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It is once again time to invite northern New Mexicans to celebrate the contributions of those who have so greatly enhanced life on the Hill. Living Treasures of Los Alamos will honor Lee A. Builta, Rosmarie H. Frederickson and Craig Martin at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Betty Ehart Senior Center. The public is invited to attend the ceremony and reception, sponsored by the Los Alamos National Bank.
Rosmarie H. Frederickson
Rosmarie H. Frederickson was born in Germany and came to the U.S. at age 12. She is the daughter of scientist Werner W. Hohenner, who was able to bring his family to the U.S. after the war, and once here he was able to help develop the Polaris missile.
The family moved several times, finally settling in the Washington D.C. area. She attended Temple University for two years, coming home to help run the household because her mother was dying of cancer. She finished her education at the University of Maryland. There she met her husband. After graduation, she worked several years as a third grade teacher in the area, but again there were many moves in her future.
How did Fredrickson become an active volunteer in so many community organizations?
“Some people just don’t know how to say no,” she said laughing. “All of these things are important things to get done. Being an active volunteer allows one to make new friends in a new community at the same time one is being helpful. This was very helpful to me to settle in, in each new location”
“I like numbers and careful work,” she said, and maybe this is why Frederickson seems to end up as treasurer of every organization she’s involved in.
Frederickson came to Los Alamos in 1980 when her mathematician husband Paul joined Los Alamos National Laboratory to work in supercomputing. Her four children were becoming more independent and she was ready for a new challenge. She was accepted into the Women in Science Reentry Program at UNM-LA. Inspired by her husband’s career in computers, she decided to become a computer engineer, earning first an associate and then a B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of New Mexico. A work-study position at EGG led to a permanent assignment. With some interruptions in service to follow her husband to Norway, Germany and California, she continued her career at EGG until turning her badge last December.
The first volunteer activity in Los Alamos was with the Los Alamos Aquatomics Margie, Jim and Howard were all swimmers and Fredrickson traveled with the swim team on trips and served as a timekeeper and stroke and turn judge.
Frederickson has long been involved in the Los Alamos Branch of the American Association of University Women. The focus of AAUW is to promote education for all, and on women’s issues such as pay equity. Frederickson served on the AAUW board for over a decade and as treasurer for five years. She helped coordinate a state convention in Los Alamos, and as Public Policy Chair kept the group informed on political issues.
On the state board as the funds’ chair, she helped the New Mexico AAUW raise $60,000 for the Corrine Wolfe Endowment Scholarship. Wolfe, a real New Mexico activist, espoused education and social issues. She is the only woman to have a portrait in the Round House. Wolfe has always been an inspiration to Frederickson.
One of the AAUW activities Fredrickson has enjoyed most is to organize and help judge the annual Science Fair in the public schools.
She has done this for many years. She also worked with others on teaching the “Reading Math” program, designed by an AAUW member to help youngster overcome their fear of math. She is also an active member of the AAUW Non-fiction Book Group.
Frederickson also served on the LA bus board, which helped to bring bus service to Los Alamos. This was a volunteer activity before the county was able to take over the operation.
As a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church she has taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School and sang in the choir for many years
Fredrickson is a member of the Red Cross Disaster Assistance Team. “We help people cope,” she said. The Red Cross makes sure food and shelter is available to those facing a crisis situation such as a fire here in Los Alamos. When the Red Cross opened a shelter in Española a few years ago during an especially harsh winter she spent many hours keeping people fed and comfortable.
Currently, Fredrickson devotes most of her volunteer hours to the League of Women Voters where she serves as treasurer. This had been a busy year for the League with the election. There were many forums and a Voter’s Guide each of which keeps many volunteers busy.
Frederickson serves on the board of LA Cares, a small, independent organization, which provides help to the needy of Los Alamos County. Financial aid, usually for rent or utility payments, is available once in a 12-month period. LA Cares offers supplemental food assistance and holds food distributions once a month, It usually serves between 80 and 100 families. “Most of our food comes from donations,” Fredrickson said. “We partner with letter carriers and the Boy Scouts to collect non-perishables and many churches and organizations collect food for the food bank year around. “We also purchase food.” The organization raises funds through the annual Crop Walk and the Yum Run.
An avid gardener, Fredrickson is a Master Gardener. “Our house was on the Garden Tour during the 90s and we had 190 visitors,” Frederickson said.
She sometimes works in the Master Gardener Demonstration Garden. She has coordinated the Science Fair Judges for that organization
In support of her husband Paul’s volunteer activities, she has opened her home to International Exchange Students and GSE team members. She has hosted many potluck suppers for the Rotary..
There are other things that do not involve volunteering she loves to do. During the summer, there are so many places to hike and during the winter there also are cross country skiing opportunities. She’s also enjoys cooking.
One of Fredrickson’s secrets to fitting in her many activities is not owning a television. She works to maintain her energy by staying in shape.