Fredrick Marpe, 1926-2017

Published 9:00 am Sunday, January 15, 2017

Fredrick “Bill” Marpe passed away Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, after a long illness. He was 90.

Born in Albert Lea to Frank Sr. and Laura Marpe, Fred “Bill” grew up with brother, Frank Jr., and sister, Sue. Fred’s father, Frank Sr., was a veteran of both World War I and II; and his brother, Frank Jr., was a World War II Air Force pilot war hero shot down over Romania in 1943. Fred’s sister, Sue, currently lives in Irvine, California. Fred served in World War II as a medic and B-24 mechanic.

After the war he returned to Minnesota, where he used the GI Bill to earn his civil engineering degree at the University of Minnesota. Fred met the love of his life, Barbara Kelly, also from Albert Lea. They married on Jan. 14, 1951, and moved to Sacramento, California, where Fred began his career working for the California Highway Department. A year later they moved to Temple City and eventually settled in West Covina, where they raised three wonderful children.

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In southern California, Fred worked for UPK Construction Co. as an engineer and was involved in many projects, such as building parts of the Interstate 5 highway and many other transportation infrastructures throughout Los Angeles County. Fred and John Ukropina (son of a former employer) then formed Ukropina Marpe Co. and built bridges, airport work and did numerous heavy construction projects. Fred continued the company after John left to pursue a teaching career. In 1980, Fred and Barbara moved to Manhattan Beach. Fred joined Parr Contracting, eventually becoming part owner, and worked there until his retirement in 1996.

Fred’s hobbies included photography, traveling and reading. His skilled woodworking talents produced treasured pieces of furniture and keepsake gifts for his family and friends. He loved sailing, always owned his own sailboat and spent many years day sailing along the southern California coast.

Fred is survived by his loving wife, Barbara; his son, Frank Marpe (Nancy); daughters Nancy Turner (Norv) and Lisa Arnett (Marc); his beloved grandchildren Scott Turner (Robyn), Stephanie Turner Ganan (Chris), Drew Turner, Kelly Arnett, Paige Arnett, Samantha Arnett and Katie Marpe; his precious great-grandchildren Harrison Turner, Rose Turner and Nora Jo Ganan; sister, Sue Johnson; and several nieces and nephews.