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Obituary: Creager, Frederick Leon, Jr.

CREAGER, Jr. Frederick Leon AIA Emeritus B: March 9, 1926- D: June 12, 2013 Fred was born in Springfield, Massachusetts to Frederick Leon and Alma Creager. He was reared in Camden and Princeton, New Jersey. Fred had two brothers; Edwin Creager and Robert Sharpe, who preceded him in death. Fred enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1944 prior to High School graduation in Princeton, following his brother Edwin Francis Creager into the Service. He attended Milliken University in Decatur, Illinois; Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois; and Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. He graduated with a degree in Architecture from the University of Illinois at Champaign in 1954. While in University, he completed ROTC training and was commissioned a 2nd Lt. in the Air Force Reserves. He later retired with the rank of Captain. A designer at heart, Fred began his career as a Construction Superintendent for Frank Einsweiler who later became Mayor of Galena, Illinois. Fred believed firmly that Architects needed to understand completely how buildings were constructed to excel at their craft. Fred worked as an architect for firms in Decatur, Peoria, Ottawa and Champaign, Illinois and Dubuque, Iowa before joining the firm of Kenneth W. Brooks and Associates in Spokane in 1962. He later became Partner in the firm Brooks Hensley Creager Architects. Their work includes buildings throughout the Pacific Northwest. He was licensed to practice Architecture by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards and was active in Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Montana and Washington States. He was justifiably proud of many of the firm’s accomplishments among them the Republic of China Pavilion for Expo ‘74 in Spokane Waterfront Park; Deaconess Hospital in Spokane; Intermountain Gas Company in Boise, ID and many primary and secondary schools and college campus buildings and master plans. When awarding the firm an Award of Merit for the Intermountain Gas Company building the American Institute of Architects said: “Care, imagination and skill have made what might have been a prosaic utilitarian structure into a fine Architectural achievement” from the Source Book of American Architecture: 500 Notable Buildings from the 10th Century to the Present by G.E. Kidder Smith with foreword by Philip Goldberger. He worked with the Council of Churches in Spokane to site and design Inspiration Point overlooking the Spokane River as part of the Master Plan for Riverfront Park. Fred departed Spokane to teach architecture at Tunghai University, Taichung Taiwan and at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He held the positions of Associate Professor of Architecture and Director of Research and was offering continuing professional education courses at UH Manoa recently before his death. His work there took him to The Marshall Islands, American Samoa, Fiji and China. His work with students at UH Manoa included the design of a new sustainable settlement on Rongelap Atoll within the Republic of the Marshall Islands. On sabbatical, he was a guest lecturer at Paris Sorbonne University and The University of Manchester in the UK. As a Mid-Century Modernist Architect, Fred drew inspiration from Louis Sullivan, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe; Walter Gropius and Frank Lloyd Wright. Sullivan’s dictate: “Form Follows Function” became a guiding principle. A fun weekend for Fred would invariably involve tours of local modern architecture, wherever he might be. Fred was well travelled and enjoyed many cities especially Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, London and Helsinki. He also enjoyed collaboration with and among many in the design profession including artists, landscape architects, subcontractors, builders, educators and his clients. He was especially interested in the ideas and developing careers of his design students and young architects. Fred enjoyed the arts and performed in community theatre. He was part of a troupe called the Galena Art Theatre at Turner Hall and part of the local movement to save the historic theatre. In Spokane, he put his design skills to work as a set designer for the Spokane Civic Theatre. A true Epicurean, Fred lived life to the fullest. To quote W. Somerset Maugham “It’s a very funny thing about life: if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.” His tastes were decidedly English from Tanqueray Gin to Jaguar Automobiles. Fred was devoted to civic life and engagement. He was appointed by the Governor of Illinois to serve as a Commissioner of the Jo Daviess County Housing Authority while residing in Galena. He was especially proud to be a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, New Jersey Chapter. He was a Mason and an Elk in Galena, IL. In Spokane he served as Council President at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church as well as President of the Board, Riverview Retirement Community. He was a longtime member of the American Institute of Architects and held positions at the local, regional and national level. He was instrumental in establishing the Spokane Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute and served as its President. He was also active in the American Society of Military Engineers. Fred passed away at Straub Clinic & Hospital in Honolulu after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife L. Susan Horn, his sons Doric and Kurt (Barbara), their Mother Evelyn Creager as well as three grandchildren, four great-grandchildren two nieces and a nephew. Fred was interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific overlooking Honolulu and the Pacific Ocean which he so dearly loved. Memorials in his honor may be made to the Inland Northwest Architectural Foundation: 827 West 1st Avenue Suite 323 Spokane, WA 99201; (509) 747-5498.