Fred Carl Polmanteer, 74, of Benton Harbor, MI passed away Thursday, March 18, 2021 at Riverridge Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Niles, MI.
Fred was born on August 31, 1946 in Benton Harbor, Michigan to Flossie and Merle Polmanteer. He was a proud and loyal Benton Harbor Tigers fan, graduating from Benton Harbor High School in 1964.
Fred received an Associate of Arts degree at Lake Michigan College and then attended Michigan State University, graduating with a Business Degree. He remained a life-long Spartan fan and loved going to MSU football and basketball games with friends and family, as well as attending the Berrien County MSU Alumni Association’s Steak and Suds event every year. A highlight for Fred was meeting both Tom Izzo and Mark Dantonio one year.
After graduating from MSU, Fred was appointed by the Governor of Michigan to enter an Officer Training School in the Michigan Army National Guard. After six years of service, he was honorably discharged.
In March, 1970, Fred and Jan Karsten were married in St. Joseph, and after their honeymoon in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Fred began a 28 year career with the former Appliance Buyers Credit Corporation, later known as Whirlpool Financial Corporation. He retired in 1998.
Fred is survived by his former wife Jan, daughters Jill (Tim) Straub of St. Joseph, and Lynn (Matt) DeMarco of Port Jefferson, New York. Also surviving are his grandchildren Sidney, Addie and Elizabeth Straub, Johnny and Devin DeMarco, and cousins Mary Jane Hetherington Johnson and Janet Polmanteer Ragainis. Fred is also survived by his best friend and “brother” Leonard Casario and his wife Marty, who Fred adored (especially when she cooked for him).
Jill and Lynn were his pride and joy, and he loved to share with them his love of music and culture, as well as spending many summers of fun at the family home at Round Lake, Sister Lakes Michigan. Fred taught Jill and Lynn and many friends to water ski. His most famous student was the pop singer (at the time), Dion DiMucci. They had a lot of fun that day, and Fred was happy that Dion made it around the lake one time on two skis. Fred was well known for his love of entertaining and he was always the perfect host, passing his love of hosting family and friends onto his daughters.
Those who knew Fred knew of his love of summer, and the music of Jimmy Buffett and Bob Marley. In quieter times, he enjoyed listening to Frank Sinatra, and he was very proud that he and his family were able to see him perform in Chicago back in the late 1980’s. He also loved seeing plays and musicals and spent some time in his later years volunteering as an usher for the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra.
Fred was preceded in death by his parents, Jan’s parents, Arnie and Ruth Karsten, brother in law, John Karsten, and very close friend Jonny Grabemeyer.
His family would like to thank the staff at Caretel, Riveridge and everyone at Caring Circle for helping to make his last days comfortable.
Cremation has taken place. Memorials may be made to the Caring Circle or the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra.
Per his wishes, a memorial service will be held this summer.Print Obituary & Condolences