This is the Fred we first met, then only a few hundred folks knew him.
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.
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
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.
He and I agreed that we were very lucky to have our closest friend as a wife.
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.
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
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
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.