Life and Times of Fred

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Fred, look on the right side of the blog and see the words Blog Archive. It looks something like this:
"Blog Archive" ► 2012 (4) ► 2011 (1)
Click on any one of the and it opens up other links. Keep clicking on anyone of them and it will open up other pages for you to see. I hope that helps you to see all the things I've put on your blog. The last on is named "Postcards from Dad".
Here is what it should look like when you click on each one of the ►.
Blog Archive
▼ 2012 (4)
    ▼ April (4)
      + Postcards from Dad
      + Duerksen Family Photo
      + Duerksen Sermon
      + Letters from Dad
▼ 2011 (1)
    ▼ November (1)
      + FW

 Frederick Emanuel (Duerksen) Wiebe

Born: October 14, 1931 at Bessie, Oklahoma
Parents:  Abraham & Mathilda (Kempf) Duerksen

Father: Abraham D. Duerksen
Born: January 6, 1863 in Waltheim, South Russia
Died:  November 1947
Mother: Matilda (Kempf) Duerksen
Died: October 24, 1933 in Bessie, Oklahoma

Parents married: December 26, 1930 in Cordell, Oklahoma

Adopted Siblings:  Wallace Eugene, Alice,  Ardith Rosellen Wiebe
Freddy's mother Mathilda died when he was two years old. As his father was up in years Freddy was sent to live with his half sister, Mary Sara (Duerksen) Wiebe in 1933.

Back row L/R:  Abe,Mary,
Front:  Freddy

Back row L/R:  Mary Wiebe, Aunt Ramsey, AD Duerksen
Front:  Frederick Emanuel Duerksen Wiebe

L/R:   Freddy, Mary, Abe J Duerksen

Freddy had a dog named Peanut. Peanut was bitten by a ratle snake and died soon after being bitten.  He had a black cat he called Fizz, and a yellow cat named Micky. He told me he had twenty-seven cats in all when he was about nine or ten years old.

Fred tells of when Ardith, Alice, and Wallace milked the cows they didn't have a barn and they had to milk outside in all kinds of weather.

During the depression Fred says they had to go to the Brillheart Ranch and picked up dried cow chips to use to heat their home. He said they would tie a large wash tub on the back of their truck and toss the cow chips in it. He said at home they would put the dried chips in the wood stove and it smelled really bad outside the house. He doesn't remember if it smelled inside the house. He said it kept them warm and that's what mattered. Today Fred has a nice wood stove which he cuts down trees or cuts up trees that have fallen to use to warm their house.

He's a survivor. 

L/R:  Abe Wiebe and Fred at reunion

Fred's school picture

Back row: Fred, Ben, Will, Clara, Mary Sarah, Abraham,
Children in front row:
Laurette, Carol Ann, Laura Jane 

Fred's High School Graduation Picture

Fred played touch football in school. He liked math and science.

Fred went to Alaska in 1960 when he was 29 years old. The first time he drove the Al-Can Highway he felt like he was on an endless belt that was running. Like a conveyer belt. He felt like it would never end.

He went to Anichorge and worked washing dishes in a sea food cafe called Sumpter Sea Food.  He landed a job with the State of Alaska and worked on equipment for 21 years. He worked on fire trucks, snow removal equipment, lawn mowers, and police cars.  He retired at the age of 49.  He stayed in Alaska for another eight years until his wife Mary Lou retired and they moved to Oregon.

Where was Fred
Good Friday
 March 27, 1964?

In Alaska when the Worst Earthquake in US History shook everything.


The pictures below don't show half the damage that was done. Follow the links to get a better idea of the devistation.

The Alaskan earthquake generated a tsunami which destroyed this
waterfront in Kodiak.

In addition, the earthquake caused a city street in Anchorage to collapse.
Photos courtesy of USGS.

