Fred Walter Ambrose was superintendent of Grounds & Buildings at the State University of Iowa from May 15, 1941 to 1944, where he was in charge of the campus architectural planning and the maintenance performed by the Physical Plant. He then served as business manager and secretary of the University from September 1944 to December 1, 1954, when poor health led Ambrose to change his position to chief of Plant Utilization. He held this title until his death on August 26, 1959, at age 66. His poor health also led him to tender his resignation to E. F. Lindquist in May 1955 from his post as treasurer of the Measurement Research Center, Inc., and his membership on the Board of Trustees of the corporation. Ambrose previously worked as superintendent of Buildings and Grounds at the University of Wyoming from 1926 untl April 1941.
According to his obituary from the Daily Iowan student newspaper, Ambrose was born in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, where he graduated from Stevens Point Normal School. He also graduated from Stout Institute in Menomonie, Wisconsin, and studied architecture at the United YMCA Schools.
Ambrose married Laura Agnes Kearney on April 21, 1920. They had one son, John Frederic Ambrose. The Ambrose family attended St. Mary's Catholic Church, in Iowa City, Iowa.