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Official Obituary of

Fred R. Amsler Jr.

August 7, 1933 ~ March 5, 2024 (age 90) 90 Years Old

Fred Amsler Jr. Obituary

Fred R. Amsler, Jr., 90, of Northumberland, passed away peacefully Tuesday, March 5, 2024.

Born August 7, 1933, in Oil City, PA, he was a son of the late Fred Ritts Amsler Sr. and Mary Elizabeth (Stahl) Amsler.

Fred grew up in Titusville, PA, and as a teenager he lived in Millcreek Township, near Erie. He graduated from the Millcreek High School (now known as McDowell High School) in 1951. Fred studied engineering at Carnegie Mellon University for one year, before transferring to Bucknell to complete his pre-med education. He graduated from Bucknell in 1955, and went on to Temple University Medical School, where he earned his MD in 1959. Fred Served a one year internship at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota, and, in 1960, began his resident training in Orthopedic Surgery at Hamot Hospital, Erie. After completing the first year of surgery residency, Fred entered the US Navy Medical Corps to serve his military obligations. (The federally mandated “Doctor Draft” was in effect at that time.)

In 1961, during his first year of service in the Navy, Fred served as the Assistant Medical Officer aboard the USS Boxer, LPH-4, a helicopter aircraft carrier, which was operating in the Caribbean at that time. In September 1962, just before the “Bay of Pigs” operation in Cuba occurred, Fred was transferred to the US Naval Hospital in Philadelphia to complete residence training in Orthopedic Surgery.

After completing the Orthopedic Surgery residency in 1965, he was assigned to serve on the staff of the US Naval Hospital in Camp Lejeune, NC. Less than a year later, at the height of the Vietnam War, he received “dispatch orders” to go to Vietnam to serve with a surgical team assigned to the Amphibious Force Alpha. The surgical team spent six months operating the hospital facilities on the USS Okinawa LPH-3 and another six months on the USS Iwo Jima, LHP-2. These medical facilities supported the marines that operated in the I-Corps sector if Vietnam next to the DMZ. 1967-1968 was a very busy year for the Navy and Marines in Vietnam, and sadly there were many casualties. After the year in Vietnam, the Navy transferred Fred back to the US, where he served on the surgical staff of the US Naval Hospital, St. Albans in Queens, NY. He was honorably discharged in July of 1969.

While Fred was serving in Vietnam, his wife, Ilene and their four children lived in Muncy. After nearly nine years in the US Navy, Fred and his family moved to Williamsport, where he began his civilian practice of orthopedic surgery with Francis V. Costello, MD and his associates. That practice was based at the Williamsport Hospital, and Devine Providence Hospital, Williamsport and served a large section of North Central PA; which included hospitals in Lewisburg, Muncy, Williamsport, Jersey Shore and Wellsboro.

In 1992 Fred retired from the practice of medicine, but he kept up his medical license to this day. During his retirement the family moved to Eagles Mere where they enjoyed their “Orchard House”. Fred and his family also enjoyed many of the next 20 years at their second home in Port Dover, Ontario, which is located on the north shore of Lake Erie. Boating, fishing and golf with friends and family kept everyone happy and busy. The family affectionately called their Port Dover home, “Camp Dover”.

Fred had a passion for flying and was an instrument rated pilot with FAA licenses for operating Glider, single-engine and multi-engine aircraft. He enjoyed being able to fly to see the children when they were away at school/college and take trips to the Bahamas and Florida. Fred shared his interest in aviation with his son, Jeffrey and daughter, Patricia, both of whom learned to fly. Jeffrey went on to become a Captain with Continental and United Airlines.

In addition to his interests in medicine, aviation, golf and boating, Fred was also an inventor. The Mattress Jack, which is his best known invention, is available online.

Fred was preceded in death by his wife, Ilene App Amsler in 2015 and his soul mate and dearest friend, Donna J. Amer, of Laporte in July 2019.

He is survived by his children, Patricia (Amsler) Becknell and her husband, George and their two daughters, Samantha and Sophie Becknell; Jeffrey Amsler and wife, Andrea  and their children, Madeline, Nicholas and Molly Amsler; Kathryn (Amsler) Corrigan and her husband, Mark and their son, Brian Corrigan and Karen (Amsler) Wukitsch and her husband, Mike.

A memorial service is being planned for the spring and will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers the family request memorial donations to be made in Fred’s memory to the Lewisburg Alliance Church, 137 Supplee Mill Rd. Lewisburg, PA 17837 or online at

The family is being assisted by Cronrath-Grenoble Funeral Home, S. Second and St. Louis Streets, Lewisburg.

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