Wednesday, May 06, 2015


It was right at 40 years ago when I met Fred.

 I was going to visit a friend in Fred's subdivision after she suffered a death and her family. Fred was in his yard. I will not accuse him of doing any actual yard work. He was just in his yard.

I told him who I was looking for and he told me rather-of-factly I was at the wrong house, pleasantly rerouting me. We introduced one another and I guess I must've given him a business card because later that year he invited me to come and speak to service club.

We had frequent contact in the 10 years after that. Over the years, I did some legal work for his family (it is fair to say that his sons were "adventurous" and often "spirited").  Do I have that about right, Brian?  The last few years, I didn't see him as much but our encounters were always a true pleasure. 

Fred was a beautiful, intelligent, opinionated and comprehensively stubborn person but we agreed on one thing, we liked each other's company.  He was one of about 20 people who had my unlisted phone number while I was State's Attorney. If Fred had something to say, I wanted to hear it.

I know his wonderful spirit lives on in his children and I pray for their comfort on his passing. My life was enriched by that incidental encounter in 1975 and I truly hope I added a little bit to his journey, as well.

There were already not enough Fred Cawthons in the world and now we have one fewer. Godspeed to a good man.


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