Fred was born in East Orange, NJ to the late Andrew Franklin Gruninger and Marion Crossett. He was raised in Fanwood, NJ where he attended Scotch Plains High School and was a multi-sport varsity letter winner. Fred subsequently attended Rutgers University where he played varsity baseball before graduating in 1953, earning both bachelor's and master's degrees.
He served as an officer in the United States Army and was honorably discharged in 1956. Fred became employed by Rutgers University in 1959, serving as an administrator and coach during his 40-year career, including 25 years as the Rutgers Athletic Director from 1973 through 1998. His accomplishments in that role were so extensive that he was inducted into both the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Rutgers University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2019.
Fred was a founding member of Christ Church of Martinsville, NJ which he and his wife planted and faithfully attended and supported for over 30 years. Upon retirement he moved to Whispering Pines, NC where he and his wife enjoyed 20 years before relocating to Bonita Springs, FL in 2019.
He is survived by his wife of over 66 years, Barbara; his three children Mark, Kate and Jack and their spouses, Nancy, Rick, and Wendi, respectively, as well as four grandchildren, Allison, David, Jake, and Zachary. Fred was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Andy, and Bob.
A private family service will be held in Bonita Springs, FL and Fred will be laid to rest back in his home state of New Jersey.
Fred will be remembered for his love of golf, his passion for Rutgers University and his dedication to countless student athletes. He was a man known for his integrity, honesty, and loyalty. Most importantly he was committed to his family, who loved him dearly and will miss him tremendously.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Frederick's memory may be made to:
Frederick E. and Barbara N. Gruninger Endowed Scholarship, New Brunswick, New Jersey US, https://give.rutgersfoundation.org/gruninger-scholarship/8278.html/?src=MTRIB
First Presbyterian Church of Bonita Springs, 9751 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs, Florida 34135 US, https://fpcbonita.org/give/
Avow Foundation, Naples (Florida), Florida US, https://avowcares.org/ways-to-give/