The family of 80-year-old Fred Kaffenberger, who spent most of his life after the Marines honoring veterans, say they are taking solace in the way he died.
Kaffenberger retired from the Marine Corps and become a history and civics teacher. With a passion for learning, he researched his genealogy and discovered an ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary War. He joined the sons of the American Revolution and wore an era-replica uniform to honor other veterans and families, according to WDAF Kansas.
Fred dedicated countless hours honoring veterans at a number of places including parades, funerals, and decorating graves in cemeteries. In fact, the Marine was visiting the Leavenworth National Cemetery, helping to lay hundreds of wreaths when suddenly he collapsed.
The 80 year old died suddenly. Doctors still aren’t sure exactly why.
“Hollywood doesn’t write stories as great as this man’s story”, says DiGiovanni, the daughter of the veteran whose grave Kaffenberger was honoring.
His family says they can take solace in not only in how he died, but how he lived.
“This was the way he would have chosen to go” remarked Wanda, Fred’s wife. She continued, “How would you choose to go? Doing what you love to do and going in an instant? Yeah, I would too.”