American Patriotic 11

Fred Robert Vague

July 31, 1925 ~ August 1, 2021 (age 96)

Obituary

WICHITA

Fred Vague was a hero to his sons.  His life was simple but complex.  Life was difficult but he made the most of every opportunity.  From his birth in Castleton, Kansas, to his death in Wichita he did not physically stray from his roots.  However, that did not stop his active mind from going to far places and exploring complex things with his mind.  This was a result of the cruel act of blindness. 

Fred Robert Vague was born on July 31, 1925, to Frederick and Viola Mae (Dague) Vague.  He died on August 1, 2021 at the age of 96. He was a loving husband to Cristel Erlee (Higgins) Vague and the Father of Rex Robert Vague and Ron Alan Vague.  He had two siblings, Helen Ann McClellan and Melvin Vague. 

“Fred R” or “Zeke” as many called him, had a long and fruitful life.  He grew up in the town of Hutchinson, Kansas, graduating from Hutchinson High School in 1943.  He joined the Navy on September 15, 1943 during World War II.  He advanced to the rank of Motor Machinist Mate 2c. And was honorably discharged from the Navy on May 19, 1946.  He attended Hutchinson Junior College from 1946 to 1948.

He married Cristel Erlee Higgins on July 30, 1948.  He attended Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas and after graduation with a law degree in 1951 moved to Wichita, Kansas to live. 

Fred was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa and subsequently progressed to total blindness. 

He worked for the Travelers Insurance Company in Wichita for 25 years as a claims attorney, and was the Supervising Adjustor of the Claims Department. 

Fred will be remembered as an active man that nothing seemed to bother much.  Considering his condition and the hardships it placed on him, that outlook on life was exceptional.  His active mind and inquisitiveness about all things served him well throughout the years.  He bowled on the Blind Bowlers League in Wichita for many years. He was a ham radio operator, wood worker and loved all things mechanical.  He was the builder, mechanic and pit crew for his sons 10 year Go Kart racing hobby.  He had a love and passion for automobiles and books, and although finances were tight managed to obtain several cars that are considered classic by today’s standards, as well as an extensive library. He read every day, first reading Braille, then listening to Talking Books furnished by the Kansas State Library, and went through a prodigious number of them over the years.  He was an avid Shocker fan, and enjoyed listening to WSU games whenever he could.  He also enjoyed attending the Drum and Bugle Corps competitions when they came to the Wichita area.  

He and Erlee resided in the north Wichita area in the house of their dreams for 43 years. 

Fred was an amazing man who accomplished many things even with his visual disability. Family and friends remember Fred as being sweet, tenderhearted and smart.  He leaves a legacy of love and integrity.  He will be greatly missed.

He was preceded in death by his parents, siblings and wife. Survivors include his sons Rex (Georgianna Dirga) Vague; Ron (Brenda) Vague; grandchildren Briana Vague, Alex (Tam) Vague, Alana Vague, Aaron (Jessica Allen) Vague; and great grandchildren Destiny and Luna.

A private family service will be held.

Memorial contributions can be made to Excelsior Lutheran Cemetery, 167 N. 90th Road, Wilson, KS 67490.

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