I was saddened to hear today that Dr. Walter Fremont has graduated to heaven after a decades-long battle with Lou Gerhig’s disease. Those who knew Dr. Fremont were privileged to know one of the most gracious, engaging, principled, thoughtful men to ever serve the Lord. His book, “Formula for Family Unity” was filled with his philosophy of family. For many years, he and his lovely wife, Trudy, would visit churches conducting marriage and family seminars. He was best known as the long-time Dean of Education at Bob Jones University.
On a personal note, I came to know Dr. and Mrs. Fremont over 20 years ago as he came to the church where I served in Florida (and would eventually serve aspastor) to do couple’s seminars. At the time, I was the Director of the Couple’s Department and it was my privilege to host him when he came. One of my sweetest memories of him was one night at the Omni Hotel in West Palm Beach where we were enjoying a lavish seafood buffet. There was a strolling Dixieland Jazz-type quartet and “band” that was entertaining the diners. He was thoroughly enjoying them, singing some of the older songs to Miss Trudy and I eventually motioned them over to our table. He was thrilled, asking them to do several special songs, laughing and singing along. The love he had for his wife and for life and the Lord was contagious and infectious. Everytime I would see him after that time, he would remind me ofthat night and talk about it again. Dr. Fremont teased me for years that I had an incomplete education because I chose to go someplace other than BJU for my doctorate. He was a giant in Christian education and a gem among men. While he has been incapacitated by his disease for many years, those of us privileged to have known him were blessed by his investment in us.
I never heard him complain about his ailment. In fact, once I heard him put it this way… He said, “Everyone knows they are going to die someday. I just know what I’m going to die from.”
Today, he’s freer and more healthy than he’s ever been. Praise the Lord for this good man.
The official statement of his death as released follows:
Dr. Walter Fremont, 82, dean emeritus of BJUsSchool of Education, went to be with the Lord Sunday morning, January 7, 2007. Dr. Fremont became dean of the School of Education in 1953 and served in that capacity for 37 years. During his tenure, he was a seminal force in the initiation and development of the Christian school movement. He was a well-known consultant and speaker on Christian counseling and the family and the author of several books. Diagnosed with Lou Gehrigs disease twenty years ago, he will long be remembered for his courageous spirit.
Visitation will be held Monday evening, January 8, 2007, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the War Memorial Chapel on the Bob Jones University campus. The funeral will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday., January 9, at Hampton Park Baptist Church in Greenville.
For Dr. Fremonts obituary in The Greenville News, click HERE.