Date Created: 12/20/2013
Last Updated: 12/27/2013

In loving memory of Fred Eden
5/16/1924 - 12/6/2013

Location: Damascus, Maryland

Visits: 43,936

This memorial was created in honor of Fred Eden formerly of Damascus, Maryland. Fred was born on May 16, 1924 in Washington, D.C., and passed on December 6, 2013. Fred was loved by many and will be dearly missed by all family and friends. A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, January 4, 2014 at 2:00pm, at the Guild Memorial Chapel at Asbury Methodist Village, 211 Russell Avenue, Gaithersburg, MD. If you would like to participate in the memorial choir, please arrive at the chapel at 1:00pm to rehearse the musical selections.


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From: Adam Eden Sunday, May 19, 2019
A tribute to Fred -

It feels hard to believe it's been six years since grandpop died. I can still feel his hand as he took his last breath, still hear that final exhale, waiting, wondering(would he breathe again?), hoping he had passed on, hoping he had found peace. He had little of that at the end, and maybe little of that through the years, but still, in the end, he was a husk, a shell of the man he had once been, and I yearned for him to let go, to move on. I held his hand and poured my love into him, all my memories and experiences with him, and told him it was ok, that we were ok, that we wouldn't forget, that he had given us all we needed. He let go.

I like to think I helped him, that he felt my presence and love and responded in some way, that I was pivotal in his transition from alive to... I'm not sure what, but it's not such an easy thing to say, or prove. I know what I felt, and maybe that's all that matters, that I wanted to help, that I was there to hold his hand, that I love him and never wanted him to suffer. But there were plenty of people who came to be there with him, his loving son who was by his side for hours and hours, and left because he had needed a break, needed relief, and missed his passing in the hour or so that he was gone. His great grandson, who came to see Fred an hour too late with his now deceased wife, the grief and confusion visible on his face when I told him his Opa had already passed, he left as quietly as his Opa, without another word. I had just arrived from LA, at grandpop's side for an hour or so when he slipped this mortal coil and moved beyond. How can I think it's more than mere happenstance?

I was speaking with an acquaintance about grandpop and his radio career at a party earlier this evening, and realizing how little I knew about grandpop's radio career, and wishing I knew more about it. I googled it when I got home and there was, unsurprisingly, not much on the interwebs about Fred Eden and his radio career in the mid 60's and 70's. There were a couple of mentions in comment sections of a few articles about WGMS from fans who remembered well the voices from their past. There was also this website started by my sister and possibly not viewed again since 2013 which really had me rolling down memory lane. I think of grandpop often, how cantankerous he was, how he gave the best hugs ever, how much he could love and hurt and how indiscriminate he was with both. It's hard to imagine he lived a decade on radio before I was ever born, but he did, mostly while inebriated, a state that I never witnessed him in.

I was born in 1977, not long after my maternal grandmother was killed, and not long after grandpop got sober. Witnessing my birth(which he did in my parents' home) he always said was miraculous and special. I believe, though he never said as much, that my birth was symbolic of the rebirth he had discovered in sobriety, and my birthday then, a moment of triumph and remembrance of that miracle and occasion. I wonder now if his special attention also involved providing a grandfatherly example beyond that of my maternal grandad, the man who shot and killed my grandmother. His presence and continued support in my life felt special and unique, whether perceived or real, immaterial. Despite his emotional outbursts and oftentimes cruel behavior, he remained unabusive physically, an important distinction given my family's history. He also remained capable of fierce love and tenderness, with a penchant for music, art and cooking that radiated outward to all his progeny. Though I received many puzzling and hurtful tirades from him, I also received much good advice, and saw him betimes at his most vulnerable, his most sensitive. He was truly a paradox.

This leads me to why I'm writing this in the first place, I don't need to say anything on Fred's behalf, didn't feel the need to express any of this prior to finding this website after half a dozen years, but seeing that there is not one tribute to my grandfather, even on a second rate site like this; that handsome, charismatic, angry SOB deserves at least one person to say he lived, and I remember. I remember the grilled Nathan's, veggies, kabobs, the yorkie pudding, horsey sauce, macaroni and cheese, the bear hugs that stole my breath, the smell of him, his Saabs, his simple yet classic style, boisterous laughs, beautiful smiles, shoveling snow, splitting wood, mowing grass, trimming trees and bushes, surf fishing, swimming out to sand dunes to ride some waves, listening to music, playing music, singing by the fireplace, hearing adults shouting, hearing truly awful things said to people he loved, hearing him lose his temper in order to win an argument, hearing him ask me questions I didn't dare ask myself, calling me to task as a man, I remember.

I would be remiss in my tribute if I didn't mention my father, Erik, one of grandpop's greatest accomplishments. It matters little that Erik achieved much of this on his own and that Fred reaps the reward by default, witnessing my father's passive(mostly) acceptance of his father's emotional assaults has been one of the single greatest lessons I have ever received, and it's hard to separate the one from the other. Because grandpop was who he was, and because dad remained patient and yet unyielding in his own right, I got to see two paragons of masculinity, tenderness, and thoughtfulness and learn from them both. I was 35 when grandpop died. 35 years of impressions and feelings from a grandparent, let alone a parent is a gift that grows more important with each day that passes. I cherish them.

I wonder if he would smile on this effort, or scorn it and say it needed work, and I must say, I wouldn't be surprised by either. He was by all measures an intelligent and accomplished man, but truthfully speaking, there are few who would speak for him, few who would defend a man who so consistently burned his bridges, gave people more than they wanted, pushed people to their very limits. I'm not sure I'm one who will speak for him, certainly not without speaking against him, to love honestly demands it. But neither will I forget the good, the beautiful. Grandpop was a paradox, and a great old one, at that.

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  • Candle
    Adam Eden
    5/19/2019 at 6:37 AM
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  • Candle
    Lisa Eden
    12/30/2013 at 11:24 AM
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    Never Gone
    12/20/2013 at 5:10 PM

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