On Sunday, July 29, 2018, Fred James Wilson of Highland Lakes passed away in his beloved lakeside home, at the age of 79, surrounded by his wife Linda Kroeger Wilson, daughters and grandchildren.
Born on July 26, 1939 in Buffalo, NY, Fred was raised in nearby Canandaigua, NY. He graduated in 1957 from Canandaigua Academy High School and went on to graduate second in his class from Rochester Institute of Technology with a BS in Mechanical Engineering followed by an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh.
Fred began his career as an engineer, but after his first marriage ended, he decided to ’take a risk', something he went on to tell his children and grandchildren to do often throughout his life, usually on their way out the door as teenagers to the dismay of his wife. He changed careers at nearly 40 years old to become a stock broker and Certified Financial Planner, a career that he never considered work because he loved it so much. Fred worked for First Jersey Securities in Paterson, NJ and then AGEdwards in Rockaway, NJ which was acquired by Wells Fargo Advisors, where he retired in 2014.
He spent his weekends sailing and skiing while living in High Crest Lake in West Milford, NJ and then later in Highland Lakes, NJ after meeting and marrying his wife, Linda. He was a ski instructor at both Vernon Valley/ Great Gorge and then at Hidden Valley ski areas. He volunteered in High Crest Lake and in Highland Lakes joining many committees and volunteering for many different events. But his great love was sailing. As a younger man he travelled with friends to the Caribbean each year, chartering a sailboat and visiting the tiny islands where the cruise ships never go. Then later as the fleet captain in Highland Lakes, he organized the sailors and raced his sunfish every Sunday each Summer.
Fred was smart and kind. He could fix anything and never wanted to throw anything out for fear he would need it in his next project. He was famous for his corny jokes, that delighted the young kids who he taught to ski and tormented his own children and grandchildren who know them all by heart. He was wise and gave very good advice to both his clients and his family. He was adored by children and animals who are the best judges of character. He was especially loved by his grandchildren – Keiran, Katie and Ayden Troy who have lived with him for the past six years. He was their father figure, chauffeur, friend and beloved Poppy. He never missed a trip to the school bus stop or a walk to the beach just to play. He was their lifeguard in our yard when they went swimming and taught them many things. He was a wonderful husband, father, Poppy and friend.
He is survived by his wife Linda (nee Sayers), his daughters Augusta Wilson (Tim Singer), Amy Kroeger (Ana Peraza) and Kim Kroeger and a son Jeffrey Wilson (Stacy), his sister Lois Walker (Ronald) and five grandchildren, Keiran, Katherine, Ayden, Tatum and Thayer as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and pets.
Relatives and friends will be received at Ferguson-Vernon Funeral Home 241 Rt. 94 Vernon, NJ (GPS use 1 Vanderhoof Ct) , on Thursday August 2nd from 2-4 and 7-9PM.A Funeral Service in memory of Fred’s life will be held on Friday August 3rd at 11AM at the funeral home, committal and internment will follow at Glenwood Cemetery.
Memorial donations in memory of Fred may be made to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Pl., Memphis, TN 38105 would be appreciated. For directions and condolences see www.fergusonfuneralhomesnj.com.