Re­mem­ber­ing Gen. Fret­terd

Record Observer - - Obituaries - By ABBY AN­DREWS aan­drews@car­o­line­times­record.com

FEDERALSBURG — News of the pass­ing of re­tired Lt. Gen. James Fret­terd, for­mer ad­ju­tant gen­eral of the Mary­land Na­tional Guard, spread across Mary­land and be­yond over the week­end, but it hit par­tic­u­larly hard in Fret­terd’s na­tive Caro­line County.

Fret­terd, 86, died Satur­day, Nov. 26, at his home in Federalsburg, sur­rounded by loved ones.

“It was with great sad­ness we learned of Gen­eral Fret­terd’s pass­ing yes­ter­day,” said the Caro­line County Govern­ment in a re­leased state­ment on Face­book. “Though bril­liant leader and tac­ti­cian who trav­eled the world and re­ceived many great honors, he never for­got his roots in Caro­line County. He was a pa­triot and a de­voted fam­ily man. We are so proud to have one of our County govern­ment build­ings named in his honor. Love and con­do­lences to his fam­ily, es­pe­cially his daugh­ters Linda and Laura.”

Though born on Staten Is­land, N.Y., Fret­terd joined the Mary­land Na­tional Guard as a pri­vate on his 20th birth­day, Nov. 2, 1950.

Over the next 52 years, Fret­terd rose through the ranks, ul­ti­mately achiev­ing the sec­ond-high­est of­fi­cer rank and serv­ing as ad­ju­tant gen­eral, the head of the Mary­land Na­tional Guard, from 1987 un­til his re­tire­ment in 2003, thus be­com­ing the sec­ond long­est serv­ing ad­ju­tant gen­eral since 1794.

“To achieve that rank is quite a re­mark­able ac­com­plish­ment,” Caro­line County Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent Wil­bur Le­ven­good said Mon­day. “We don’t have many gen­er­als that come from a small ru­ral area like Caro­line County.”

In 2006, the com­mis­sion­ers de­cided to re­store the old Den­ton Ar­mory, the same one where Fret­terd had first re­ported as a new re­cruit in 1950.

When the $2.7 mil­lion project was com­pleted, a ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony was held in Novem­ber 2008 to rechris­ten the build­ing the Gen. James F. Fret­terd Com­mu­nity Center.

That day, Fret­terd stood in what was once the drill hall, steps from where he had been in 1950, last in a line of new re­cruits, and re­flected on ev­ery­thing that hap­pened to him over the en­su­ing years.

“Only in Amer­ica can some­thing like me hap­pen,” Fret­terd said that day.

Marty Gangemi, a for­mer Caro­line County com­mis­sioner who had been in of­fice when the de­ci­sion was made to name the build­ing for Fret­terd, said at the ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony in 2008 the re­tired gen­eral was a mod­est man and a known “sol­dier’s gen­eral.”

“He was a lit­tle em­bar­rassed when we asked to name the build­ing after him,” Gangemi said that day.

Sue Sim­mons, direc­tor of the Caro­line County Depart­ment of Recreation and Parks, whose of­fices were moved into the ren­o­vated com­mu­nity center, said Mon­day she got to know Fret­terd and his fam­ily after the de­ci­sion was an­nounced to name the build­ing for him.

Sim­mons said she knew of him be­fore, due to his for­mer po­si­tion as ad­ju­tant gen­eral, but she had not known him per­son­ally.

“Frankly, his ti­tle and stature made a lit­tle peon like my­self fairly ner­vous,” Sim­mons said. “But as I got to know him and his fam­ily, noth­ing could have been fur­ther from the truth.”

Sim­mons said Fret­terd was warm and en­gag­ing, and full of great sto­ries.

“He possessed a re­mark­able mem­ory,” Sim­mons said. “His sto­ries made the facility come alive, with all of its his­tory and ser­vice.”

Sim­mons said she con­sid­ers hav­ing a small hand in sav­ing the old ar­mory and get­ting to know Fret­terd, his wife, Ellen, and their daugh­ters, Linda and Laura, in the process to be one of the great honors of her ca­reer.

Gov. Larry Ho­gan or­dered on Mon­day the Mary­land flag to be low­ered to half­staff across the state to mark the pass­ing of Fret­terd.

Mary­land flags flew at half-staff from sun­rise on Mon­day, Nov. 28, through sun­set on Fri­day, Dec. 2.

