Fred Jablonski - Obituary... July 22, 1948 / March. 24, 2007 - Gone Too Soon - R.I.P.
Photo of Fred Jablonski in 1966
Contributed by Larry Smith
Frederick Jablonski, Grateful Fred 58, resident of Sedona, passed away on Saturday, March 24, 2007 after a long battle with cancer.He was born July 22, 1948 in Toledo, Ohio to Vincent and Helen (Bielawski) Jablonski. Fred was a Veteran of the United States Army having served his country during the Vietnam War. He was a sharpshooter, and was awarded the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.
Fred was a barber and a drummer. He touched thousands with his smile, his kindness and through his music. During his teenage years Fred was a member of The Mods and played drums for them on their PECK 45-RPM single which is now a record that is highly sought after by record collectors around the world.
He is preceded in death by his parents; and leaves behind his wife of five years, Cindy Jablonski of Sedona; his son, Jeffrey Jablonski with his wife, Amy of Phoenix; his sister, Kathlene Ernst of Knoxville, Tennessee; his step-daughter, Alexis Preston of Sedona; and one grandchild.
A Memorial Service will be held at the Wesleyan Church in Sedona on April 5, 2007 at 2:00pm. Following the Memorial Service, a Celebration of Life will be held at the Sedona Elk's Lodge at 4:00pm.
For more information, please call (928) 204-1316. Fred will be laid to rest at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Cavecreek, on Friday, April 6, 2007 at 1:00pm.
Contributions can be made to the Arizona State Credit Union,
c/o G.F. Fred Jablonski.
An online guestbook is available at http://www.westcottfuneralhome.com
Fred Jablonski - from the Red Rock News; Sedona, AZ
by Tyler Midkiff - Larson Newspapers
Photo by, Mal Cooper/Larson Newspapers
Grateful Fred leaves the stage for the last time
By Tyler Midkiff - Larson Newspaper
Grateful Fred Jablonski, a well-known Sedona musician and drummer for the popular 1960's band The Mods, died from complications of cancer on March 24, He was 58. He is survived by his wife, Cindy; son, Jeffrey; sister, Kathleen; stepdaughter, Alexis; and one grandchild.
For 20 years, Jablonski ran The Razors Edge barber shop in Sedona, but his true passion was music. He played in dozens of bands during his life and even received international recognition as the drummer for The Mods. Only a teenager when he joined the band, Jablonski was forced to leave several years later when he was drafted to fight in Vietnam.
He was a tunnel rat during the war. With a flashlight in one hand and a semi-automatic pistol in the other, it was his job to crawl into the under-ground tunnel complexes to kill buried Vietcong and plant explosives. With enemies, booby traps and cave-ins a constant threat, it was one of the most dangerous jobs a Vietnam Soldier could have. And it was usually reserved for the smallest guy in the unit.
Jablonski once told a friend and Sedona musician Danny Rhodes a story from his days as a tunnel rat. One day, while crawling through a tunnel, he rounded a sharp corner and there was a Vietcong sitting there with an AK-47 pointed right at him, Rhodes said. For some reason the Vietcong didn’t fire at Jablonski and Jablonski returned the favor. He looked the man in his eyes, turned around and backed out of the tunnel. When he reached the surface, his commander asked him if he had seen anybody, Rhodes said, Yeah, I did; Jablonski told him. Well, did you engage him? he asked. He didn't Jablonski told him. The officer was furious and even threatened a court martial Rhodes said. He let me go, Jablonski explained. I didn't want to kill him. Even in war time is just shows his decency, Rhodes said. He was one of the most hospitable, open and accepting people I've ever met. He said.
From his home in Seymour, TN., Larry Smith, one of the last remaining members of The Mods, looked back on the years he spent with Jablonski. Jabo, as they called him, was like a brother to everyone in the band, he said. He was the best drummer we ever had, Smith said. He was a lot of fun to be around and all of the girls loved him.
The largest gig that The Mods ever played was when they played to 6,000 screaming fans in Grand Rapids, Mich. Today, their records, which sold for $1 at the time, fetch more than $500 among collectors.
