fred Ashler Discovery Center" was dedicated on January 13, 2019 at the Hamburg Community School. He was deeply appreciative of this honor bestowed on him by the school and community.
Fred was the most loving and compassionate father, grandfather, great grandfather, doctor and friend. His faith and love of Jesus was reflected in his life every day. He was always there to help, give advice, a listening ear, a hug and a smile. He had a special gift of making you feel loved and safe. He loved people and he loved life. He enjoyed his many traveling adventures and loved sharing his stories.
Fred is survived by 5 children-Frederick (Sheila) Ashler, Robert (Dorothy) Ashler, Sandra Ashler, Barbara (Glenn) Rolf, and Mary (Steve) Drane; 5 stepchildren- Laura Plummer, Gary (Dana) Plummer, Julie Plummer, Pixie (Hilary) Plummer, and Tom (Heriberto) Plummer; 20 grandchildren; great grandchildren; sister Leone Trystad, numerous nieces and nephews; special friends Margaret and Wilbur Henkle.
Besides his parents, Fred was preceded by his first wife, Hilda, his second wife, Sally, and close friend, Dorothy Glenn; and 2 grandchildren, Beau Ashler and TJ Ashler.
*A recording of the funeral service will be posted on the Gude Funeral Homes Facebook Page*
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