Frederick Zumdahl Lesher

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Frederick Zumdahl Lesher

November 13, 2019

Frederick Zumdahl Lesher Frederick "Fred" Zumdahl Lesher
Frederick "Fred" Zumdahl Lesher passed away Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. He was 83 years old. He was the husband of Jolene F. Lesher. They shared 60 years of marriage.
Fred was the son of Maurice Edwin and Iva Maude Lesher. He graduated from Clinton High School, Clinton, Iowa, in 1954 and went on to attend Carthage College in Carthage, Ill., where he obtained bachelor's degrees in English and biology and met Jolene. They married in June of 1959. Fred continued his education at the University of Iowa, where he earned a masters of liberal arts in 1962. He taught at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and later at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minn., before moving to La Crosse in 1965, for employment at UW-La Crosse, as an associate professor of English. He taught entry level English and world literature. He taught at the Guangxi Teachers Education University in Nanning, China, in 1989-90. After his retirement in 1998, he enjoyed reading to the children at the campus child center.
His passion for the written word was intertwined in his love for birds and all of God's creation. Fred watched birds and recorded his sightings his whole life. His contributions to the discovery and journaling of bird life are numerous. He was a passionate member of The Wisconsin Society of Ornithology, The Minnesota Ornithologists Union and The Iowa Ornithologists Union, receiving the Silver Passenger Pigeon Award in 1997 and the Bronze in 2011, for outstanding contributions to promote the field of ornithology. He also received the MOU Award for outstanding contributions to Minnesota ornithology and birding, 2012. He helped form the La Crosse (Coulee Region) Audubon Society and enjoyed leading the Christmas Bird Counts for many years. He participated in the North American Breeding Bird Survey, tracking bird population changes. Fred's journals and his bird location sightings are available on the UW-La Crosse Murphy Library website.
Fred is survived by his wife, Jolene; son, Jonathan (Michelle) Lesher; daughter, June Lesher (Robert Spiller) and daughter, Sarah (Greg) Burdick; grandchildren, Alex, Eric, Jacob, Naomi, Caleb, Danielle, Karissa, Jared, Derek, Eve and Ben. He was preceded in death by his brother, James Lesher; and sister, Kathryn Reynolds.
There will be a visitation held from 1 p.m. until the time of service at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in La Crescent, Minn. Luncheon will follow. Private family burial will be held at a later date. Schumacher-Kish Funeral and Cremation Services of La Crescent is assisting the family. Online guestbook is available at
Published on November 15, 2019
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8 posts

Mary McGrath
Dec 07, 2019
Remember Fred - a very kind man- from the birding world. May he rest in peace.
Jeanne Becker
Nov 25, 2019
My deepest sympathies to all of you
Mike Every
Nov 22, 2019
I’m sorry, I’ll be Praying for comfort for you and your family Jon.
Joanne Cleven
Nov 17, 2019
You have my deepest sympathy.
Mark S Citsay, MOU Member
Nov 17, 2019
Rest in Peace Fred.
Al Batt
Nov 16, 2019
You are all in my thoughts and prayers. To live in the hearts of those we leave behind is to never die. Birds had a true friend in Fred.
Marsha Blank (Gundersen audiology technician)
Nov 15, 2019
Since moving to Florida it's the La Crosse Tribune I rely on for my updates.
While working at the clinics it was always a pleasure to see Fred and his wife in the waiting room, waiting for me.
Ive been helping Fred with his hearing aids for at least 25 years and knew him while he was well and knew him as his health declined.
I loved his stories and his passion for his birds.A treasure for this world while he was here.
May you rest in peace and fly free with your birds.
My deepest sympathy to his wife and his family.
Joyce Becwar
Nov 15, 2019
My condolences to all of you, You were so blessed having him in your life. Prayers and Blessings to you all.