January 21, 1925 — January 25, 2022
Freddie F. Dodson, 97, of Pana passed away Tuesday, January 25, 2022 in Mattoon Rehab & Healthcare Center. He was born January 21, 1925 in Ramsey to the late James Franklin & Della (Porter) Dodson.
Fred served in the U.S. Army in the 16th Infantry Regiment. He served in World War II, inducted into service July 25, 1944 with basic training Fort Hood, Texas. He was sent to serve in France then on to Belgium and Germany, where he was a member of the rifle squad and went on day and night patrols. He was a runner caring messages under fire and kept in contact with other regiments, with his patrol being behind enemy lines. Fred was part of the Northern France Campaign, Andennes Campaign, Rhindeland Campaign and Central European Campaign, where he received 4 Bronze Stars, 2 Purple Hearts and the Good Conduct Medal. Fred was injured in the last conflict in Bonn, Germany and spent many months recovering at VA hospitals, then went on to work on the family farm.
Fred went to work at the Elgin Watch Factory. He came home to marry Amber L. Lindhorst on April 15, 1948 and together they purchased a farm. They made that farm successful and went on to build on that by buying & selling until they had a total of 3 different farms in Fayette County. They sold the last farm and moved to Pana to establish the Dodson Furniture and Homes. Amber preferred the sales part of the business, and Fred preferred the construction part and to be out building something or helping someone. He would build family homes for his brothers, Amber’s brothers & many families. He and Amber had succeeded in building a business for their family. Fred owned a grocery store in Bingham, built rental property in Pana, and had furniture stores in Benton, Taylorville, and Pana.
Fred said that he accepted Christ in a cornfield while working. He was a member of the Hopewell Baptist Church. He loved listening to the old church songs while he was at the nursing home and would always ask the nurses to sing to him.
Fred is survived by his children: Lois (Emil) Nattier, Salem, Ill.; Richard Dodson, Litchfield, Ill.; Mark (Kelly) Dodson, Pana, Ill.; grandchildren: Taylor Dodson, Caleb (Joy) Eck, Daniel Reynolds (Kindall Cox), Marissa (Tyler) Sims; great grandchildren: Mia Reynolds, Morgan Reynolds, Arlo Reynolds, Hudson Sims, Avery Sims; sister, Evelyn Brummett, Mattoon, Ill. He was also preceded in death by his wife of 73 years on November 29, 2021 and siblings: Nova Dodson, Margaret Lush, Jim Dodson, Louise Brummet, Harvey Dodson and Verna Hill.
Funeral services for Fred will be held on Saturday, January 29, 2022 in McCracken-Dean Funeral Home at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Randy Miller officiating. Burial will be in Ramsey Cemetery with graveside military rites by Pana Veterans Honor Guard. Visitation will be held Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until service time in the funeral home.
Memorials in Fred’s honor may be made to the Knobs Baptist Church and will be accepted by McCracken-Dean Funeral Home who is assisting the family.