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Friends send tributes to Memory of Fred Rydholm (0043-Friend Tributes to Fred)

Friends send tributes to Memory of Fred Rydholm

Photo to the Right: Fred sitting on Giant Float Copper, We Wish to Buy and Preserve as Centerpiece to Museum

"Discussions with Fred led me to explore the Minnesota North Shore for petroglyphs and pictographs.  I was especially stimulated by his description of a petroglyph of a Sasquatch in the Au Train River area.  This led to my finding a magnificent petroglyph of a Sasquatch on the shore of the Baptism River.  I will miss his stimulating conversations."

            Charles Huver

From Incoming President, Glenn E. DeVlaminck

Dear Friends and Associates,

   It is with a heavy heart that I write these few lines. With the passing of our beloved Fred Rydholm, the question arises as to the future of our group; we remain determined that the cooperation of this group with other organizations will continue.

   There are new discoveries being made almost daily, and old data being reexamined as well, by our extended family of researchers. It is my intention to continue the work of Fred in trying to draw the threads together and complete the tapestry of history we all suspect to be true.

   Certainly no one can ever replace Fred. But I will continue where he left off. We still will build a museum and research center. We will still offer our services as a clearing house for new discoveries and new research via our website, newsletters, internet-working, and especially our conferences. I am honored to be able to call Fred Rydholm one of my closest friends. He will be missed.

   Dutifully yours, Glenn E. DeVlaminck

Glenn’s wife,  AAPS Secretary and conference coordinator, Judy M Johnson, adds:

   This is a team effort, especially now, to carry forward the vision of Fred Rydholm. I am heartened each time I hear of another person stepping up with offers to help in myriad ways, to build on our goals and dreams to work on the Copper Trail project, to donate funds, to give a presentation, share photos, add data for our website, to share research, to help at a conference, to talk and spread the word beyond our niche circles. I know all our board members add their sadness at the loss of Fred Rydholm, and their gratitude to have known and worked with him,  at the same time kicking up their own determination to stand behind AAPS doing all they can to keep it going. We also need your support, your time, your research, your networking, your membership fees, and donations to keep this energy moving.
Thank you all so very much.


This was published April 10 in the newspaper I work for. Sorry I have been so busy I am just now passing it on. Anyone  and everyone is welcom to publish it in their own publications, blogs, on Web sites, etc., as long as my name and the Batesville (Arkansas) Daily Guard gets on it.

Thanks. —Larry

FRED RYDHOLM: Noted historian dies

By Larry Stroud
Batesville (Arkansas) Daily Guard newspaper

C. Fred Rydholm influenced many people during his lifetime, including me, and will continue to influence others decades, even centuries, from now.

Rydholm died abut 7 p.m. April 4 in his home in Marquette, Mich. He was a noted historian, author, teacher and three-term Marquette mayor.

He inspired and influenced the way many people think and relate to history. Born March 11, 1924, Rydholm was a graduate of Albion College and served as a Navy hospital corpsman during World War II.

For most of his professional career, Rydholm taught seventh- and eighth-grade science, retiring from Marquette Public Schools in 1982. He spent 14 years as a Marquette City Commissioner, was a candidate for state representative in the 1960s, a counselor at Bay Cliff Health Camp and a wilderness guide at the Huron Mountain Club.

He is survived by his wife June and their sons, Fred K. Rydholm and Dan Rydholm, among others.

About a year and a half ago, Fred sent me an autographed copy of his book, “Michigan Copper: The Untold Story,” without which I could not have written The Copper Trail portion of a program presented at the Ancient Artifact Preservation Society’s annual convention in Marquette last fall. He enclosed a handwritten note basically saying he felt that I was the most qualified person to write The Copper Trail.

Actually, Fred was the most qualified person — no one else could come close to his knowledge about the vast amounts of pure natural copper in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and the history of its mining. But I’ll take the compliment, and thanks to my fellow researcher Myron Paine of Martinez, Calif., who apparently put a bug in Fred’s ear about whatever writing abilities I possess.

The Copper Trail is part of a chain of evidence presented at the conference stating that oceans were not barriers in ancient times, but were moving highways — allowing many peoples from many places to travel to the land that now is the Americas at many times before Christopher Columbus “discovered” it.

