Charles Frederick Kroger

Born on May 21, 1942

Departed on March 22, 2015 and resided in Atlanta, GA

Charles Frederick Kroger of Atlanta died March 22, 2015 of complications from progressive supranuclear palsy. Fred was born May 21, 1942 in Seward Nebraska to Allen and Evelyn Eckstein Kroger. He graduated from Concordia High School in Seward in 1960, and Concordia Teachers College in Seward with a BS in Education in 1964. He was a lettered athlete in 3 sports, in both high school and college.

He taught school from 1964 through 1968 at St. Paulus Lutheran School in San Francisco and Concordia College in Oakland CA. He began working for the Centers for Disease Control in 1968 as a program representative for the Santa Clara County Health Department. He later served as the Coordinator for VD Education for the San Francisco Health Department, and the Director for VD Information and Education for the Los Angeles County Department of Health. Fred moved to Atlanta in 1977 to continue working in various positions at CDC. He served as Senior Advisor for STD Education; Assistant to the Director of the Office of Public Affairs; Deputy Director Division of Health Education; Director of the National AIDS Information and Education Program; and he was the Director of the Division of Health Communication at the time of his retirement in 1998. He served as an instructor on the Adjunct Faculty at the Emory University School of Public Health from 1988 – 1998. He was the author of numerous publications in scientific and educational journals. During his career at CDC, he was a nationally known speaker, especially in the fields of STD prevention and health communication. He was the recipient of the US Public Health Service Superior Service Award in 1991, and the CDC/ATSDR Honor Award for Program Operation Management in 1991 and 1994.

Fred was active in community volunteer affairs prior to his retirement. He was a member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 1994; served as Committee Chair for several committees for the Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter American Red Cross; and was a member of the United Way Fulton County Advisory Committee. He served as a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Health Communications, and was an active member of his church, serving as congregational president for two terms, as an adult education teacher, and choir member.

He is survived by his wife, Jo Kroger and his son, Michael Kroger, both of Atlanta. Additionally he is survived by four step children, Stephanie Petersen of St. Louis, MO and her husband Eric; Sharlene Martin of Purcellville VA and her husband Jeff; John Otis Jr. of Sugar Hill GA; and Barrett Otis of Ashville NC. He is also survived by two sisters, Evelyn Kubert of Lincoln NE, and Gretchen Gleichman of Champaign IL, 10 step-grandchildren and 7 nieces and nephews. He was pre-deceased by his parents, a brother, David Kroger of Seward, NE, and a step-daughter, Jennifer Otis.

Funeral services will be held at Living Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1812 Cooledge Road in Tucker, Sunday, April 12 at 2:00 PM, the Reverend David Hardy officiating. Interment in the Living Grace memorial garden will follow the service. The family will greet guests at a reception to follow in the church fellowship hall.
In lieu of flowers, please make a memorial contribution to the charity of your choice.

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Guestbook Entries

  1. Christine Prue April 12, 2015 at 12:00 am - Reply

    Fred was my first boss at CDC — and he set a very high standard for all others to follow. He was an extraordinary encourager who had the gift of bringing out the best in people. He was a servant leader who kept his eyes on the mission at hand, not his personal ambitions or goals. He loved his family and he loved to laugh…and to make others laugh. Am sure he’s keeping the angelic hosts on their toes or at least giggling with some regularity. I’ve missed his presence and influence at CDC for many years, but now we’ll all miss him while fondly hanging on to all the lovely memory making moments we shared with him while he was with us.

  2. Susan Kirby April 13, 2015 at 12:00 am - Reply

    Fred was my first boss at CDC. He was a consummate professionall. He knew how to make anyone laugh and still get great work done. He inspired me to do great things by always telling me “well someone needs to do this right, are you up for that?” He cared much more about serving public health and what is right to do than he did what would have been good for his career. He let newbies flourish and kept us in line at the same time. With any other “first boss” I think I might have grown disillusioned with Public Health Service. Instead Fred moved us all to do the best work we could and then another 10%. I’ve thought of him often since he retired from CDC and I left CDC. He will always be a key figure in my career, someone I looked up to and admired greatly. We will miss his presence in this world. It leaves a great void for many of us who began our careers at CDC.

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