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On the first of December 2021, Fred (Freddy) B. Duesler, a 97 year old veteran of WWII, left his earthly body in the home he had built with his brother and his sons, surrounded by his family. The second son of Fred C. and Golda Duesler, he was born in Artesia, California and was raised in Artesia and South Gate. At age 17, with WWII in full swing, he followed his beloved brother and life-long best friend, Wallace (Wally) Duesler, and joined the Coast Guard. The night before he was going to ship out he went to a beach party and met his future wife, Patricia J. Hall, who was a Blue Book Hollywood model, Miss Santa Monica, and a first runner-up in the Miss California Pageant. Patricia, who was on a date with another man, said that the moment she saw Freddy, she “knew he was the man (she) was going to marry.” Freddy, who was on a date with another girl, liked to jokingly say that he did not remember meeting her.
The two, who were always admired for their movie star looks, were married on the popular radio show Bride and Groom in 1947. Their union, which lasted almost sixty years until Patricia passed away in 2006, produced four children: Deborah Duesler Thompson (Scott Thompson), Darcee Quigley, Derek Duesler (Gail Duesler), Drake Duesler (Sheelah Duesler), six grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren.
After returning home from WWII, Freddy attended Compton College and then went into business with his father and brother (Duesler and Sons). They were contractors who built quality homes all over Southern California. He and Patricia, their growing family, his parents, and his brother’s family, started their married lives in Downey, on a street named after the family. After living there for many years, they all settled in Tustin. Both brothers raised their families in Tustin before eventually retiring to San Clemente.
Freddy was an avid athlete, played a dozen sports, and was competitive in all of them. He is often remembered for body surfing in Newport Beach while smoking a cigar and for spearfishing for corbina with a homemade spear. He loved golf, had 3 holes in one, and shot his age twice. He, also, loved tennis and played competitively until he was ninety one.
Besides his love of sports, he deeply loved his family and friends and his country. He was a dedicated patriot who will be remembered for his sense of humor, his fun personality, his generosity, compassion, and thoughtfulness. He was kind to everyone he met, and he was an excellent husband, father and grandfather. His philosophy in life was to “be positive” and “not worry” about the little things. He always followed that adage except when he was not served what he considered a sufficient amount of butter with pancakes. He managed to avoid all of the instructions for how to live a long life by eating enormous amounts of butter, all kinds of candy (especially See’s) and over-salting everything; yet, somehow his health remained good until the last few months of his life. He is greatly missed by his four children, his grandchildren and great grandchildren, and everyone who knew him and benefited from his kind and generous nature.
The family intends to hold a private service in Napili, Maui, where Freddy and his family members have happily vacationed for the past forty five years.