Many of those seafarers came to what is now known as Michigan, to gather and transport native copper back to their home countries, fueling the world’s Bronze Age. Bronze is 90 percent copper alloyed with 10 percent tin.

Michigan has more than 5,000 ancient copper mining pits, some as deep as 30 feet and all so old they were filled almost to ground level with decayed vegetable matter and wind-blown soil when they were discovered in the mid-1850s. Thousands upon thousands of stone hammers (used to batter pieces small enough to carry, from big, heated copper nuggets) were found in and around the mining pits.

The story of Michigan’s copper is not taught in our public schools today, but thanks to Fred more than anyone else, it will be in the future — and it certainly should be. It’s a fascinating story and part of our nation’s early history.

Fred was the catalyst behind the formation of the Ancient American Artifact Preservation Society and the first to have the idea for a planned museum to promote knowledge of the copper country and diffusionism. (Diffusionists believe the opposite of the traditional view of history, which teaches that Columbus and a few Norse were the first Europeans to reach the Americas, other than ancestors of American Indians who are said to have walked across the Bering land bridge which existed in the distant past.)

To read more about Fred, learn about the upcoming Conference on Ancient Copper or the 5th Annual AAPS Conference on Ancient America or buy “Michigan Copper: The Untold Story,” visit www.aaaps.org and click on the appropriate icons.

Fred proposed to build the museum over huge piece of native float copper which was discovered about 10 years ago. The huge copper nugget weighs an estimated 40 to 70 tons. No one knows how much of the nugget’s copper is underground, so there is no way to properly verify its weight.

The AAPS (the word “American” has been dropped since the society’s founding) made a down payment on the nugget and several acres of land a couple of years ago, but still owes about $340,000. The aaaps.org Web site also tells how to make donations to benefit the museum project..
After the museum is built, and as word gets out to schools about the copper country and the ancient copper trade, Fred’s influence on the teaching of history will be felt around the world.
From Author/Speaker/Researcher, Jay Wakefield

4-6-09   I am surprised this came so soon, and sad he could not see another AAPS in September. You should do a tribute in the AAPS newsletter. I will do so in our new book.

Fred was an inspiration to so many of us. I think the bottom line was his intelligence, which brought out the humor and optimism we all loved in him. I was surprised time after time when he came back with the funny response. He always chose to see the bright, funny side of things, and connected eyeball to eyeball. If only we could all learn how to do that, the world would be a better place. I am sad to lose him in life, but he will always be an inspiration for me.
Jay S. Wakefield

"Discussions with Fred led me to explore the Minnesota North Shore for petroglyphs and pictographs.  I was especially stimulated by his description of a petroglyph of a Sasquatch in the Au Train River area.  This led to my finding a magnificent petroglyph of a Sasquatch on the shore of the Baptism River.  I will miss his stimulating conversations.   Charles Huver"

From Pat Ryan O'Day of Marquette Monthly-
it is dimmer than it was last saturday and before...
he would want us to keep his light shining... but it's harder without him.   Fred was perhaps the all-time favorite teacher of my kids, and he certainly was the best storyteller I ever knew; those are only two of
his many strengths
he was committed to his community, and to our world; he loved its past,
its present and its future;  and it is an oh-so-much-better place because we were fortunate enough to have shared it with him. H
is legend was made possible by the support you gave him, June; you were a helpmate, a protector and his best friend. He was loved and respected, and his like won't come again soon. I feel privileged to have known him

From Lee Pennington, JoLe Productions

 Joy and I had a keen interest in researching the ancient copper mines of the Keweenaw and Isle Royale with the possibility of doing a documentary on the subject of ancient copper mining. In part, our interest had been spurred by the very important research and work already done by Fred Rydholm. 

Soon after we met Fred at an early AAAPF Conference in Big Bay, and after we immediately sensed the great passion Fred had both for life and for his quest of the ancient travelers, we realized that before the ancient copper documentary, there first should be the Mr. Copper piece.

Over a four-year period we made several trips to the UP where we interviewed and filmed Fred and got some sense of his depth and just how he represented the best of the great lake and land from which he sprang. Always there was that glow, that excitement, and that never-ending humor that made even a good world much better and a bad or mediocre world sheer paradise. 

