Frederick J. Sinclair, 85, of Neodesha, KS, passed away Friday morning, December 24, 2021, at Neodesha Care & Rehabilitation Center. Cremation has taken place under the direction of Ford-Wulf-Bruns Chapel. A private gathering for close friends and family will be held later in the spring to spread his ashes.
Fred was born November 12, 1936, in Santa Monica, CA to Frank W. Sinclair and Helen M. (Seefken) Sinclair. Fred’s childhood was spent just north of Chanute, KS, where he attended grade school in a one-room schoolhouse directly across the road from his home. Even though Fred was not the perfect student, his teacher seemed to really take a liking to him. He spent most of his time on the banks of the mighty Neosho River, which lied directly behind his home. It was there that he acquired his lifetime passions for fishing and hunting. Fred attended Chanute High School, Chanute Junior College and Kansas State Teacher’s College ( now ESU) in Emporia, KS. It was here that he excelled in track and basketball. During high school, Fred played in the basketball state tournament and was selected to play on the All-State team. He was also recruited to play for KSU, but he declined the offer. Fred excelled at baseball and golf as well. He was just an all-round athlete.
Fred had many interests and enjoyed loading his own ammunition, working on shotguns and rifles, repairing electric, gasoline and even diesel motors and about anything else that needed fixing. He had service manuals for about any problem that came along. He joined the army on September 11, 1958, after two years of college in pre-engineering and during his time there, he received his Expert Badge in Rifle and also graduated from The U.S. Army Signal School in Ft Monmouth, NJ, specializing in Ordnance Electronics. Directly following that, he graduated from the U.S. Army Ordnance Guided Missile School in Redstone Arsenal, AL. It was there that they asked Fred to stay and become an instructor, but he again declined the offer. Fred absolutely loved his army experience and spoke very highly of it. He was honorably discharged in 1959 for medical reasons.
Fred met the love of his life, Donna Jeanne Arnold, the very first day that her family moved to Chanute, KS. He was swept off his feet by this this beautiful girl and they would spend the next 70 years together. Fred and Jeanne lived many places over the years, including New York, New Jersey, Utah, Colorado, Iowa, and finally they landed in Kansas, back home to where they first met. It was here that they raised their two daughters, Jana and Jennifer. Fred’s working years were spent in the electrical field where he mostly did technical writing. He actually worked for a company that was contracted by NASA where he was allowed to utilize his talents. He wrote specifications for both the Apollo & Gemini missions. Later after moving to Kansas, Fred sold rural real estate out of Neodesha and then out of Independence. Due to his experience, he was able to write his own sales contracts. Needless to say, Fred sold a lot of farms!
On the family’s return to Kansas, they purchased land in both Montgomery and Wilson Counties. This property would serve as a sanctuary for wild animals and Fred was constantly preserving the natural beauty of the land. He planted numerous wildlife food plots for the deer, quail and other animals. Another pastime of Fred’s was to graft trees. He also got his hand in at “logging” for a short time. Fred knew what trees to take and what trees to leave.
Fred enjoyed his family mostly, taking walks at the farm, having picnics or “wiener roasts”, observing the deer and other wildlife, hunting packrats and armadillos with his son-in-law, Larry and much more. He enjoyed his many family vacations to Lander, WY – camping, trout fishing, enjoying the campfire, cooking and conversation with his daughter, Jana. He also enjoyed coffee drinking and conversation with his friends at the old Lantern Restaurant, and an occasional bourbon & water. Fred was known to help many people in a time of need, always with no fanfare. If he liked you, then he liked you and if he didn’t, then he didn’t, and you were aware of it. Fred is probably sitting in heaven now, grinning from ear to ear, with his parents and his two little dogs, Jo and Loop.
Fred is survived by his wife, Jeanne Sinclair, his two daughters, Jana Sinclair, of Cimarron, NM, and Jennifer Curt and husband Larry Curt, of Neodesha and their children: Sam Curt, Jessica Curt (J.L.) and Cassidy Curt of Kansas City, MO and his wife Holly Santee and one grandson, Sullivan (Sully). He is also survived by two siblings: Terry Ann Sinclair of Overland Park, KS and Dr. Hal Sinclair and his wife Nina of Kansas City, MO. Nieces and nephews: Steve Sinclair & wife Cindi of Woolstock, IA, David Sinclair & wife Julie of Lee’s Summit, MO, and Lori Roberts, Johnston, IA, along with many other great nieces, nephews and cousins.