The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Fred Exle


July 3, 2018

IRONWOOD, Mich. - Fred Exle, 97, passed away peacefully in his sleep on July 1, 2018.

Fred was born in Seckavich, a small village in Yugoslavia, to Joseph and Katrini (Gerber) Exle on April 15, 1921. He was drafted into the German army at age 18 and spent four years as a POW in England.

He married Katharina (Katie) Riess on Nov. 2, 1948, which was her 19th birthday. He immigrated to the United States in 1955. During their 70 years together, they lived in Aurora, Ill., before moving to Pine Lake, Wis., in 1967, where they started Exle's Bar and Resort. Fred worked full-time at Tri-State in Mercer while also bartending and built the cabins which would become a part of the Pine Lake Lodge.

In 1972 they sold the bar and moved across the lake, where he spent a happy retirement building houses, traveling with his wife, Katie, spending time with many friends, and enjoying the good life.

At the age of 85 they moved to Ironwood and enjoyed a number of years there, only moving in with their daughter, Heidi, and son-in-law, Doug, two years ago.

He loved spending time with his family, his two grandchildren, Heather (John Hall) and Hillary and his three great-grandchildren, Curtis, Caylee and Claire, as well as his two dogs, Lucky and Gus.

Fred was one of a kind and a wonderful husband, father and grandfather, and will be missed every day of our lives.

Until we meet again, we love you, Opie.

At his request services will be held at a later date.

McKevitt-Patrick Funeral home is assisting the family.

For more information or to give online condolences, please visit or forward to Heidi at her home.


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