Frederick “Fred” Gerald Vogelsong, Jr.
A Modern Day Renaissance Man -
Frederick “Fred” Gerald Vogelsong, Jr., age 67, of Harrisburg, and formerly of Shippensburg and Middletown, passed away at home on Monday, May 21, 2018. Fred was born on Saturday, April 21, 1951 in Mechanicsburg to Shirley (McCurdy) Vogelsong and the late Frederick Gerald Vogelsong, Sr. In addition to his father, Fred is preceded in death by his sister, Wanda Bateman.
Fred’s survivors include his wife of 38 years, Kathleen “Kathy” M. (Spitler) Vogelsong; his daughter, Erin Vogelsong and her husband, Ben Rusiloski, and their two children: Benjamin and Ofelia Rusiloski, of Doylestown; his mother, Shirley Vogelsong of Mechanicsburg; his sister, Lucy Harper and her husband, Burt, of York; his four nieces: Heather Ege-Bridwell, Holly Newpower, Crystal Ege, Kerin Turner; and his nephew, Will Ege; as well as many more nieces and nephews.
Fred graduated from Cumberland Valley High School as part of the class of 1969. He retired from PA Percs Traffics Signals in Mechanicsburg, after 10 years of service working as a traffic signal technician. Prior to that job, Fred worked as a cable repair technician for many years. Fred was a modern day renaissance man with a vast array of interests - most of which were self-taught. In his younger years, he passionately embraced literature and music. Fred enjoyed reading classic literary works including the French philosopher, Albert Camus and the Swedish-American poet, Carl Sandburg. His favorite books could be identified by the numerous, colorful notations he made in the margins. In addition to his treasured books, music was also a significant part of his life. Fred reveled in the folk rock of the 60's and 70's. Some of his favorite artists included: Arlo Guthrie, Muddy Waters, Ry Cooder, Roger Waters, and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Fred also created melodies of his own. He was routinely found outside on a sunny Saturday morning, sitting in his lawn chair while plucking his banjo and playing along with his harmonica. If he wasn't listening to or creating music, he was whistling and humming aloud. One of his favorite tunes to hum along to was “The Motorcycle Song” by Arlo Guthrie.
Fred was a self-proclaimed homesteader. The Foxfire books had a permanent place on his bookshelf and he would look to them for insight on everything from growing corn, to building rabbit hutches, and making dandelion wine. Most of these activities were typically a success, except perhaps the dandelion wine. Fred was also particularly mechanically inclined. Not only could do most home repairs himself, he was also known to be a bit of an inventor. His focus was mainly on renewable energies, including wind turbines and fuel cells. Most of this research took place at his kitchen table. In his later years, he enjoyed feeding the birds and squirrels. Chippy was especially noteworthy; working in his garden and tending to his grape vines, blueberry bushes, and various fruit trees. He would read Lancaster Farming regularly and took pride in his organic farming techniques. His blueberries and cherries made their way into quite a few tasty cobblers.
Fred was the beloved Grampy to his grandchildren, Ofelia and Benjamin Rusiloski. He always looked forward to their visits and was known to purchase toys and movies that all of them could enjoy. Well, mainly he bought items that he would enjoy, but the grandkids usually benefited as well. He was especially adept at building Lego structures and flying drones in the house. Fred also enjoyed cooking. Some of his specialties included chicken wings (with small batch crafted hot sauce), sausage stuffing, deviled eggs, and Amish potato salad. He also served as the assistant cake baker for all birthdays and special holidays. He had a special place in his heart for cats, always owning one or two, but caring for many more. A few special four-legged souls include: Lucky, RJ, Whiskers, Little Jack, Brownie, and Mittens.
Fred will be truly missed. His size 13’s will be impossible to fill.
All are welcome to join Fred’s family at his gathering of family and friends on Saturday, June 2, 2018, from 11:00 a.m. until time of service at 12:00 p.m. at Myers - Buhrig Funeral Home and Crematory, 37 East Main Street, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055; with Celebrant George Spangler officiating. Fred’s family invites everyone to join them for a time of food and fellowship at the café next to Myers-Buhrig following the service. Cremation was private.
Fred’s family has entrusted his care to Myers – Buhrig Funeral Home and Crematory in Mechanicsburg, (717) 766-3421. Read Fred’s full obituary, view his memorial video and portrait, and sign his official guest book at Buhrig.com.