News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Fred W. Roniger, January 1, 1948 — December 11, 2020

Fred Roniger of Sisters, passed away on Friday, December 11, peacefully at home, from an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Fred was born in Highland, Illinois, on January 1, 1948, to Raymond and Marjorie (Landolt) Roniger. He grew up on a small farm outside of Highland, where he graduated from high school in 1966. He graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 1970. It was at SIUE where he met and married Donna Nischwitz in 1969. Their son Tad was born in 1973 and son Joshua, in 1975.

Fred worked at the Wall Street Journal in Highland, Illinois, while attending University. After graduating, he continued to work at the St. Louis Post Dispatch/Globe Democrat in St. Louis, Missouri. He continued to work there until 1986, when he and Donna decided to move their family to Maui, Hawaii. It was here where he made a career change and became a journeyman carpenter.

Their final move was to the state of Oregon, in 1991. Fred and Donna bought enough acreage in Sweet Home for him to raise sheep and have room for a house that he designed and built. During this time he worked as a ‘clean room’ carpenter and foreman, for Andersen Construction in Corvallis, on the Hewlett-Packard campus. He retired from there in 2011.

His wife, Donna, passed away in 1999. He met Betsy Heid Prideaux contra dancing in Portland. They were married in the summer of 2002. For five years they traveled from Albany, for many weekends and vacations, to property they had purchased in the Ochoco Mountains in Central Oregon. Fred was building another house he designed, for their retirement years. They enjoyed living in this beautiful place for almost six years. Wanting to be closer to family in the valley and the advantages of being closer to Bend, they chose to move to Sisters in January of 2017.

Fred was an avid collector of train memorabilia and baseball cards and memorabilia. He was a true collector at heart and had many various collections. He and Betsy enjoyed taking their travel trailer to southern Arizona in the spring for many years.

Fred was preceded in death by his parents, brother Sam and first wife, Donna.

He is survived by his wife Betsy Roniger of Sisters; brother Tom Roniger (Kim) of Greenville, Illinois; sons Tad Roniger (Kari) of Seminole, Florida, and Joshua Roniger of Bend; step children Sofie Prideaux (Matt Peterson) of Eugene, and Zander Prideaux (Molly) of West Linn; and grandchildren who will miss their Papa Fred: Jonathon Tyler, Lydia, Kurt, Isaiah, Milo, Kai, Lilly, and Olive.

Fred will be best remembered for his unique sense of humor and great generosity. He had a very strong work ethic and enjoyed working on every project until it was done to his standard of perfection! One of his many gifts was to leave a place more beautiful than when he arrived. He was a special man, who will be missed by the many, many people whose lives he touched.

You may make a donation to Save the Redwoods League, If not, Fred would love to have you plant trees whenever you can!


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