Frederick Oscar Lorenz
October 8, 1948 - August 29, 2023

Frederick Oscar Lorenz

Frederick Oscar Lorenz
Oct 8, 1948 - Aug 29, 2023

Frederick Oscar Lorenz
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Frederick Oscar Lorenz, 74, of Ames, Iowa, passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, August 29 of Lewy Body Dementia.

Frederick (Fred) was born on October 8, 1948 in Two Rivers, Wisconsin to Elsie (Barthels) and Norman Lorenz, the third of four children. He graduated from Manitowoc Lutheran High School in 1966, received an A.A. from Bethany Lutheran College (1968), a B.S. in mathematics from Mankato State University (1970), and an M.S. in economics from South Dakota State University (1972). After working as a research analyst for Aid Association for Lutherans (now Thrivent) in Appleton, WI, he returned to graduate school at Iowa State University where he received a Ph.D in sociology (1981). He joined the faculty at Iowa State in 1980 where he held joint appointments in the Sociology (and later Psychology) and Statistics Departments, as well as the Institute for Social and Behavioral Research, before retiring in 2016.

As a statistical consultant, Fred interacted with many faculty members, seeking statistical advice and was known for his patience and clarity of explanation with the mathematically challenged. As Fred said: "Statistics--A great way to meet women!" Consulting with Roberta Vann resulted in their marriage in 1984, followed by the birth of their daughter, Katherine Vann-Lorenz in 1985.

Fred was both an outstanding researcher with numerous publications and an outstanding teacher, recognized in 2002 when he was named University Professor. Fred was an essential member of the team of scientists who launched a decades long study of Iowa families in farming communities, evaluating the response of these families to the economic crisis in rural Iowa. Fred was generous with his time and expertise, and his colleagues and students not only respected his statistical mentorship but also enjoyed his friendship and good humor.

Outside of the university, Fred was a loving husband and father, a loyal and generous member of his church and community, with a deep interest in both theology and science. He was also a lifelong runner, spending each lunch hour running in the YMCA woods, rain or shine. A nature and animal lover, Fred enjoyed hiking in the Pyrenees, the Rockies, or local Iowa forests, often stopping to try to hug a mountain goat or rattlesnake along the way.

Fred is survived by his wife, Roberta, daughter, Kate, and son-in-law, Florent Deloffre. He is also survived by his brother, Edward Lorenz (Diane), sister-in-law Connie Lorenz, as well as twelve much-loved nieces and nephews. Fred was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Irene Humann (James) and brother, Paul Lorenz.

A celebration of life will be held at 10:00 AM September 5 at Lord of Life Lutheran Church, 2126 Gable Ln, Ames, Iowa 50014 (additional parking available at the ISU Memorial Union). A reception will follow at Homewood Clubhouse, 401 E. 20th St., in Ames. A private burial will take place at the Iowa State University Cemetery in Ames.

In lieu of flowers, and as tribute to his lifelong love of higher learning, donations can be made in his name to Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, MN or to Iowa State University, directed to the Fred Lorenz Memorial Fund at the Iowa State University Foundation, 2505 University Boulevard, Ames, IA 50010. Gifts can also be made online at:

Online condolences may be directed to

Song Chen on Sep 5, 2023

It is very sad to hear the passing of Fred, who is such a kind and gentle colleague, very cheerful and supportive to students and collegues. His winter running with Ken Koelher and his skiing over the Skung river were part of good memory of mine for the department of statistics. I am glad I took a book doneted by Fred on sturcture equation models, left in the first floor common area when he retired. Rest in peace, Fred. Song Chen from Beijing

Leigh Phillips on Sep 3, 2023

Fred was on the search committee when I was hired, and he was also on my husband’s search committee—being an advocate for the both of us. We both have very fond memories of Fred, who was always optimistic, smiling, and kind.
Alison Phillips and Marcus Crede

Jeri Prescott on Sep 3, 2023

I was sorry to learn that Fred had died. I always enjoyed visits with him, especially at Joanna's gatherings.
My husband Jim who died several years ago often told me he admired Fred's work and especially his ability to work well with others.
My sympathy to you.