“The First Lady and I send our sin­cer­est con­do­lences to Gen­eral Fret­terd’s fam­ily, friends, and loved ones, and we join the en­tire Mar yland Na­tional Guard in com­mem­o­rat­ing the pass­ing of a con­sum­mate sol­dier and beloved com­mu­nity fig­ure,” Ho­gan said. “Gen­eral Fret­terd served the State of Mary­land and our na­tion with great honor and dis­tinc­tion. He leaves a legacy of achieve­ment that will for­ever stand as an ex­am­ple of self­less ser­vice and com­mit­ment for Mary­land’s Cit­i­zen Sol­diers and Air­men.”

Fret­terd was a grad­u­ate of the U.S. Army’s Com­mand and Gen­eral Staff Col­lege, a grad­u­ate of the U.S. Army War Col­lege. He was also a 1999 grad­u­ate of the Col­lege of In­ter­na­tional and Se­cu­rity Stud­ies and the Ge­orge C. Mar­shall Euro­pean Center for Se­cu­rity Stud­ies. In 1987, he at­tended the Se­nior Ex­ec­u­tives Pro­gram in Na­tional and In­ter­na­tional Se­cu­rity at Har­vard Univer­sity. He earned a Bach­e­lor of Science de­gree from the Univer­sity of the State of

New York in Al­bany, N.Y.

He chaired the Na­tional Guard Steer­ing Com­mit­tee on guard par­tic­i­pa­tion in in­ter­na­tional af­fairs, which in­cludes over­sight of the State Part­ner­ship for Peace Pro­gram. He trav­elled ex­ten­sively to Europe, es­tab­lish­ing and so­lid­i­fy­ing Mary­land’s re­la­tion­ship with the Baltic Re­pub­lic of Es­to­nia, for­merly part of the Soviet Union and Bos­nia.

His as­sign­ments were var­ied and chal­leng­ing. He served as a com­pany com­man­der and later S3 of the 2nd Bat­tal­ion, 115th In­fantr y.

Fret­terd re­ceived a di­rect ap­point­ment as a 2nd Lieu­tenant in July 1956. He earned a Bach­e­lor of Science De­gree in So­ci­ol­ogy for the Univer­sity of the State of New York. He also was a grad­u­ate of the Army Com­mand and Staff Col­lege and grad­u­ated from the Se­nior Re­serve Com­man­der’s course for the Army War Col­lege.

He later served as com­man­der of the 115th Mil­i­tary Po­lice Bat­tal­ion.

Among his many mil­i­tary dec­o­ra­tions are the Dis­tin­guished Ser­vice Medal, the Le­gion of Merit, and the Dis­tin­guished Ser­vice Cross, state of Mary­land.

Fret­terd was pre­ceded by his wife Ellen in 2010 and is sur­vived by two daugh­ters, Linda Earls (Chris) of Greens­boro, and Laura Pa­trick (Bruce) of Har­ring­ton, Del.; a brother, Charles R. Fret­terd of Brandon, MS; and four grand­chil­dren: Am­ber Pa­trick (18), Ryan Pa­trick (16), Ryan Earls (24), and Mor­gan Earls (11).

Fu­neral ser­vices for Fret­terd will be held at 11 a.m. Fri­day, Dec. 2, at the Fret­terd Com­mu­nity Center at 107 S. Fourth St., Den­ton.

A pub­lic visi­ta­tion will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, at the Fret­terd Com­mu­nity Center, and one hour be­fore the ser­vice. The in­ter­ment will be in the Bloomery Ceme­tery in Smithville.

The fam­ily re­quests that, in lieu of flow­ers, friends make a do­na­tion to the James and Ellen Fret­terd Foun­da­tion at Na­tional Guard As­so­ci­a­tion of Mary­land, P.O. Box 16675, Bal­ti­more, MD 21221, to­ward ed­u­ca­tional schol­ar­ships for Mary­land Na­tional Guard sol­diers, air­men and their fam­i­lies.

To of­fer on­line con­do­lences, visit moore­fu­ner­al­homepa.com.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTOI

Lt. Gen James F. Fret­terd’s last salute at his re­tire­ment din­ner Feb 22, 2003, near Bal­ti­more after 52 years in the Army Na­tional Guard, 16 as Ad­ju­tant Gen­eral.

ARTIST POR­TRAIT BY LISA EGELI

LT. GEN. (MD) JAMES F. FRET­TERD

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.