During the interviews and film sessions and just during our many talking sessions, I literally hung onto every word Fred spoke.  I found that if you thought Fred had just said something very important, just hang around a minute; he’d say something even more important.  My greatest fear was that if I turned the camera off, I surely would miss something extremely important.  Indeed, on a couple of occasions, when the camera was off, that fear proved to be very prophetic.  For those times,  I now have only my memory to support some amazing things I heard.  The good news is when one listened to Fred, memory just seemed to hold on tighter and things weren’t lost so easily.

Always I tried to balance attempting to “capture as much on film as I could” with not wearing Fred down. I tried to let him decide when we needed to take breaks or just stop for the day.  After one particularly long session, a very long session, we together decided to quit for the day.  How long had we been going anyway?  It certainly was several hours. I was worried that I had over-extended Fred with that session.  We walked out into the living room where June was, and Fred laughed and said to her as he pointed to me, “I tried to wear him down, but I couldn’t.”

Another time at Fred and June’s camp in the Yellow Dog Plains, the cameras were rolling, and I lost all track of time.  The lighting was awful, but Fred was talking and I didn’t want to miss anything, so I let the cameras roll, recording that precious sound, even  if I were missing any usable visuals.  Every stone, every log, every piece of furniture, every artifact had its story, and Fred knew and remembered every detail. Sitting in a chair below the stairs, Fred told story after story as only he could.  It was getting late, far past lunchtime.  We had stopped earlier that morning at a Subway in Marquette and bought sandwiches before driving to the camp. Fred finished one story and looked as if he were about to start another one.  “I guess,” he said, “we’d better eat something before we starve.”

We went to the sunroom, fixed the sandwiches.  The stories, however, didn’t stop, even then, even there. “That bed, upstairs there,” Fred said. “I was born in that bed.”

After eating, we went to the winter quarters down by the small lake.  We sat on the front porch and Fred told more stories. Late in the day Fred said, “Before we go, I guess I need to tell you another story, but I can’t remember what it is.” He laughed.

On the way back to Marquette that day, Fred told of a man in California calling him and asking if Fred knew where the Kaufman mausoleum was and if Fred would take him there.  The man evidently was in charge of the estate. He had been having dreams about this woman who was in the mausoleum; he said she came to him and said she was cold and damp and would he bring a blanket to cover her.  Fred took the man to the mausoleum, and a storm came up.  As they stood inside, they realized a tile was missing from the roof and water was leaking in and falling on that woman’s crypt.

During the story, I wished I had the camera on; I did not. Just after Fred finished, he asked if we would like to see Granot Loma, and I said we would. We stopped, got out of the car, and Fred told more about the farm and buildings.

On the way back out the road from Granot Loma, something happened I’ve never seen before. Three ravens got in front of the car and flew just ahead of us.  When they got exhausted, they lit in the road.  As the car approached them, the ravens rose and flew again, still just ahead of us. Their tongues were hanging out. They looked angry or exhausted. There were woods on both sides of the road, but the ravens would not fly into the woods.  They stayed just in front of the car.  I asked Joy to reach me the small camera and as I drove, I filmed them through the windshield as they flew ahead of us, 

 “I’ve been here all my life,” Fred said, “and I’ve never seen anything like this.”

A few days later, Fred and I talked about the experience with the ravens.

“I think they were trying to tell us something,” I said.

Fred shook his head. “I think you’re right.” Then, as usual, he punctuated the statement with that wonderful laugh of his. 

The native people believe when raven appears there will be a positive change in the consciousness. After all, raven was the one who brought light into the darkness of the world. A little like Fred, I’d say, when I pause to think about it.


From Board Member Mary Turvey

Have been thinking of you and our group who all loved and learned so much from Fred. I only wish I had gotten to know him earlier in time. But we must 
carry on with his wishes and work harder now to get to where he wanted us to  go.

