Fred B. Scheel
Inducted Saturday, September 16, 2006
Fred Scheel graduated from Moorhead High School in 1938. He studied forestry at the University of Minnesota and then worked as a riveter for Lockheed Aircraft in California. From 1942-46, Scheel went from Navy preflight to fighter pilot for the U.S. Marine Corps.
In 1946 Scheel entered his father’s retail hardware business while studying business at North Dakota Agricultural College, now North Dakota State University. Scheel assumed management of Scheels Hardware, Fargo, in 1947. In 2001 Scheel reduced his time with the business to allow more time for writing, fine art photography, reading, travel and mission work.
At age ten Scheel acquired his first camera, an Eastman Baby Brownie, and ever since he has considered himself a “serious amateur” photographer. When he was thirteen, he moved up to a $5 Kodak camera. Later that year, he had his first picture published in Sports Afield magazine. Scheel has studied photography under Ansel Adams and Brett Weston, who are regarded as the best black and white photographers. Scheel has published two books about photography. “A Search to See” includes photographs from his collection as well as his own black and white photographs. “A Search to See II” includes only his own black and white photographs.
While overseas in World War II, Scheel began a study of philosophy and poetry. He wrote his first short story in 1946 and in 1954 began writing poetry. In 2002, he published a book, “Poems and Other Words.”
Among his other interests, Scheel purchased an aerobatic plane in 1975, beginning 22 years of aerobatic flying. Over the years, Scheel has been active with area organizations including the Fargo Chamber of Commerce and Fargo-Moorhead YMCA. In 1990, Scheels was awarded an honorary doctorate from NDSU.
Scheel has donated his private photography collection to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. He has also contributed generously to many community organizations, including his church, local schools, NDSU, Fargo Air Museum, and Rourke Art Museum.
Fred and his wife Virginia have three children, Steve, Frank and Becki, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. He lives in Fargo, N.D.