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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bob Frederick tribute: Jeff Bollig

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My best memory of Bob Frederick is how he made anyone he met and interacted with feel at ease, regardless of whether the situation was casual or professional.

One such example was at my wedding reception when I introduced him to my brother-in-law's mother. I knew that Bob had recruited an older brother to play basketball at KU some 20 years earlier. I wanted to see if Bob remembered her. He immediately recognized her and then regaled us about his trip to western Kansas to hopefully seal the deal and secure a commitment for KU.

He recreated to us his pitch to the parents about the virtues of being a Jayhawk. He said he thought he was making good progress until the parents told Bob that the decision would have to wait one more night. They were going to pray on it. Bob said he knew right there that there was no way God was going to let this kid chose Kansas over Notre Dame.

Moments later the music started for the Grand March, the traditional beginning of the wedding dance for those of Germanic heritage. Not missing a beat, Bob jumped up, took his place in line and followed others weaving around tables and traversing the dance floor. The march ended with the Flying Dutchman and the Chicken Dance. He was grinning from ear to ear, almost as much as he was in 1988 when KU won the NCAA title.

Rank did not matter to Bob Frederick. He was all about people and making them feel special in their own unique way. I consider myself

fortunate to have worked for him and to have been his friend.

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