From Friend, Brian Jentoff:

Fred was a truly remarkable individual with boundless energy and a fantastic memory.  We have purchased his books over the years and given as gifts to out-of-area relatives who just thoroughly enjoyed their contents.  The common remark from them is how Fred would have the time to accumulate and catalog all of the information contained in his books.  Three years ago or so we were out on the Yellowdog Plains picking blueberries and had our digital camera along.  We walked into Fred's camp and took pictures of it. The digital prictures were printed on our computer printer and we sent them to Fred.  He was most appreciative and indicated that he didn't have many pictures of the camp himself.  Each time we visited the Yellowdog Plains we thought of Fred and his wife and the amount of work they did maintaining the camp and also with tree planting.  It can be said that Fred left everywhere he visited a better place.
From Norwegian Researcher, Frode Omdahl

a well known Norwegian poet and artist, Erik Bye, once wrote a tribute poem to another Norwegian poet and artist, Alf Prøysen. I have taken the liberty to, based on this poem, to write one in English, as a tribute to Fred, trying to express my feelings hearing about his passing. It was great to be allowed to meet him and get to know him when we were in USA some years ago. (I beg you to remember that English is not my first language.)
 Here we go:



It was a giant that crossed the country

And he was humble though he was great.

He stepped so careful where he was walking,

He knew his ways through the wilderness.

He knew his stories,

And loved to tell them

As we would listen with joy in hearts.


His tracks will later be filled with flowers

And we will see them where we all go.

On all the paths and in all the woodlands

We’ll hear his breath and we’ll miss him so.

He knew his stories,

And loved to tell them

As we would listen with joy in hearts.


This gentle giant will live amongst us,

We’ll hear him laugh even though he’s gone.

It was a great thing to learn to know him

It was a thrill then to hear him talk.

He knew his stories,

And loved to tell them

As we’ll remember with joy in hearts.


Respectfully, Frode Omdahl

 From Susan English:

I know you and Glenn are very much 'close family' with the Rydholms, and I am sure this has been a very sad time for you as well as for June and the rest of the family.  How does one not miss one such as Fred Rydholm? Yet how very lucky each  of us was to have known him in a multitude of unique ways..  I am sorry not to have been able to get up to the Marquette area the past couple of years, but was happy to see Fred in the Keweenaw last May when he drove over alone.   In two weeks, that will have been about a year ago when the Penningtons were up there filming.

Glenn will make an excellent AAPS president and with both of you officers, it very much looks as though the group, proposed museum, the research, and public relaitons within the diffusioinmist sciences will be a large part of your life's work.  As it was Fred's and June's.

We Love you Fred
The overall strength and vitality of Fred is what will be remembered, even his donation of his body to research at MSU is a powerful statement of how he lived. While his passing is sad, it was an expected event, as all of our passings are as we come upon late and long lives. However, I do not believe Fred spent a sad or depressed day in his life, and that is what is a great testimony to his being and sharing with us here. Every time any of us in Marquette step unto the Yellow Dog Plains or walk the Yellow Dog we will be helped along by the trails he laid, still rough and tumble after all these years. If we can stop the devastating mine planned for the area, we will certainly have to dedicate some of that preservation to Fred's spirit.
Fred was "one of those guys" a member of a generation of men and women during a time when leadership was a practical requirement. Being "one of those guys" was being part of the most amazing generation of men and women who truly built lives in courage and love, with barely a whimper during the roughest times, at least none that they displayed. Fred, as one of those guys, stood out even in that crowd of the greatest generation, for he was a leader of leaders, in everything he set forth with or upon.
Fred was always open-minded towards others for he allowed his own mind to wander amongst the stars, while his feet dusted off the atoms of stars long gone. He explored with curiosity, with desire, with a keen sense for detail even while maintaining a vast vision of history and the mystery that drives the wonder in us all.
When soon I shall stand on the sands of a Yellow Dog beach, looking up to a moonlit sky, there will be Fred Rydholm, gazing into the farther reaches of who we are, where we have been, what else is ‘out there’, what's new, still hoping to discover more than he has found out now. I know that, because he would never be satisfied in thinking he found out all there was to know, he was too much of a child of the universe for that. Having a mystery to solve is about the best thing that we could have going-lest ye become as a child… to enter heaven, as someone wise said- and I think Fred, more than anything, inspired me to always have a mystery in my pocket to pull out and keep trying to solve.
TO know Fred was to have your life, the mystery of life, become a bit richer and we shall all miss him physically, even while his life and presence instill us with great spirit. “One of THOSE kind of guys…..”
David Richarde




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