Frederick Lee Tathwell

Born in Charlotte, NC on November 17, 1943

Departed on October 24, 2018 and resided in Nashville, TN

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Frederick Lee Tathwell age 74 years passed away on October 24, 2018. Fred was born in Charlotte on November 17, 1943, a son of the late Fred H. Tathwell, Jr. And Grace Downs Tathwell.
A graduate of Myers Park High School, Fred enlisted in the United States Navy and was assigned to the Pentagon. During the Bay of Pigs crisis, he served as a courier delivering top secret memos to those deciding what the response should be to this very tense situation. After the Navy, Fred earned undergraduate and law degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He relocated to Washington, D.C., and joined the United States Department of Energy. As a member of the Congressional Relations team, he was liaison to Congress until his retirement. In this role, he helped those in Congress understand, appreciate and finally approve legislation supporting science and the environment. He had a special interest in getting U.S. support for the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.
Included in his many interests were bicycling, the Baltimore Orioles, flying, sky diving, Tarheel basketball and most of all, sailing “Kikuyu,” his beloved Hallberg-Rassy blue water sailboat. Often in late autumn, he would volunteer to crew on a sailboat headed to his favorite eco-friendly camp on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He retired to Shady Side, Maryland, on the Chesapeake Bay.
Fred is survived by brother Stuart D. Tathwell and wife Sally, sisters Sallye Richards and husband Channing and Gwynne Whitley and husband Craig, nieces Erin Burnsed and Stuart Pfeifer and nephews Channing L. Richards and Craig Alan Whitley, Jr.
The family will celebrate Fred’s life in a private service. Donations to the Chesapeake Bay Trust at in honor of Fred would be greatly appreciated. Messages of condolence can be sent to

6 Comments to Frederick Lee Tathwell

  1. Stuart Tathwell
    October 31, 2018 6:16 pm

    Fred, When you got out of the Navy in 1966, and came home to Charlotte, you did so much to be a friend and mentor to your younger brother Stuart. At times in the summer, we rode on your motorcycle out to watch sky diving. We went to the beach and saw the USS North Carolina battleship, which to me at the time was a big thrill. You encouraged me to participate in sports, and we often threw a baseball to each other to practice throwing and catching. We took a tour bus to see the Atlanta Braves for my 12th birthday. As I got older you strongly advised me to get a higher education. When I graduated and first went to work with a college degree, you encouraged make contributions to retirement savings for the future. We enjoyed watching the Baltimore Orioles at the old Memorial Stadium, and at Camden Yards. I enjoyed sailing with Fred on the Chesapeake Bay, which was my initiation to sailing. For all the positive things you did for me, I am truly grateful.
    Your younger brother, Stuart

  2. Kathy Ware
    October 31, 2018 6:18 pm

    Stuart and his brother look like twins in Fred’s picture. I didn’t know Fred but am pretty close with Stuart and Sally and feel his and his family’s grief. God’s blessing is that he passed away peacefully in his sleep, the best way to go. My thoughts and prayers go out to all who knew him.

  3. Alan Whitley
    October 31, 2018 7:11 pm

    Uncle Fred and I used to play tennis often when we
    went on vacation and I have vivid memories of thoses times. He was a very intelligent uncle with
    an equally quick wit. He would often say “yeehaw”
    after something funny he had said which is what
    I remember most about him. I will surely miss him
    and all the charm he brought to the family!

    Rest in peace and God bless!

  4. Sally Tathwell
    November 1, 2018 7:58 am

    I will never forget the first time I met Fred. It was my first visit to meet all of Stuart’s family on Bald Head Island. Stuart and I had just met when he wanted me to go with him for the 4th of July holiday. Riding on the golf cart with Fred and, probably more people than should be on a golf cart, was a true adventure I will never forget. That was the weekend that I knew I belonged in the Tathwell family. Now anytime I hear the two words “Peace and love” together it will bring fond memories of brother Fred. Sally Tathwell

  5. Jim Oliver
    February 7, 2019 4:57 pm

    This afternoon, February 7, 2019, I drove by Fred’s place in Shady Side, MD., to say hello. This breaks my heart. I met Fred in Chapel Hill in the 70s, where we had memorable and sorta-memorable times, celebrating life. In Chapel Hill, Fred was known affectionately as “Fast Talking Fred,” not for the speed of his speech but for the out of nowhere but spot on yet hilarious substance of what he said. In the 80s, Fred stayed with me regulalrly in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands where, shall I say, celebrations continued both on and off the water. When I moved to Washington, Fred and I regulalrly enjoyed music, Tarheels basketball, the Owes, and countless lunches and dinners together. I too remember Fred punctuating mishaps with a funny “Yee Hah”, which I copied and which both I and my family continue to utilize, when appropriate. Fred was a worldly, insightful, funny man who brought an irreplicable spark to the lives of those who shared time with him. I miss him.

    • Merrell Tuck-Primdahl
      February 7, 2019 6:05 pm

      I am grateful Jim O. introduced me to Fred. He was a cheerful, funny fellow and I recall a memorable flight in his plane, where my brother also joined. Fred adored the water, sailing, and baseball.. I remember good laughs with him while enjoying sailing, baseball and other pastimes And, as I recall, he was also fond of young ladies with long legs and long straight hair ; )

      Good to read these fond reflections about him. S

      Sorry he has left us.

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