The unexpected death of Duncanville Assistant City Manager Paul Frederiksen March 12 sent shockwaves through city hall Friday. Mayor Barry L. Gordon, the City Council, City Manager Aretha R. Ferrell-Benavides, and staff announced they are stunned and heartbroken upon learning of his death.
Duncanville City Manager Kevin Hugman hired Frederiksen as his Assistant City Manager in July, 2017. Frederikson had recently served as Interim City Manager while the Duncanville City Council worked through the lengthy process of recruiting a new Manager. As both Interim and Assistant City Manager he led city staff through the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and, more recently, the winter storm that impacted Texas and neighboring states.
Mayor Barry L. Gordon
“When disaster was declared, Paul put his already exceptional leadership skills into action,” said Mayor Barry L. Gordon. “We were in crisis mode dealing with unprecedented critical issues around the clock. There were no days off. Not for a man who led by example. Not until our city and citizens were taken care of.”
“Even prior to assuming the role of Interim City Manager, Paul consistently gave Duncanville his all,” Mayor Gordon added. “He was the dependable rock everyone looked to for wisdom, guidance, and discernment. He had the deep professional love and respect of the city council, the entire city staff, and his many peers and colleagues throughout the metroplex. There are no words that can sufficiently express the impact of his passing. We pray earnestly for his entire family for God’s strength.”
Councilmember Joe Veracruz said, “Paul demonstrated true leadership by assembling the Department Directors, implementing an emergency plan, and continually communicating with the City Council.”
Paul Frederiksen dedicated his life to serving others, through a long career in government that started with his work as a City of Dallas Planning Technician. His career path eventually led to his becoming the Town Manager of Argyle, and ultimately brought him to the City of Duncanville as the Assistant City Manager.
“I am very proud to have worked with Paul in the cities of Dallas and Duncanville,” said Councilmember Patrick Harvey. “I respected him for his focus and dedication. He was kind, considerate, compassionate, and conducted himself with integrity.”
Throughout his career, Frederiksen simultaneously focused on both the bigger picture and the individual citizen. He always tried to create a better place for people to live, work and play. Frederiksen worked hard for the citizenry without a wish for credit or accolade.
“The news of Paul Frederiksen passing came as heartfelt shock,” said Councilmember Don McBurnett. “This is a tremendous loss for the City Council, his coworkers, friends and family. He was well liked and led us through a tumultuous time of Covid, budget, snow storms and more as our Interim City Manager. When the news was received there was not a dry eye at City Hall. Prayers for his family and the countless people he touched.”
Paul Frederiksen will be remembered by Duncanville City Council and staff as a champion for this city and its residents.
“My husband, Ted Benavides, and I have known Paul for many years, and I was very excited to finally work alongside him after being given the opportunity to serve as Duncanville’s City Manager,” said Aretha R. Ferrell-Benavides. “Our city has lost a knowledgeable and dedicated public servant and I have lost a friend.”
Paul Frederiksen is survived by his wife, Jackie, and three sons, of Keller. A memorial service will be held at Northwood Church in Keller at 1 p.m. Friday March 19.