Mr. Kannasto, 86, passed away September 18, 2012, at the Laurel Pines Retirement Lodge, White City, Ore. where he had been a resident for several months. Fred was born May 2, 1926, in Ashland, Oregon, the son of John and Mary Kannasto.
He received all of his public school education in Ashland, having graduated from Ashland High School in 1944. While at Ashland High School, Fred participated in team sports. In his senior year, both the football and basketball teams enjoyed winning seasons with the biggest prize going to the Ashland High School basketball team winning the 1944 Oregon state high school basketball championship.
After Fred's high school graduation in 1944, he joined the U.S. Marine Corp where he received his basic training at Camp Pendleton, San Diego, Calif. After finishing basic training Fred was assigned to the 3rd Marine Division that was shipped to the ongoing South Pacific war. During the last twelve months of World War II his Marine unit was then deployed to fight in the brutal battle for the ultimate conquest of the small island of Iwo Jima.
At the end of World War II in 1945 Fred returned to Ashland and enrolled at Southern Oregon College. While at college he was also a member of the 1946 undefeated football team.
For approximately 20 years Fred was a member of the Lords and Ladies Square Dance Club. This group performed at several different venues throughout Southern Oregon. Also, an important member of the club was Fred's longtime dance partner, the late Hazel Rice.
Fred was a lifetime member of the Ashland Christian Church where he enjoyed bible study, church social activities, and the Sunday sermons given by Pastor Jim Larson.
Fred grew up in a large family of siblings; five sisters and four brothers. The remaining surviving family members are Dolly DeSantis, San Mateo, Calif., Raymond Kannasto, Salem, Ore., and Harry Kannasto, Ashland, Ore. Fred is also survived by a large number of nieces and nephews.
A memorial service for Fred H. Kannasto will be held at 3:00 p.m., Saturday, October 27, 2012, at the Christian Church of Ashland, 318 B Street, Ashland, Oregon.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Ashland Christian Church. Arrangements by Litwiller-Simonsen Funeral Home, Ashland, Ore. www.litwillersimonsen.com