About our "Very good friend".
By, Bill Wright
This is the Fred I knew. I first met Fred Kasch in the spring of 1999 at Bigfoot archery club. My wife and I were just starting traditional archery and shooting our recurves standing up close to the target butts. Fred walked up with a big smile, introduced himself and commented that we were standing right at his effective range, he asked if he could join us. I said “sure”. As we shot, he explained his self bow, and his disdain for “bug sprays” and how nice it was to see a husband and wife shooting together. Little did I know this was a start of one of the best friendships I have had in my life.
Special Moments shared.
We had a lot of memorable days and conversations but one event special to me was the day we shared together when I harvested my first Whitetail Deer with Traditional equipment.
Below is a photo I call Three Amigo's. Here is fellow Bigfoot member Bob Tastsides, Fred and myself. On this day, in the dark of it's early morning, we were walking to a ground blind he was to hunt. It was a perfect morning, just cold enough to see your breath. As we walked up a slight hillside, Fred paused and said, “Bill, Let’s hold up a bit”. We were both breathing a bit harder when he winked at me and said, “I am just not the man I was when I was 85”. I guess at the time he was about 92. I laughed a little, and then we both just turned up the hill and went on our way. Now as I think about it, I just hope to someday be half the man he was.
A bit of Fred's life as published in a recent article soon after his passing:
Frederick W. Kasch was born April 16, 1913, in Chicago. He was the third of four children born to Helen Louise DeWald Kasch and Frederick Moritz Kasch. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, where he played on the baseball team. In 1934, the team won the Big Ten Championship. He earned a doctorate each from New York University in 1956 and from Walden University in 1982.
Dr. Kasch met his first wife, Katherine “Taffy” McLaren, in Chicago. They married in 1939 and were together until her death in 1976. The couple had four children, including a son, Freddie, who served as a Navy pilot during the Vietnam War. Lt. Kasch died in 1967 during a bombing mission near Hanoi.
Dr. Kasch published many research papers and articles and received several honors, including the President's Council on Physical Fitness award. He was a member of New York Academy of Sciences and the San Diego County Heart Association and a board member of the American College of Sports Medicine, among other professional societies.
When Frederick Kasch arrived in San Diego in 1948, health clubs were few, and workouts were reserved for athletes. Heart attack victims and other recovering patients were advised to refrain from physical activity as long as possible.
Dr. Kasch disagreed with the prevailing wisdom that anyone older than 35 should cut down on exercise. Dr. Kasch, who jogged regularly long before it was popular, became a pioneer in the health and fitness field.
Whether canoeing on the Wisconsin River at age 71 or hiking Germany's Black Forest to celebrate his 85th birthday, Dr. Kasch showed that exercise was indeed the key to good health.
In 1948, Dr. Kasch became an assistant professor in physical education at what was then San Diego State College. He also coached gymnastics and baseball. In 1958, Dr. Kasch started one of the first adult-fitness programs in the nation. He pioneered long-term studies documenting the effect of exercise on the aging cardiovascular system.
“He was one of the first internationally recognized physiologists,” said John “Jack” Boyer, a physician and medical adviser to Dr. Kasch's adult-fitness class.
The program started as a class for men between the ages of 35 and 60 who were healthy and wanted to stay that way. It also included some men with health problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or who had suffered heart attacks.
Boyer said he and Dr. Kasch were openly criticized for their work in the early years.
“People thought when someone had a heart attack they should be still. People didn't realize that movement is important to the recovery of almost all diseases,” Boyer said.
Joyce Gattas, dean of San Diego State's College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, said Dr. Kasch made a real difference in the lives of thousands through his research and the Adult Fitness Clinic he established on campus.
“He was a man before his time,” Gattas said. “There weren't all these gyms 50 years ago like there are now. He was probably a lone voice out there talking about the importance of exercise.”
The university named its exercise lab in his honor in 1990 and in 1999 established an endowment in his name.
When he retired in 1980, he had more time to devote to skiing, hiking and longbow hunting. He loved working with wood and always made his own bows. In 2004, he went on a hunting trip in South Africa, which he called a high point in his life.
During a trip to one of his favorite places, Lake Geneva, Wis., Dr. Kasch met his second wife, Theodora “Teddie” Lottig. The two married in 1992 and would spend half the year in San Diego and the other half in Lake Geneva.
Dr. Kasch is survived by his wife, Teddie; his daughters, Katie Walter of Glen Ellyn, Ill., Margo Kasch of San Diego, and Helen “Honey” Swinford of Wheaton, Ill.; a sister, Emily Kasch of Elmhurst, Ill.; four stepchildren; two grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Bigfoot Archers decided to re-name our annual Traditional shoot to be forever called "Fred Kasch Traditional Shoot". It is with great pride that he was a part of my life and I know he was a part of so many others. This truly was a great man.
We have a display case with some memento’s of Fred's life and our friendship. Please stop by the club house and learn more about this amazing man.
Below are Some Pictures from the Dedication Ceremony at Big Foot on May 10, 2008 and random pictures of Fred.