October 6, 1945-December 15, 2021
Fred G. Trask shuffled off this mortal coil on December 15, 2021, at his home in Beaufort, South Carolina. He was 76 years old. He was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, to Flora Graham Trask and John Maurice Trask, Sr. and brought home to an idyllic childhood on Bay Street overlooking the Beaufort River. He spent his youth divided between the freedom of small town living and the joy of summers at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, with his extended family of aunts and uncles and rambunctious cousins. He enjoyed Little League baseball, being an acolyte at St. Helena’s Episcopal Church, and riding his bike on the sandy backroads of the old town. He left the comforts of home to attend Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia, where he played quarterback on the cake football team and had many adventures circumventing the constraints of an all-boy prep school. He moved on to Beaufort High School where he established himself as a bon vivant and a ladies’ man. Upon graduation in 1963, Fred worked for a year alongside his father on the family farm at Kane Island, learning the secrets of successful farming and developing a physique like Arnold Schwarzenegger. His newly acquired brawn snagged him a wife, Jean Lindesay Wessell of Wilmington, North Carolina, and the newlyweds repaired to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where Fred graduated from the University of North Carolina with a degree in English. After graduation the couple resided for a year on North Street in Beaufort. During this time Fred taught English and Sex Education at Beaufort High School and having made his contribution to the burgeoning minds of Beaufort youth, left early to make a pilgrimage to the tomb shrine of Avatar Meher Baba in Ahmednagar, India.
A job offer in North Myrtle Beach drew Fred to Windy Hill, South Carolina, where he built a home with his own two hands. Sadly the marriage didn’t last, but the stoutly built bungalow remains perched on a sandy hill to this day. During his stay in Myrtle Beach, Fred worked as a newspaper reporter, house painter, and carpenter, and began to dabble in real estate, a pursuit that would last a lifetime.
After marriage in 1975 to Mary Louise Garrison of Myrtle Beach and the birth of their daughter Mary in 1977, Fred moved his little family to his hometown of Beaufort. He established his own real estate firm and began his lifelong career of sales and development. In 1989 a daughter, Julia, was added to the family. In the midst of all this he managed to write a family history to honor his father. “The Carolina Trasks: an informal history” sits proudly on the shelves of many public libraries and private homes. To honor his mother he compiled a collection of recipes and family anecdotes in a cookbook entitled “Flora’s Favorites”. The author of many poems, stories, and letters to the editor, his only regret was that his hilarious satire of Beaufort life, “6.9 on the Richter Scale,” was never performed publicly. He never retired, and even in the last weeks of his life he was still wheeling and dealing. He was known for his sharp wit and dogged determination. He was a talented athlete, a gifted writer, a feisty friend, a worthy opponent, a charming companion, an ardent husband, a loving father, a generous grandfather, and a longtime devotee of Avatar Meher Baba.
He was predeceased by his parents Flora and John M. Trask, Sr. and his first wife, Lindesay Wessell Reiter. He is survived by his wife Louise Garrison Trask, of Beaufort, his children Mary Trask (DJ Henry) of Beaufort, Julia Trask of Front Royal, Virginia, and Denise Buckwalter (David Orr) of Lancaster, Pennsylvania; his grandchildren James and Arthur Henry of Beaufort, Rowan McKenzie of Front Royal, Virginia, and Noah Kuhn of Lancaster, Pennsylvania; his brothers John M. Trask, Jr. (Caroline) of Beaufort, and George G. Trask (Connie) of Beaufort, and Charles H. Trask (Molly) of Southport, North Carolina, and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Friends of Caroline Hospice at www.fochospice.org, Shriner’s Hospitals for Children www.shrinerschildrens.org , or the Meher Spiritual Center www.mehercenter.org. The family wishes to acknowledge the skilled and loving care given by Dr. Lucius Laffitte, Wendy, Sally, Michelle, Nancy and Dr. Coleman at Lowcountry Dialysis Clinic, and the kind and merciful ministrations of the nurses and staff of Friends of Carolina Hospice.
Family and friends will be received from 2:00 to 5:00 on Saturday, December 18 at 601 Craven Street, Beaufort, SC.