Tuesday, April 15, 2014



This is the Fred we first met, then only a few hundred folks knew him.

           fred 7 

This is how he will be remembered by hundreds of thousands of people… The preacher, the pastor, the missionary and the administrator.   


Fred Alton Brannen.  Fred visited and commented a couple years ago on the Shipslog. He became a regular. He read the blog comments and was fascinated  with Paula, Mel and Dar, loving to read of their way of life, as he read their blogs.  He told me once he wanted to meet them, if he ever got the chance to travel again.  He had learned a new word from the girls in the North wood, ‘Harvesting’ of meat for the table.

100_0448Brannen Family

Fred and Frances had an exciting life. They raised three wonderful daughters. We were not visiting friends, but for over 50 years we were corresponding friends, life took us separate paths

Fred & Frances 006

After retirement Fred and Frances bought this cabin in the edge of the Smoky’s. He named it “PUMZIKA” which in Swahili means “YOU REST”. No water or elec, but they were very familiar with that in the areas of the world they traveled and lived, from South America to Africa.

Sherry and I met Fred and Frances in 1958 and remained friends until now.  We were both in the military when we met. I in the USAF and Fred in the Coast Guard.  Once we got back in direct contact, we did become visiting friends.

That man loved his family. He called Frances his “Minister of Finance”, she shouldered the financial burden, managing all the currencies and money exchanges, allowing my friend to focus on his ‘Calling’, which he took very serious.


Fred and his mama, she still lives and ministers in her 90’s.

Fred & Frances 003fred22222

He and I agreed that we were very lucky to have our closest friend as a wife.

100_1994fred 6

Too many stories to tell, but for sure we have lost a great friend, but heaven is richer, if that is possible. We visited his ‘Pumzika’ a couple times. There he would tell us stories of Africa as we sat on the porch and listened to him play the guitar and sing.

Fred & Frances 013


Above is Gordon Bloodworth (Kenya), Me, Fred and Mark (our son).  Below Fred talking to Sherry just before we entered the Hundred Mile Wilderness.


Fred’s family back when his dad was alive

The Brannen Family


Ruthie, Tabitha, Frankie with Fred and Frances Brannen.


So to my friend Fred, who will forever be young. Who will forever be loved, who will always be remembered, and to a fellow sailor, I pray for you, a great journey, fair winds and following seas my friend until we meet again.

When you get time Tell my Mom and Dad we will see them in the morning.

Your friends, Sherry & Jack

Nite Shipslog


PS: I needed a loving couple on a cruise ship in my last book, Finally Love, and I could find no better examples than Fred & Frances to fit the bill.



A fitting reminder of that final crossing….


To all the Brannens, we love you all.


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

What a wonderful tribute to your good friend Fred. Wonderful friends like that are hard to come by indeed.

Anonymous said...

Condolences to you, Jack, on the passing of your friend. You have made a good post of remembrance. Fred leaves a good legacy.
In helping to edit your book, I enjoyed meeting the characters that represented Fred and Frances. People like that are beautiful lights shining in the darkness of this world.
May God comfort those Fred left behind.

bonnie k.

~mel said...

Oh... what to say? Fred certainly will be missed. I don't know what it was; but I had a connection with him the very first time he had visited my blog and vice versa ~ when I visited his. We had never met in person; but I KNOW I really would have enjoyed sitting down with him and Frances face to face and listen to and share stories. Heaven has certainly gained another angel from this temporary home we call Earth.

Glenda said...

Beautifully written memorial, Jack. He had an inspirational life on this earth; it's wonderful that you were reunited these past years, extending sympathy to you and Sherry.


Sorry to hear about the passing of your friend. This blog post was a wonderful tribute. PUMZIKA ACRES sounded special, indeed.

Chatty Crone said...

Oh my gosh I know from experience how hard it is to lose a friend - but a friend for all those years through all those times - how it must hurt. I am sorry for you and Sherry and his family. But I believe he is in Heaven and will be waiting for you!

betty said...

I am so sorry for the passing of Fred. I remember reading of him on your blog, Jack and Sherry. What a wonderful tribute to him; I hope his family will maybe have a chance to see it sometime down the road? Our loss, heaven's gain and I'm sure he is rejoicing right now in his new home.


Mevely317 said...

Jack and Sherry, I'm so very sorry to read of Fred's passing.

While Fred may have been known and respected by "hundreds of thousands", that doesn't diminish the bond he shared with you. I don't doubt that this big old world might seem a little diminished today.

Wonderful tribute to a gentleman I wish I'd have been blessed to know!

shirl72 said...

I am sorry about Fred hope he will
meet Mother and Dad and they can introduce him to Jim.
Psalms 23:4 Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thy rod and staff they comfort me.
1 Corinthians 15:55 O death, where is they sting? O grave where is thy victory:

I don't know why these scriptures
can to my mind. Dr. Stanley said it is OK to question God why these thing happen. I question every day why am I left along at this age.

Paula said...

My sympathy in the loss of your dear friend.