Major (Ret) Frederick William Belau, 74, passed away peacefully in his own bed in Meridian, Idaho on June 28, 2019 from complications of congestive heart failure.
Fred was born on February 6, 1945 to William Junior and Fern Ellen Belau in Benkleman, Nebraska. During his youth, his family relocated to Roseville, CA, and he graduated from Roseville High School in 1963, joining the US Army not long after. After graduating from special forces medical training at Ft. Sam Houston,Texas, he was stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC with the 5th Special Forces Group. He married his wife of 52 years, Peggy Pensinger, in the Ft. Bragg Special Forces chapel in 1967. He was almost immediately transferred to Vietnam and served a deployment from 1967-1968. Fred continued his military career as a Member of the National Guard and Army Reserves in Idaho, fully retiring in 2005 at the rank of Major. The discipline and patriotism he learned in the Army never left him, as friends and family will attest.
After his service in the Vietnam war, Fred graduated from Sacramento State in 1971 and the University of Washington Medex Program as a Physician’s Assistant in 1973. He was employed with the Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, WA from 1973-1990, other than a one-year sabbatical for government work. In 1990, he and his family moved to Idaho where he worked at the Boise VA Medical Center until his retirement in 2015.
Fred was passionate about humanitarian work. Through Vets With A Mission, he and Peggy served many medical missions to Vietnam and Cambodia, working with the poorest of the poor in the outlying villages. His other interests included hunting, fishing, farming and camping. He loved having a nice yard and garden, and spending time with family. His family will always remember his big heart, love for our country, silly nicknames, amazing BBQ ribs, and how his laughter filled the whole room.
He is survived by his wife, Peggy Belau; his son, Bill Belau and wife, Jill; his daughter in law, Tonya Fletcher and her husband Kirk; grandchildren, Becca, Genevieve, and Ellie Belau and Wesley, Hailey, Dayne, Hope and Cole Fletcher, and sister; Bobby Mills and her husband, Gene.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Wilper and the entire Boise VA medical team for their excellent care and support over the last several years. Heartfelt thanks are also extended to St Luke’s Hospice, the Meridian Emergency Medical Services and Fire Department, and all family members and many friends who have been so supportive.
The Veterans Honor Ceremony will be July 11th from 11-11:30 am at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery, 10100 Horseshoe Bend Rd, Boise, Idaho 83714. Light refreshments to follow at Grueber Park, 2200 E. Hill Rd., Eagle, Idaho, 83616.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to: Vets With A Mission, Fisher House Foundation, United Service Organizations (USO), The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the US (VFW), or another Veteran’s organization of your choice.