Family Login:

Ralph Edward Frede

Share This Obituary

Send Flowers
 On-Line Flower Shop

Memories & Candles

“Ellen and family: Please accept my deepest sympathy and condolences on your loss. I only knew your dad through you, Ellen, but by reading the...Read More »
1 of 12 | Posted by: Alan Buller - Austin, TX

“It is with great sadness that I learned today of Ralph's passing. He was a mentor to me and so many of my colleagues. His legacy is reflected in all...Read More »
2 of 12 | Posted by: Larry Springer - Houston, TX

“I'll never forget the Christmas Alison and I were invited to share with Ralph and Martha because of our church friendship with our dear friends,...Read More »
3 of 12 | Posted by: Molly Ryan - Austin, TX

“Ralph Frede was generous in so many ways. He provided fund raising counsel to the Texas Medical Association Foundation and I had the fortunate...Read More »
4 of 12 | Posted by: Lisa Stark Walsh - Austin, TX

“Ralph had a rare insight into the motives and motivations of his audiences, whether in fund-raising or public relations. He was a great teacher and...Read More »
5 of 12 | Posted by: Sara McDaniel - Schulenburg, TX

“I met Mr. Frede during my tenure at BCM. He was one of the most special people I have ever had the pleasure of calling a friend. He had the ability...Read More »
6 of 12 | Posted by: Ottley Sims - Houston, TX

“Dear Martha, Anita and I were very sorry to hear of Ralph’s death. He was a wonderful colleague and friend, and I know that he will be...Read More »
7 of 12 | Posted by: Antonio M. Gotto, Jr., M.D. - NY

“Dear Phyllis: I'll never forget spending a morning with your Dad soon after I took the development job at the seminary. I needed help, and he seemed...Read More »
8 of 12 | Posted by: Nancy Springer-Baldwin - Austin, TX

“How sad to read about Ralph's passing. Such a wonderful mentor for me when joining the ranks of development colleagues in Houston. Martha helped...Read More »
9 of 12 | Posted by: Mary Martha Stinnett - Houston, TX

“Dear Martha and daughters/family, My thoughts and prayers are with you. Such a wonderful man, that Ralph Frede -- his humor, his intellect, his...Read More »
10 of 12 | Posted by: Barbara D. Langham, Ph.D., APR - TX

“Ralph was a dear friend of my Mom's (Anita Killen) for as long as I can remember. Though his work took him away from Austin, my mom shared stories of...Read More »
11 of 12 | Posted by: Carol Killen Hitzfelder - Austin, TX

“My heartfelt condolences to Ralph's family. I will remember Ralph as the gentle and happy man who came to "The Gathering" eager to participate in...Read More »
12 of 12 | Posted by: Joan Tomson - Austin, TX

RALPH EDWARD FREDE Ralph E. Frede, who died January 1, 2005, was born in Floydada, Texas on September 28, 1921 and lived in Amarillo before moving with his parents, Elmer and Marjorie Frede, to Austin in 1935. After graduating from Austin High School in 1939, Ralph attended the University of Texas at Austin where he served as editor of The Daily Texan, was inducted into the Friars Society, and served as president of Alpha Phi Omega. He received a Bachelor of Journalism degree in 1943 and an M.A. in Government in 1947. Ralph served in the United States Navy as Communications Officer and Executive Officer, U.S.S. LST 286. He commanded a Landing Support Craft (small rocket boat) in the first wave assault on Utah Beach in the invasion of Normandy. He participated in the invasion of Southern France and then moved on to the Pacific Theater, where he was operations officer of LST Group 105. After returning from the war, he met his future wife, Martha Chambers. They were married in 1946. Ralph joined the Austin Chamber of Commerce staff in 1947 as director of the public relations, civic affairs and education bureaus. He became Assistant to the Dean of Student Life at UT in 1948. In 1950, he opened a state office for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis in Austin. From 1952-56, he headed the NFIP office in Missouri. From 1956-1970, he was Director of Development and lecturer in Public Relations at the University of Houston. Then he became Vice President of Public Affairs of Baylor College of Medicine from 1970-89. After retiring, he worked as a consultant in fundraising, public relations and public affairs to non-profit organizations. Boy Scouts was a formative influence and continued to be an interest even after he became the father of five daughters. Ralph, an Eagle Scout, was the first person in Texas to receive the Vigil Degree of the Order of the Arrow. In Houston he served on the Board of the Sam Houston Council. He was honored with the Silver Beaver award. Ralph held strong convictions regarding the importance of integrity in the field of public relations and served in various leadership roles in the Public Relations Society of America and the American College Public Relations Association. He was recognized for his contributions to the field by being awarded both the Silver and Gold Anvil of PRSA, and ACPRA’s Exceptional Achievement Award. He was named Outstanding Public Relations Practitioner of the Year by the Texas Public Relations Association and later received its Golden Spur Award. Ralph was an enthusiastic member of the Rotary Club in Austin and in Houston, where he was proud to have served as president of the largest Rotary club in the world. He was a Paul Harris Fellow and a charter member of the President’s Council of the Rotary Club of Austin Foundation. He received the Service Above Self Award of the Austin Rotary Club. He married into the Episcopal Church. He embraced his new denomination and became a leader, serving on vestries at Grace Episcopal Church in Jefferson City, MO, St. Francis and Christ Church Cathedral in Houston, where he was Senior Warden and a trustee of the Cathedral Endowment Fund. In Austin, he was a director of the St. David’s Episcopal Church Foundation. Ralph served on the Advisory Board of the St. David’s Hospital Foundation and on the Advisory Committee of the Texas Union and the UT Psychology Department. He enjoyed participation in the UT SAGE program for many years. He was predeceased by his parents and his daughter, Gretchen. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Martha Chambers Frede and his daughters and sons-in-law: Phyllis and Rick Patrick and Sarah and Scott Jenkins of Austin, Beth and Adam Walmus of Sugar Land, and Ellen Frede and Steven Barnett of Princeton, N.J.; and by his grandchildren: Ginny and Dan Patrick, Emily and Jack Jenkins, Walker and Alicia Walmus, and Andrew Barnett. The family is grateful to Drs. Jerry Vandel, James Little, John Bertelson, and Abe Delgado, and to the ministering angels of Girling Home Health Care, The Summit at Westlake Hills, and Hospice Austin. They are especially grateful to Jane Louis for her loving and expert pastoral care through all stages of Ralph’s final days. A memorial service will be held at St. David’s Episcopal Church on Saturday, January 8th at 11 a.m., with the Reverend David Boyd officiating. Parking is available in the St. David’s parking garage. Enter between 7th and 8th on Trinity Street. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts to the St. David’s Church Foundation, PO Box 315, Austin, TX 78767, the Ralph Frede Endowed Scholarship in Public Relations, College of Communications, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712 or to the Alzheimer’s Association of Austin, 3420 Executive Center Drive, Austin, TX 78731. Memorials and guestbook online at