I was asked to write about my ex-husband and since there are some interesting things about him which are not too embarrassing to the family I will tell a few of them.
Fred was always interested in flying. As a child living in the country around Glen Ellen, he witnessed a small plane crash landing in a nearby pasture. As he was running to see the crash, he met the pilot running the other way, presumably to avoid the explosion of the gas tanks.
Nothing like that happened, but young Fred was inspired to build model airplanes, and throw them out the second story window after setting them on fire.
Unlike other youngsters who went on to fame and fortune in the aviation business, teen aged Fred was burdened with farm work, and did not get near anything to do with aviation until he joined the Navy.
During the Korean Conflict years he was stationed in Texas and Moffett Field training to repair the electrical systems in aircraft.
After we got married, all the employment was in aviation electronics, and we were able to buy a house in the Bay Area on his salary. For the 17 years of family life, I was never obliged to go outside the home and earn money just to make ends meet.
This kind of life style is not possible now, where both man and wife need an income.
Recently some new personal anecdotes have come to light about Fred, and I was able to come up with a new story about his involvement in aviation.
Besides being a workaholic, he was a high functioning alcoholic. This was a running battle for years, and it finally caught up with him in the form of pancreatic cancer.
I was told by family members that on his death bed in the hospice care, the day before he died, his coworkers at the aviation maintenance facility were calling him to fix a problem for them.
This is really way above and beyond the call of duty, and where others were disturbed by the actions of the co-workers, I was not.
Fred would have wanted it that way, as he knew he was the expert on the systems at the facility, so never retired, but died with his “working boots” on.