Jeri Prescott

Jean Nicol Jahren on Sep 2, 2023

Sending prayers of comfort and peace as your grieve Fred's death. Fred was my staff support congregational member when I worked at Bethesda. Later, the two of us served together on The Bridge Home's (ERP) board of directors. Fred was a very thoughtful and caring individual.

Vickie Setterberg on Sep 1, 2023

I worked with Fred on an infrequent basis at the Institute for Social & Behavioral Research for many years, but I always appreciated his friendly & kind personality, and also his sense of humor.
He was one of those people that you knew would usually be smiling, or at least not frowning, as he was always so light-hearted whenever I saw him. That's what I remember most about him!
I, too, have Lewy Body dementia, so understand some of what he endured. I pray for all of his family, that you know he is in a much better place, as I have come to terms with my disease, and look forward to the day when I know longer have to suffer with the ravages of what Lewy Body does to my brain & body every day.
Remember him as the man BEFORE the disease, and the many years you had with him, and will have with him again! That's how he would want you to remember him.
Vickie Setterberg
Former, Program Assistant
Institute for Social & Behavioral

Deb Seite on Sep 1, 2023

Dear Roberta and Kate;
Gary and I send you our condolences.
Fred was a kind friend and well liked colleague of dad's.
We were glad to have known him.
You are in our thoughts! Deb Seite

Joyce Miller (Schmidt) on Sep 1, 2023

My memories of Fred are mainly growing up knowing him in grade school, high school and going to the same church. He was always fun to be with, great sense of humor, very kind person. Sad to say, I didn't see Fred after we graduated from Manitowoc Lutheran High, each going our own ways. I am sad for his passing but joyful for his peace with Jesus in heaven. May God comfort you and the family with His promises of saving grace. God bless you all.

Cindy Yu on Sep 1, 2023

I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Fred, who is a very nice colleague of mine and supported me a lot during my first years at ISU. Please accept my heartfelt condolences during this incredibly difficult time.

Stephanie Hamilton on Sep 1, 2023

I had the fortunate experience of landing in Dr. Lorenz' STAT 401 in 1996. He was a great teacher, always clear and patient. Rest in peace. My condolences to his family.

Curt Stofferahn on Aug 31, 2023

Fred was on my dissertation committee, and he assisted me in the application of stationary Markov Chain models to quinquennial Iowa agriculture censuses to analyze how Iowa farm sizes (acres, value of production) changed over time. His patience as a teacher helped many of us overcome statistics phobia. Not only was he a great statistician and teacher, but he was also a drinking buddy and departmental softball team player.

Curt Stofferahn

Betty Tungesvik Gordon on Aug 31, 2023

To Fred's family,
My heartfelt sympathies to you all. I didn't know your husband or dad.

I read where he died of Lewy body dementia, LBD, which was 1 of the 5 things found in my husband's 2 brain autopsies to date.

He was never diagnosed with any of the following while living:

LBD, 3 tick-borne diseases: neuroborreliosis/chronic LYME disease, bartonella aka cat scratch disease 2 species, and borrelia miyamotoi/relapsing fever.

plus shocked to read of a cluster of 24 filarial nematode parasitic roundworms that had LYME inside of them!

Jack's brain made worldwide history with these 2 diseases:
LBD and lyme disease; never found together before!!

I was promised pathologist would write up a case study to be published in a medical journal, but he failed to do so due to his own frontal lobe dementia that hit him hard after he had performed Jack's 1st autopsy. Therefore, this discovery not reported by publication does NOT make his 1st for this major discovery.

2nd one was done; she failed to write case study for publication also.

So 3rd final ones being done now in New York City and New Orleans, NO, tick-borne disease research centers. When NO is done, they will write a combined case study for medical publication. I'm praying it's this year. This has been going on for 8 years of his death 9 yrs. Nov. 13, 2014.

Fred sounded like a wonderful, dedicated man to his lifetime of professions, a husband, dad, and family man.

May Fred RIP. Thank you for showing what he died from for other families like mine too.

May God comfort you now and in the days, months, and years to come.

Betty Gordon, Ames



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Lord of Life Lutheran Church
2126 Gable Lane
Ames, IA 50014
10:00 AM

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