Frederick, William Nicholas Age 90, of Chicago, who was one of a very small number of America's most distinguished metal smiths, died at 11:50 p.m. Friday, May 11, 2012 in Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Chicago. Born Dec. 18, 1921, in the farming community of Sycamore where he attended the classic "one-room schoolhouse". Enlisting in the Armed Forces in 1942, he as he put it, "fought the Battle of the Charles River Basin" when stationed in Boston as an Ensign. Being in the Navy allowed him to attend Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received his Aeronautical Engineering degree. This background undoubtedly is responsible for the inventive structural form in some of his designs. When he was separated from the Navy in 1946, Bill pursued his BFA and MFA degrees in Art from The School of Art Institute of Chicago, where he subsequently taught for six years. He was a member of the Arts Club of Chicago Among many diverse projects, liturgical and otherwise, some 400 or more chalices are singularly creative as he never repeated a design. Consistent and distinctive in his designs is the use of the hammered surface. This surface is unique to each craftsman. Bill preferred the textured instead of the smooth, polished surface; it appeared in most of his works. His long career was sustained by word of mouth, reception of many awards and articles in trade publications. Notable was the support afforded by his life partner of more than fifty years, the noted artist Ralph Arnold, who preceded him in death. Bill's creative importance is recognized by many clients, collectors, colleagues, and friends. His work is in several museums including the Art Institute of Chicago. A private burial service will be held at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Sycamore. A memorial service will be held in the near future. A memorial fund has been established for The Paul's Foundation, 3260 N. Lake Shore Drive, Suite 12A, Chicago, IL 60657. Arrangements were completed by Olson Funeral & Cremation Services, Ltd., Quiram Sycamore Chapel. Information or to leave a message of condolence visit www.olsonfh.com<http://www.olsonfh.com or 815-895-6589.
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Published in Chicago Sun-Times on May 15, 2012