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Former legislator, Happy Chef founder Sal Frederick dies in Mankato

He served in the state House from 1985 to 992 and was in the state Hospitality Hall of Fame.

Marcel “Sal” Frederick

Marcel “Sal” Frederick, who served four terms in the state House of Representatives from 1985 to 1992, has died at age 86.

He was also known for founding the Happy Chef restaurant chain, based in Mankato, which once had 56 restaurants. The restaurants featured 36-foot-high chef statues out front. For many years, the statues would talk when you pushed a button.

In 2005, Frederick was inducted into the Minnesota Hospitality Hall of Fame and he was active for years on the board and as board president of the Minnesota Restaurant Association.

He was elected to the Legislature as a Republican (Independent-Republican, in those days) and served on Ag and Veterans committees.

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Frederick’s wife, Rose, died in 2003. He’ll be buried Friday at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Mankato. Visitation is Thursday at the church, from  4 to 8 p.m.