In Memory

Fred Rockwood VIEW PROFILE

Fred Rockwood

Frederick W. Rockwood 1947 - 2014Frederick Whitney Rockwood, 66, Batesville, Indiana, passed away peacefully at his home on March 3, 2014. He was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on December 18, 1947 to Lewis Frederick and Muriel Whitney Rockwood, both deceased. In 1967, he served a mission to the Southern Far East Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Hong Kong for two and one-half years. Upon his return he married Jolene Edmunds in the Salt Lake City Temple. He earned a B.A. from Stanford University in 1972 with honors and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society. In 1975, he earned a J. D. degree from the Harvard Law School. After law school, he worked as a business consultant at the Boston Consulting Group and then at Bain and Co. In 1977 he accepted a position with Hillenbrand Industries and was the founder and first CEO of the Forethought Group which he grew into a successful company that was featured in many national publications. In 1999, Fred became President and CEO of Hillenbrand Industries. After his retirement from Hillenbrand in 2005, he worked as CEO of General Resonance for three years.Fred served as chairman of the Indiana State 21st Century Schooling Committee, and for his four years of work on this committee, he was awarded the "Sagamore of the Wabash" Award by Governor Evan Bayh in 1991. He was also awarded the Kentucky Colonel title by the Governor of Kentucky in 1995. Fred served on the Board of Directors of the Dan Beard Boy Scout Council in Cincinnati for many years, and became an avid proponent of the scouting program in the area. He was a respected expert on military history, and was frequently sought after for his knowledge of military medals all over the world. In 2008 and 2012, Fred served on Mitt Romney's presidential campaign committee in Cincinnati. Fred was a true Renaissance man, with varied interests in many different fields of learning. He was an avid reader who always had a book in his hand and he had an extraordinary eclectic library, all of which he could instantly recall. He loved languages and spoke many of them fluently, including Chinese (both Mandarin and Cantonese) and German. He was a gifted public speaker, and a great scriptorian. He loved and supported all forms of the arts, and with his family, regularly attended theatrical and musical productions. In his younger days he won many awards for his paintings and drawings. He loved to travel and whenever possible he exposed his family to other cultures around the world. Fred loved to do genealogical and family history research and spent years tracing family lines, acquiring thousands of names and genealogical data. He was an impeccable researcher and left behind a substantial family history collection as a legacy for his descendants.Fred was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and held many church leadership positions throughout his life, including branch president, Bishop, a counselor in branch, ward and stake Presidencies, a Seminary and Sunday School teacher, Young Men's president, Stake High Councilor, Family History Center Director, LDS Temple Sealer, Ward mission leader, numerous Priesthood Quorum leadership positions, and most recently as Stake President of the Cincinnati Ohio Stake. His loss is felt deeply by his family. Fred was a devoted husband and father of his children and grandchildren and will be remembered lovingly for his many kindnesses, his wonderful sense of humor, his extraordinary intelligence, his deep spirituality, his great wisdom and his profound testimony of and devout love for his Savior Jesus Christ. He is survived by his wife, Jolene; six sons and daughters including Justin (Barbara) Rockwood of Bothell Washington; Melissa (Derek) Adams of Highland, Utah; Jennifer (Kurt) Knight, of Belmont Massachusetts; Katie (Jarom) Sidwell of Pleasant Grove, Utah; Elizabeth (Armando) Tirado of Woburn, Massachusetts; and David Rockwood, of Palo Alto, California. He is also survived by seventeen and one-half grandchildren. Funeral services were held on Saturday, March 8, at the Cincinnati Ohio Stake Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 15th at 10:00 a.m. at the Larkin Mortuary, 260 East South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111 Burial will be in the Salt Lake City Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Utah. 

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02/07/16 06:47 PM #1    

Sandra McCann (Poulsen)

His accomplishments in high school and beyond were great! But his greatest accomplishment was his kindness and outreach to everyone! Such a humble and good person!

02/25/16 10:27 PM #2    

Karen Elliott

Freddy was a very quiet only-child neighbor of mine.  He achieved so many exemplory areas of profession and community service,  What a surprise to read this obituary and find out how accomplished this shy kid faired.

