American Culture (BD Shadow)

American Culture written with pictures from 'Red Rock'

(Published: March 27, 2002 in Anchorage Daily News)


DR. HERMAN CHARLES FREDENBERG III, a well-known dentist known as the Tooth Shaman, died March 17, 2002, at University of Washington Medical Center from complications following a liver transplant on Feb. 5. His wife, Connie, was by his side.

A memorial bonfire will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at his home, 12322 Biscane Drive, Palmer. Call 244-6832 or 746-7284 for directions.

Dr. Fredenberg was born Nov. 16, 1949, in Keshena, Wis., to Herman II and Pauline Wychesit Fredenberg. He was a member of the Menominee Nation.

He lettered in every sport in high school in Window Rock, Ariz., by the time he graduated in 1968. He attended the University of New Mexico on a full scholarship to play football. He won a Kellog Scholarship to attend the University of Kentucky Dental School, where he completed a four-year program in just three years. He is the second American Indian in the country to become a dentist and was a longtime member of the Society of American Indian Dentists.

Dr. Fredenberg moved to Alaska in 1974 to fill a position for the Public Health Service at the ANS hospital. He established and maintained a private practice in Anchorage until last year, when he moved his practice to his family farm in Palmer.

His family wrote: "Fred was a strong, gentle, kind, generous and loving soul. A man with a genuinely good spirit who touched all who crossed his path. He is a man who will be deeply missed by his many patients, friends and extended family. Fred's death is a tragic loss to our world, but he creates a bright light in the heavens which must comfort and inspire us all."

Dr. Fredenberg is survived by his wife, Connie Fredenberg; children, Sean Irvin, Tecumseh Fredenberg, Satanta Fredenberg and Dorthy Wychesit Fredenberg, Nakatla Fredenberg, Grace and Othniel Oomittuk, and Kayuktuq Oomittuk; grandchildren, Jared and Sarah Rose Oomittuk, and Justin Leigh; siblings, Jim, Lacey, David and Tom Fredenberg, Clara Darby and Denise Kettering.

Dr. Fredenberg was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Dennis and Craig; and nephew, Dennis Joseph.

Donations may be made to Dr. George Blue Spruce Scholarship Fund, a program initiated by Dr. Fredenberg to encourage Native Americans to become dentists, in care of The Society of American Indian Dentists, P.O. Box 15107, Phoenix, AZ 85060.

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