Fredric E. Bulleit, 90, served in WWII and Korea, Armstrong retiree, enjoyed poker

By on July 23, 2014

Fredric E. Bulleit, 90, of Moravian Manor, Lititz, died peacefully Sunday, July 20, 2014, with his family by his side.

Born in Corydon, Ind., he was the husband of Betty Finnegan Bulleit, and they celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary on September 1. He is the son of the late William Joseph and Louise Miller Bulleit.

Fred graduated from Corydon High School in 1942 and volunteered to join the Army Air Corps. He was called to active duty in 1943. He spent one month at Kessler Field, MS for basic training. He then spent two and a half months at the University of Alabama and was then transferred to San Antonio, Texas, for classification. On June 1, he was assigned as an Aviation Cadet to the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center to begin the first stage of pilot training. This was followed by travels to Curtis Field, Brady, Texas; San Angelo, Texas; and finally to Lubbock, Texas, where he received his Pilot Wings and commission as a 2nd Lieutenant with the Air Force on March 12, 1944.

Flight and crew training continued in Dodge City, Kansas; Shreveport, La.; and Lake Charles, La. The crew was assigned a new B26D to fly to South America with five stops before reaching Natal, Brazil. Their trip to Europe required several stops including Ascension Island; Casablanca, Morocco; and Naples, Italy. The crew was then picked up by a B26 from the 37th Squadron, 17th Bomb Group, and taken to their assignment near Bastia, Corsica.

The crew, with Bulleit as pilot, flew several missions out of Dijon, France, with the 10th mission scheduled for Christmas Eve 1944. On this mission they were flying in the fourth position when flak knocked out the starboard engine. On a single engine, they began to return to base when fighters shot out most controls and forced all members to bailout. The crew bailed out safely and were captured by the Germans. They were turned over to the Luftwaffe for interrogation and a transfer to the permanent prison camp at Stalag Luft I in Barth, Germany. They were liberated by the Russians in April 1945, and Fred was returned to the U.S. in June. He was honorably discharged from active duty on Oct. 1, 1945.

After the war, he enrolled at Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind., where he joined the Sigma Chi Fraternity. He and Betty were married in September 1946, and she was subsequently employed by the University. Fred received his B.S. degree in Business in June 1948.

After graduation, he was employed by Armstrong Cork Co. and began work in accounting in Macon, Ga. He later became the Assistant Controller. Prior to the Korean War he joined the U.S. Air Force Reserve, Air Material Unit. During the Korean War, he served as the Director of Finance for the Japan Air Defense Force. In August 1952, he returned to reserve status. After returning to Macon, Ga., he was named Manager of Production Planning and then moved to Lancaster, where he became Manager of Production Planning for the Building Materials Operation. In 1960, he was made Director of Production Planning for the Company and in 1976 became the Vice President of Materials Management with corporate wide duties including production planning, purchasing, and transportation. In 1983, his responsibilities were broadened to include two additional functions of Industrial Engineering and Quality Assurance, giving him the title of Vice President and Director of Manufacturing Science. He retired from Armstrong World Industries in 1989.

As a member of the First United Methodist Church, he served as their representative in the Lancaster County Council of Churches and became their President in 1972. He served on the Board of the United Way and became their President in 1975. He was a member of the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) and served as their local President. In 1970, he became the International President of APICS. In 1972, he became a member of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church and later served as President. In 1981, he and Betty joined the Lititz Moravian Conference, and he became a member of the Board of Trustees and later their President. He also served on the Boards of the Moravian College and Linden Hall.

After retiring from Armstrong, Fred and Betty traveled widely to Australia, Africa, and Europe. They purchased a home in California in 1993 where they spent the winter months. Fred was an avid golfer and played with a poker group for over 55 years. He was a member of the Lancaster County Club and the Ironwood Country Club in Palm Desert, Calif.

In addition to his wife; he is survived by three sons: William M., husband of Laura M. Bulleit, Houghton, Mich.; Robert F., husband of Jeni W. Bulleit, Verona, Wisc.; Thomas D., husband of Susan E. Bulleit, Phoenix, Md.; and five grandchildren: Brittany, Carly, Clayton, Erin, and Gregory.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Life Celebration Memorial Service at the Lititz Moravian Church, 8 Church Square, on Friday, July 25, at 11 a.m. with The Rev. Dean R. Jurgen officiating. Interment will be private at the Lititz Moravian Cemetery. Friends may visit the family at the Eshbach Parlor of the Church on Friday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Moravian Manor, 300 W. Lemon St., Lititz, PA 17543 or Hospice and Community Care, 685 Good Dr., P.O. Box 4125, Lancaster, PA 17604-4125.

The arrangements have been entrusted to Spacht Life Celebration Home. Condolences may be offered at lifecelebration.com.

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