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Published: Tuesday, 7/29/2008

Ex-Jeep manager was at Normandy as an infantryman

Frederick Red Peltier, a former Jeep manager who fought in the Normandy invasion during World War II, died of heart failure Saturday in the Darlington Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in West Toledo. He was 89.

His son, Frederick, described Mr. Peltier as a hard-working and patriotic family man who firmly believed in the American dream.

My father just appreciated the fact that you could work hard and get ahead, his son said. His time in the military gave him a sense of political involvement and a sense of love for his country.

Raised in a modest household as one of seven children, Mr. Peltier worked at a grocery store in his youth, which gave him his tireless work ethic, his son said.

Along with his five brothers, Mr. Peltier joined the military soon after graduating from St. Joseph Central Catholic High School in Fremont.

During World War II, he served with the Army in the European and Pacific theaters. He charged the beaches as an infantryman during the invasion of Normandy and lost multiple toes to frostbite while stationed in the Aleutian Islands of the North Pacific, receiving three Bronze Stars during his tour of duty.

After returning home, he married Mary Hoffman on Jan. 15, 1947. She died Nov. 9, 1993.

Mr. Peltier worked at the former Herbrand Corp., Fremont, early in his career, ultimately rising to become the company s production control manager.

He started working for Jeep in Toledo in the early 1960s and he held positions that included manager of forging operations and superintendent of manufacturing before retiring in 1980.

His son said Mr. Peltier never missed a day at the factory.

Though Mr. Peltier rarely spoke about what he saw during the Normandy invasion, he loved to talk about his time in the military, his son said. That made him patriotic and politically involved, a staunch Democrat who loved to talk politics.

Mr. Peltier served on the Ohio Democratic Party s central and executive committees, and was Fremont s city auditor from 1948 to 1951. He was re-elected to the office in 1979 but declined the post, citing health concerns.

In his spare time, Mr. Peltier enjoyed gardening at his home in Fremont and rooted for the Detroit Tigers and Notre Dame football. He was a life member of Fremont s Veterans of Foreign Wars post.

Surviving are his son, Frederick, and two grandsons.

There will be no visitation. A private memorial service will be held in Fremont. The Keller-Ochs-Koch Funeral Home, Fremont, is handling arrangements. The family suggests tributes to a charity of the donor s choice.



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