Mixsonian Larry


Fred Junior Dies

On Saturday November 27th, after being in the hospital for several weeks, Grandpa Junior, Reverend Fred John Junior, died of a heart attack a few weeks after turning seventy.  (As I write this, I have just turned seventy.) Mom had told me that Grandpa had been sick and, in the hospital, but she hadn’t said that he was all that bad off, so I was surprised.  The following Sunday, a moment of silence was held in Rev. Junior’s honor at Flemington Baptist Church which he help build many years before. I loved Grandpa Junior, but would never say I was close to Grandpa, but I would miss him. 

The funeral was held the following week, so I took off and drove the three hour drive to Gainesville.  All the aunts, uncles and cousins were in town staying at one relative or another.  Aunt Dixie was living in Gainesville along with her daughter Kristy, Aunt Sue and Uncle Jimmy came up from Melbourne, Carole came from Pennsylvania with her kids Danah and Vandy,  Uncle Gary and his wife Diane and Corky and his wife Connie all lived in Gainesville.   Brenda and Tom came down from North Carolina where Tom was in Seminary.   I stayed with Mom and Dad in my old bedroom with David.   Brenda and Tom stayed in Brenda’s old room and Beth in her old room.  It was like going back in time when I was a kid.  Family and friends of the family dropped by constantly with many bringing food which, despite the somber time, I enjoyed having lived a bachelor life and not doing much cooking.

The funeral service was on Wednesday, December 1st, which made it even more depressing for Mom since it was the same day as her and Dad’s 26th wedding anniversary.  Mom’s Uncle Bob, who has the same birthday as mom, called and offered his condolences. The services were not held at Flemington as many expected, but at Westside Baptist Church, more convenient to the family with them all being in Gainesville it was said, and then there was Grandpa marrying two sons and a half dozen of grandkids at Westside.   Grandpa had lived in several states and cities in his life, and I don’t know if he ever felt attachment to any of them as much as he did Gainesville.  Leaving his first wife and child, his Catholic family in Wisconsin had cast him out. He then found love and a lifelong partner in Michigan only to find his calling to the Lord leading him southward into the ministry.  It was the Old Country that he loved the most such that he wanted to be buried there.  While there I don’t think he held any animosity toward the Flemington Baptist Church which he served so well, Grandpa was put to rest in the nearby Shiloh United Methodist Church Cemetery.  The next day I said my goodbyes the family, as I returned to Melbourne the others and dispersed back to whence they came.

Updated: 03-01-2023