August 20, 1955 ~ March 4, 2021
Fred L. Ledwell, 65, Brandon, died Thursday, March 4, 2021, at his home unexpectedly.
Visitation with family will be 5-7pm, Thursday, March 18, 2021, at Heartland Funeral Home. Memorial services will be 10:30am, Friday, March 19, at Blessed Redeemer Lutheran Church, Brandon. Inurnment will follow at the Brandon Cemetery with Full Military Honors.
Frederick Lewis Ledwell was born on August 20, 1955, in Yokohama, Japan, to Kazuko Yokoyama and Melvin James Ledwell. He was raised by his mother and stepfather, Warren Rawson Kibler. Fred grew up in Sparks, Maryland, where he attended Cockeysville Elementary School. He graduated from Dulaney Senior High School in Timonium, MD, in 1973. Following his graduation, Fred entered into the service of his country and proudly served in the United States Air Force from June 4, 1973, until June 4, 1979, as an Electronic Missile Technician at Ellsworth AFB, in Rapid City, SD.
It was during his time stationed at Ellsworth that Fred met the love of his life, Jolene Kay Graslie. They were united in marriage at the Chapel in the Hills in Rapid City, on September 25, 1981. Their union was blessed with two beautiful daughters, Jennifer and Laura.
Fred graduated from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in December 1982, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Fred worked at MPI, SCI Systems in Rapid City, SD, from 1984-1997. The Ledwell family moved to Brandon, SD, in August, 1997 after Fred accepted an engineering position with Electronic Systems Inc (ESI) in Sioux Falls, SD, where he was currently serving as the Director of Manufacturing.
Fred loved the outdoors. While living in Rapid City, his many hobbies included hunting, riding his motorcycle through the Black Hills, riding dirt bike, water skiing, snow skiing and competitive pistol shooting. After moving to Sioux Falls, he continued his love of competitive pistol shooting and served as the president of the Sioux Falls Practical Shooters sports club. He enjoyed sharing his passion of pistol shooting with others, especially his family.
Fred’s greatest joy was spending time with his family. He was very proud and protective of “his girls”. Fred and Jolene loved spending time together and always looked forward to their annual trip to the Black Hills to celebrate their anniversary. He was a wonderful husband and an amazing father to his daughters. Fred’s brothers and sisters were very proud of him and his accomplishments and loved him dearly.
Fred’s grandchildren were the light of his life and he felt very blessed to be such a big part of their lives. He loved the time he was able to spend with them, whether it was trips to the park, bike rides, long walks, or quiet times reading a book. Fred once said his daughters and grandchildren are the legacy he’ll leave behind and no monument or trophy could ever be a better testament of who he was or what he accomplished.
Fred always led his life with honor and dignity. He treated everyone with compassion and respect and was always happy to assist where needed. He worked hard and was well-respected by all who knew him. He strived to be a good model in everything he did.
Fred was baptized and raised in the Methodist Church in Maryland. He was received into the membership of Blessed Redeemer Lutheran Church in Brandon after adult instruction on November 21, 1999. Fred served many years as a trustee at Blessed Redeemer. Fred’s faith guided him throughout his life.
Fred will be deeply missed by his wife, Jolene; two daughters, Jen (Steve) Biteler, and Laura (Jordan) Laird, both of Harrisburg, SD; three grandchildren, Aubrie and Tatum Biteler, and Beckett Laird; his mother, Kazuko “Miki” Kibler, Sparks, MD; siblings, Jim (Maggie) Ledwell, Catonsville, MD, Ella (Richard) Hall, Sparks, MD, Warren (Kristy) Kibler II, Leesburg, VA, and Kathleen Kibler, Pearland, TX; brother-in-law, Terry Stevens, Codorus, PA; brother-in-law, Garth (Diane) Graslie, Wentzville, MO; brother-in-law, Jerry Graslie, Brookings, SD; several aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews and many other friends and relatives.
Fred was preceded in death by his stepfather, Warren Kibler; sister, Claudette Stevens; mother-in-law, Linda Graslie, father-in-law, Johnnie Graslie; and brother-in-law, Mark Graslie.