For nearly 20 years Jablonski lost touch with the band until 1989 when he returned to Toledo, Ohio, and reunited The Mods to play a 45-minute set for some local Vietnam Veterans, Smith said.
Perhaps the liveliest member of the band, it was a big shock to Smith when he heard that Jablonski was sick, he said. Freddie told me that he had cancer of the jaw and he always believed it was caused by Agent Orange in Vietnam. Getting treatment from the Veterans Affairs hospital was difficult though, because the military denied his cancer was war-related.
People should be given the benefit of the doubt if they went through what he went through for his country, Rhodes said. I just hate that he went out like that. He was a war hero and the V.A.'s not giving enough money to bury him, he said. To help, Rhodes is taking collections for the Jablonski family at his shows.
Jablonski always supported local musicians, his wife Cindy Jablonski, said. And he made sure everyone had a good time, she said. He was known for cheering up bands on their off nights by crawling around under the tables and holding his lighter up to mock people who do that at concerts, Rhodes said.
Friend and bandmate K.B. Bren played dozens of benefit concerts with Jablonski over the years, he said. When Jablonski got sic, Bren, Rhodes, Hanna and others put on a benefit concert for him. It was the biggest one Bren had ever seen, he said. From as far away as Canada, Oregon, and Maine, people showed up to support Jablonski. And after putting on so many benefit shows for others, the irony wasn’t wasted on him.
Through the whole thing, he never lost his sense of humor, Hanna said. Day's before he died, Bren drove Jablonski to the veteran’s hospital in Prescott. His doctors were worried that the tumor in his jaw might burst an artery and cause him to bleed to death, Cindy Jablonski said. He didn't want her 16-year-old daughter, Alexis, to find him in that condition, so he checked in.
Just days from death, the only thing he was worried about was my speeding, Bren said with a laugh. Watch your speed, Jablonski told him as they traveled to the hospital.
When he checked in, he had difficulty breathing and speaking was nearly impossible, Cindy Jablonski said. He tried to talk to me, she said, but they weren't words. As he struggled to speak, Cindy comforted him. I love you, she told him. I love you too, he replied the clarity in his voice surprised her, she said.
You don't have to worry, she told him. You don't have to suffer anymore. Hours later Jablonski stopped breathing. That last I love you made the difference, Cindy Jablonski said. He'll be missed, but he was ready to go, Hanna said.
Services for Fred Jablonski will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 5 2007, at Christ Center Wesleyan Church, located at 580 Brewer Road. A celebration of Jablonski's life will follow at the Sedona Elks Lodge at 4 p.m. Burial services will be Friday, April 6, at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Cave Creek. .
R.I.P. Freddie July 22, 1948 / March. 24, 2007
Terry was a resident of the Toledo area for 47 years and he was well known for his many talents and likeable personality. He had been working as a maintenance man at various apartment complexes for the last few years. Prior to that, he had worked in management at two different mobile home parks in Toledo. In his twenties and thirties, Terry had worked in the display department at the former Hudson's store in Toledo and as a commercial artist for the former Rink's Bargain City stores.
Terry was also known for being a talented singer and musician in many of Toledo's rock n' roll groups. He was in involved in rock music throughout his teens and into his thirties while living in Toledo. Some of the area bands Terry was involved in were, The Imitations, The Mods, Orphic, Reyvanwood, New Renaissance Fair, Downtown Brown and Rage.
In recent years Terry had become a born-again Christian after accepting Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. Before his passing Terry was using his many talents at his home church, The North End Church of God in Toledo. Terry was studying to be a minister of the Gospel through Rhema Bible College. Terry will be deeply missed. Surviving are his mother, Earlene Smith of Rockwood, Tennessee; brother, Larry (Deborah) Smith of Holland, Ohio; sister, Jonelle (Larry) Blankenship of Toledo. Terry also leaves behind aunts, uncles and nieces and nephews that affectionately called
him, uncle T.
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