Photos courtesy of Riemann collection. This pre-Good Friday Earthquake photo shows the downtown store in the early 1960s. The name of the store at this time is The Cache.  In The Bookstore at the Kenai Peninsula College’s Kenai River Campus, tucked away in an office behind the last row of textbooks, bookstore manager Gwen Gere sits, ordering, tabulating sales and expenditures, and planning. Although it might not be plain for the casual observer to see, Gere is hard at work at more than just a job she loves. Working with books is a job that is perhaps — especially given her family’s place in the history of Alaska literacy — even in her blood.

J.C. Penney Department Store at Fifth Avenue and D Street in Anchorage. The building failed after sustained seismic shaking. Most of the rubble has been cleared from the streets. Courtesy of

J.C. Penney Department Store at Fifth Avenue and D Street in Anchorage. The building failed after sustained seismic shaking. Most of the rubble has been cleared from the streets. Courtesy of

The Alaskan earthquake occurred on Good Friday, March 27, 1964, at 5:36 PM local time. It was the largest earthquake ever recorded in North America.

Duration estimates range from 3 to 5 minutes.

Sources vary as to the magnitude of this earthquake, in part because a variety of scales are used to measure earthquakes. Bruce Bolt lists it as 8.6 Ms, where Ms is the surface-wave magnitude. The USGS gives it a 9.2 Mw, where Mw is the moment magnitude.


The epicenter was located between Valdez and Anchorage, near Prince William Sound.

The earthquake occurred on a thrust fault. This fault was a subduction zone, where the Pacific plate plunges underneath the North American plate.

The first slip occurred at a depth of 25 km (16 miles), which is a shallow depth.


The sudden uplift of the Alaskan seafloor caused a tsunami, which was responsible for 122 of the 131 deaths.

The tsunami propagated at speeds over 400 miles per hour.

The tsunami reached the Hawaiian Islands.

The tsunami also struck Crescent City, California, killing ten people. Giant redwood logs from a nearby sawmill were thrust into the city streets.

A total of 16 people died in Oregon and California.

Seiches occurred in rivers, lakes, bayous, and protected harbors and waterways along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Texas, causing minor damage. Note that a seiche is a sloshing of water back and forth.


As landslides cascaded into the sea, they generated gigantic harbor waves that smashed upward against the shore, in some places as high as 100 feet above normal tide levels, per Reference 3.


The port of Valdez is 120 miles east of Anchorage.

The S.S. Chena freighter was unloading supplies at the town dock when the earthquake began. A giant harbor wave lifted the S.S Chena thirty feet. The wave killed 28 people who were at the dock. The S.S. Chena was able to break free and move safely into the bay.

The Valdez waterfront and many homes and commercial buildings were destroyed.

The ground in Valdez had rolling undulations, with an amplitude of three feet from crest to trough.

Later in the evening at 10:30 pm, continuing waves combing with a rising tide flooded broad sections of Valdez. The waves occurred at 30 minute intervals, until 2 am.

The residents fled to the hills, where they spent the night in subfreezing cold.


The earthquake also caused ground liquefaction, whereby the soil and sand temporarily turned from a solid to a liquid state.

Rockslides and avalanches occurred as a result of the liquefaction. Some of the landslides occurred in Anchorage, particularly at Turnagain Heights. Soft clay bluffs at this location collapsed during the strong ground motion. About 75 homes were thus destroyed.

The property damage cost was about $311 million. Much of the property damage occurred in Anchorage. For example, the J.C. Penney Company building and the Four Seasons apartment building were damaged beyond repair.
The Penney's building facade consisted of massive concrete panels, which were five inches thick. The panels broke off from the building and fell into the street. A woman driving by was struck and killed in her car. A young man crouching on the street was also killed.

Several schools in Anchorage were also destroyed, including the Government Hill elementary school. Fortunately, the schools were closed due to the Good Friday holiday.

The 68 foot tall concrete control tower at Anchorage International Airport toppled over, killing the air traffic controller.

In addition, water, sewer, and gas lines ruptured. Telephone and electrical service was also disrupted.