Frederick Donald Samuels, lovingly known to most as Fred or Freddie, was born to the late Deacon Jerome Samuels, Sr. and Rosa Lee Samuels on November 6, 1947 in East Chicago, Indiana. He shared his parents with the late Jerome Samuels, Jr., his only brother. At an early age he committed his life to Christ and was a faithful member for over 67 years at Zion Missionary Baptist Church.Fred enjoyed being raised on Carey Street in the heart of East Chicago. He often shared stories of all the fun times he had there during his childhood. Every summer he looked forward to reuniting with old friends at the annual Calumet Day. Fred attended East Chicago Washington and transferred to East Chicago Roosevelt where he received his diploma. Upon graduation, he received a letter drafting him into the U.S. Army where he served in Guam during the Vietnam War. During that time, he earned medals for becoming an expert M16 shooter, the National Defense Service Medal as well as an honorable discharge. He always cherished the memory of surprising his mother on New Year’s Day 1970 by returning home safely. He attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana for some time before deciding to learn a trade. Fred became a pipe-fitter/welder at the Amoco Oil Refinery (now known as BP). One night when he didn’t feel like going out, his brother Jerome coaxed him to go to Screamin’ Wheels skating rink. He was an expert skater and when the DJ called for the “couples’ skate”, he glided over to Deborah Preston extending his hand and soon after they were married for 31 years before she transitioned in 2011. Fred and Deborah lovingly referred to each other as “Ba” and blended their families seamlessly. His son Keith Samuels and her daughter Meachun Clark became siblings upon their marriage and they all welcomed Frederick Jerome Samuels to the family. Fred developed a host of hobbies including: cycling from Gary to Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive, stepping and most of all, singing. He became a member of The Research Band which specialized in R&B until he decided to leave the group to strictly sing gospel music. His melodious voice blessed a host of family gatherings, funerals, weddings, etc. over the years. In 1999, he retired from BP after 27 years of service. Upon retirement, he couldn’t sit still because of his love of impacting others with his positivity. He sketched his own walking suits and had them brought to life by Fox Bros. & Bucci For Men and they invited him to work there. He also worked as a bus driver for the University of Chicago where Michelle Obama frequently rode his shuttle. He also drove for the Gary Public Transit Corporation and most recently served as an administrative assistant & counselor for Capital City Family Education Services. In addition to his loving children, he leaves behind a wonderful family of cousins, in-laws and his treasured grandson London Frederick Samuels. Family was his number one priority and he made his best effort to attend every family reunion each summer. To God be the glory for the blessing of his life. We loved him but God loved him best. Our heartfelt thanks to the amazing staff at Great Lakes Healthcare Center, Northwestern Memorial Hospital and caregiver/cousin Robin Tilleston.
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