J. Wayne Fredericks, 87, a business executive with international experience who served as the No. 2 official on African affairs for the State Department from 1961 to 1967, died Aug. 18 at a hospital in Bronxville, N.Y., after a stroke two days earlier.
A former official with the Kellogg Co. and Ford Foundation, Mr. Fredericks was long involved in Michigan politics, serving on a state health board and with a foreign policy discussion group. He came to the State Department in 1961 through his friendship with Michigan Gov. G. Mennen "Soapy" Williams (D), who had been appointed assistant secretary of state for African affairs.
Mr. Fredericks held the title of deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs and then briefly assumed Williams's job when the former governor left in 1966 to run unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate. He then was deputy to Joseph Palmer II.
In a Washington Post account of his resignation, Mr. Fredericks was reportedly well-regarded for handling most of the daily operations of Williams's tenure, a period when many countries were becoming newly independent of their colonial yokes. Some nations, such as Congo, were also enduring a combustible political climate. Others needed investment and direct assistance guarantees.
He was credited with drafting a well-received policy speech that President Lyndon B. Johnson gave to ambassadors from African nations in 1966.
He was a recipient of the State Department's Distinguished Honor Medal.
Jacob Wayne Fredericks was a native of Wakarusa, Ind., and a 1938 civil engineering graduate of Purdue University.
He was a B-17 pilot in the Army Air Forces during World War II and served in Europe and the Far East. His decorations included the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Bronze Star.
During the Korean War, he returned to service, in the Air Force, and was assigned to the Central Intelligence Agency.
He worked for Kellogg's foreign manufacturing division, building factories abroad. He joined the Ford Foundation in the late 1950s and was associate director of overseas development programs for South and Southeast Asia.
After leaving the State Department, Mr. Fredericks returned to the foundation as head of its Africa and Middle East programs. From 1973 to 1985, he was the Ford Motor Co.'s executive director of international affairs.
Over the years, he used his contacts in government and business to improve educational and development opportunities for disadvantaged groups -- blacks and others -- in South Africa.
Survivors include his wife, Anne Curtis Fredericks of Bronxville, whom he married in 1952; two children, William Fredericks of Bronxville and Maria Fredericks of New York; a brother; a sister; and two grandchildren.