Former colleagues remember Fred Krueger

He was familiar face in city, county politics

Those who worked with Fred Krueger had fond recollections this week of the former Shawano alderman, and for a time acting mayor, who passed away Monday at the age of 80.

Krueger was president of the Shawano Common Council during much of his tenure as alderman, which initially spanned from 1974 to 1998, according to records at City Hall.

However, archives from the Leader indicate he was first elected in 1967 as a write-in candidate and was ousted in the early 1970s for a year because of city re-districting.

In April 1998, Tom Tuma was voted in over Krueger. Tuma later resigned, and Krueger was re-appointed to fill the position in August 1999.

When he left office in June 2001, Krueger had set a record for being the city’s longest-serving alderman.

He also served as acting mayor from December 1977 to April 1978 after the passing of Martin Weinig.

He was also a member of the Shawano County Board for a time.

Those who worked with him on the Common Council remembered him mostly as someone who kept things running smoothly and unemotionally.

“He never got mad. He was a great guy,” said former mayor Russ Schmidt, who was elected in 1996 and was one of four mayors Krueger served under.

“He was very cool all the time and things always went very smoothly. There were no problems,” Schmidt said.

That was in spite of what Schmidt said was a period during which some aldermen wanted to shake things up.

“Fred did a nice job of keeping those guys in line,” he said.

“I enjoyed working with Fred,” said Rosella Gartzke, who served as city clerk/treasurer during Krueger’s tenure.

“He was a very positive person to have on the council,” she said. “He was always there.”

Former council member Elmer Martens also attested to Krueger’s reliability.

“He was a good, hard-working councilman whose word was always good. It was always honored,” Martens said. “He was always conscientious.”

Martens said Krueger always came to meetings prepared, “while some didn’t.”

Krueger was also remembered as a golfer and a card player.

“A fair golfer,” according to Martens, but, according to Schmidt, people loved playing cards with him.

“He was a card sharp,” Schmidt said.

Krueger also served on various commissions, including parks and recreation and Shawano Municipal Utilities.

Former mayor Lorna Marquardt was one of the city officials who most recently worked with Krueger.

“Fred and I served together both as alderpersons and more recently as fellow SMU commissioners,” she said. “Fred cared deeply for the community he served. He was a watchdog of taxpayer funds, carefully scrutinizing the annual budget. I considered Fred a mentor and a friend. He will be missed.”