Lt. Gen. James F. Fretterd
FEDERALSBURG — Lt. Gen. (MD) James F. Fretterd (ret.) of Federalsburg, Md., died Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, at his home; he was surrounded by his loving daughters, Laura and Linda, and his doting caregiver, Theresa Gill Schroll. He was 86 years old.
Born in Staten Island, N.Y., Gen. Fretterd was the son of the late James Vincent Fretterd and Mildred Elizabeth Hallengren. His beautiful first lady and wife of 58 years, Ellen I. Fretterd, died on Dec. 3, 2010.
Gen. Fretterd served 52 years in the Maryland National Guard, having joined the Maryland National Guard’s Company H 2nd Battalion 115th Infantry, 29th Division, in February 1951. He was appointed adjutant general of Maryland in February 1987 after having served more than six years as the assistant adjutant general. He was reappointed in 1990, 1994 and 1999, thus becoming the second longest serving adjutant general since 1794.
A longtime resident of Caroline County, Md., Gen. 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.
Gen. Fretterd was promoted to major general upon appointment as adjutant general and was federally recognized shortly thereafter. He received a State of Maryland brevet promotion to lieutenant general in December 1994. Among his many military decorations are the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit and the Distinguished Service Cross, state of Maryland. The general was named “Marylander of the Year” for 1998 by the Marylander Colonial Society, received the first Louis V. Koerber Award for patriotism by the National Flag Day Foundation in 1999 and received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Baltimore on May 26, 2000. Gen. Fretterd retired on Feb. 3, 2003. On March 3, 2005, he was awarded the coveted Speaker’s Mace Medallion presented by the Maryland House of Delegates. The former Montrose School for Girls was renamed Camp Fretterd by the Maryland Board of Public Works on May 17, 1992, and the former National Guard Armory in Denton (where Fretterd first received his commission) was renamed the General James F. Fretterd Community Center on Nov. 13, 2008.
Gen. Fretterd is survived by two daughters, Linda Earls (Chris) of Greensboro, Md., and Laura Patrick (Bruce) of Harrington, Del.; and four grandchildren, Amber Patrick (18), Ryan Patrick (16), Ryan Earls (24) and Morgan Earls (11). He was a devoted and loving father and grandfather who served his state and country with pride.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 2, at the Fretterd Community Center at 107 S. Fourth St. in Denton, Md. There will be a public visitation at the Fretterd Community Center from 1 until 5 p.m. and from 6 until 8 on Thursday and one hour before the service on Friday. CH (COL) Sean Lee of the Maryland National Guard will officiate. The interment will be in the Bloomery Cemetery in Smithville, Md.
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, please visit moorefuneralhomepa.com.
JAMES F. FRETTERD