02/29/16 09:02 AM #3    

Scott Bennion

now, YOU were a guy i would have looked for at our 50th reunion.  quiet, scholarly and unassuming.  a pillar of our highland community.   if my remembrance is correct, your father owned granite furniture.  some rams (their names mercifully withheld) used one of your father's trucks, emblazoned with its logo, to carry illictly chopped down FULL trees and shrubbery from kent scott's neighborhood, which was in the process of being torn down to make room for a larger street leading to the freeway.  it was in the area by highland drive.  

the problem was that people were still living in about 70 % of those houses.  so very late in the night, 3:08 a.m. sharp (the next day was our graduation dance), someone backed your dad's truck behind a few backyards as some other rams (i can't remember who...but i do know that kent and i had very little to do with it), quickly and rabidly cut down about twenty-two live monocotyledons, dicotlyledons, decidous and succedaneous trees, conifers, with axes, hatchets and saws, and even threw in a lot of wreaths apprehended from salt lake's finest cemeteries, carefully placed a few days before, on memorial day.  

i told them all NOT to do it.  

the decorations resembled a pretty good forest.  luckily none of those involved were ever caught, and i chose NOT to turn them in.

so, fred, rest in peace.  i would have had a nice reunion and reminiscence with you this june.  that is a memory that i am sure you may have tried to forget.  

p.s.   in the middle of another night, about five months earlier...the night before the christmas ("holiday") dance, SOMEONE also used your father's truck to carry a dozen unlawfully approproiated christmas trees that were de-chained from that 7-11's fence only a couple of blocks from kent scott's house on alden street.  you/kent and i had extremely little to do with that either.   i can't remember if i was there.  i am sure i wasn't, because i would have told the others not to do it.  so...Fred, sorry i couldn't have recalled and quietly clarified these events with you, at our 50th reunion.  please make room for me up there, my good friend, although i have a feeling i am going down the coal shute instead..  





02/29/16 11:48 AM #4    

Laurel Parker (Rohlfing)

You knew a side of Fred that I never saw!  But set the record straight, Fred's family owned Rockwood Furniture which was next door to Granite furniture.  All of you should be highly commended for risking your lives, your fortunes and your sacred honors for the good of our graduation dance decorations. I didn't give you enough credit!


02/29/16 11:38 PM #5    

Sandra McCann (Poulsen)

Scott, you have indeed shared tales worth telling! And the fact that the Rockwood truck was innocently involved...well...I'm sure Fred is laughing hysterically that the tale is now so out there! Sandi

03/20/16 07:57 PM #6    

Jeanne Bridwell (Bennion)

Fred & I grew up in the same neighborhood.   From my house on Beacon drive, it was a vigorous uphill bike ride,  past Francie Hinckley's house,  past Susan Ann Secour's house,  crossing Kensington Ave  & over to what we called FRED ROCKWOOD'S STREET.  A nice flat plane,  a place to catch your breath & LOOK AT THE VIEW  before continuing  up//up the hilly streets toward Dinosaur Cave.   Spence Young,  another of our neighborhood classmates,  had a mother,  Erla Young,  who was a fine & distinguished Utah Artist,  & a lively engaging philosopher.    I remember her,  when I was very young,  saying that she thought  IT  WAS IMPORTANT FOR KIDS TO 'HAVE A VIEW ONTO THE WORLD'    'TO HAVE WINDOWS TO LOOK OUT AT THE WORLD: TO SEE,   TO SURVEY,    TO CONNECT   &   ENGAGE.    TO FIND YOUR  MANY WAYS OF BELONGING IN THE WORLD.   The View on Fred Rockwood's Street  was a great place to stop awhile, to survey the wide valley.  A perfect place for Fred~~~~  a unique Poly~Math, who in the very young years was already using his wide materials of art & craft~~~ the gifts of  music & math,  of languages & histories.  Already finding the thousand ways the world belonged to him,  & how he could serve.     I am so happy to have met the accomplished  & marvelous Jolene at the U of U,  as our paths crossed in student associations.   Fred & Jolene~~~~beautiful life they created together. 








06/09/16 12:23 PM #7    

Kathy Cracroft (Wilhelmsen)

I shared this remembrance of Fred Rockwood with a few good souls at the reunion and have since been encouraged to give the “real poop” here. In sharing this I hope to keep some semblance of decorum and still do justice to Fred’s wonderful sense of humor.

During his mission to Hong Kong, Elder Rockwood frequently had to bicycle along paths precariously close to rice paddies, which at that time were fertilized with human waste. On one particular day, our noble missionary toppled off his bike and into the sewage – an unpleasant experience for sure.

After learning about this unfortunate accident, I asked my dad to help me write a poem to Fred – a “lame-rick” even! – to commemorate the event. Here’s what we came up with:

In Hong Kong our Fred is a doer,

To his mission nobody is truer,

But we have some advice:

When tracting in rice

Spread the gospel, Fred, not the manure.

A few weeks later we received a postcard from Elder Rockwood, written just this way:

Your poetic prowess amazed me.

The rhyme and the verse were pure wit.

What you did was simply uncanny

With a topic as mundane as _ _ _ _.

Oh, Fred, you were the grandest soul -- brilliant, funny, down-to-earth, generous. Sure do miss you.

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