June 29th, 2009

Very sad news about commenter FredHjr

I have some extremely sad news to report: I received an email from a relative of commenter FredHjr saying that he died suddenly and unexpectedly on Friday, June 26, from a concussion sustained in a fall.

Even though none of us actually met Fred in the real world, most of the regulars here knew FredHjr as I knew him—a brilliant mind containing knowledge of unusual depth and breadth, and demonstrating a rare ability to articulate his thoughts with precision, grace, and logic; a staunch patriot and passionate defender of liberty who never pulled his punches; a “changer” who had been a Marxist in his youth and held a vast storehouse of expertise on how the Left thinks and operates; a seeker of truth with an almost inexhaustible interest in the world around him; and a man of strong religious faith and great and abiding love for his family.

The news of his extremely untimely and tragic death comes as a great shock. It’s also a reminder that people here can become an important part of our lives; we feel as though we know them, even though our knowledge of them is only of the virtual sort. But minds meeting minds is a very powerful thing nonetheless.

FredHjr will be very sorely missed in this blog community, although that seems a small thing compared to the enormous and almost unfathomable grief his loving family must feel. Please join me in offering prayers, remembrances, and condolences for Fred and his family.

59 Responses to “Very sad news about commenter FredHjr”

  1. Baklava Says:

    Having lost my partner on July 8th of 2006, I can sympathize with Fred’s family.

    Fred has given me advice which I will remember.

    Fred was intelligent and articulate.

    I believe he’ll be here in spirit helping us with a thought or two. Thank you Fred for the time you gave and the connection we shared.

  2. Kurt Says:

    I’m shocked and saddened to hear of his sudden death. I always appreciated his perspective as someone who had been there in the past and who recognized what the cynical leftists were up to. I’ll miss his contributions and thoughts here, and like Baklava, I sympathize with his family and friends.

  3. Paul Gordon Says:

    Because of the ephemeral nature of postings on the internet, in one of my comments on Wolf Howling blog under my other nom de internet. I attempted a funny with

    “Seek not immortality on the Internet”
    ~Paul_In_Houston

    Because FredHjr’s comments ARE still out there, perhaps he has found a bit.

    -

  4. Scottie Says:

    My condolences to his family. His posts were always ones I made a point to read….and for the very reasons you listed.

  5. E Says:

    Rest in peace, Fred – we will miss you.

  6. Gringo Says:

    That is sad news. He had cogent comments. We will miss them. The loss for his family will be even greater.

  7. nyomythus Says:

    Oh no! This is a sudden shock –my condolences to the family too — :(

  8. gcotharn Says:

    Condolences. A sad moment. I was always happy to come upon a comment from FredHjr.

  9. PA Cat Says:

    God rest his soul and comfort his family– including those of us who are part of his virtual family. What Scottie said– his comments were always thoughtful and well-informed.

  10. dane Says:

    My prayers will be with his family. I will miss his thoughtful and direct comments. It’s odd how I have come to think of most here as somewhat of a family and in losing a member of the family I know life will go on but it will lose a little of its luster.

    Night – I see starlight
    A million year old twinkle
    In the eye of God

  11. Tatyana Says:

    Ah? What a reminder of futility of our plans.
    His postings/comments here were among the ones I always paid attention to.

    My condolences to his friends and family.

  12. armchair pessimist Says:

    Condolences to his family. Condolences to us. We have lost a patriot.

  13. grackle Says:

    Sorry to hear about Fred. He was a good read on his comments and his heart was always in the right place.

  14. Occam's Beard Says:

    I’m shocked and saddened by Fred’s passing, and extend my deepest condolences to his family.

    Thank you, neo, for your eloquent eulogy for Fred, to which we all subscribe. His cogent analyses and insights added a great deal to this community, and he will be missed. We have indeed lost a patriot.

  15. A fan Says:

    A genuine loss. Fred was one of the reasons I enjoyed reading this blog.

  16. Tim P Says:

    Neo,

    I’m truely sorry to here that FrdHjr has died.
    My sympathy and prayers to his family.

    I only know Fred through his comment postings and some occassional discussion we had in them.
    He seemed like he was not only smart, but a good and decent sort of fellow. His insights will be missed.

    We are all poorer for his loss.

  17. JohnC Says:

    Yes. Fred was a brilliant thinker and a fighter for truth in the individual soul and, by extension, in the soul of our country and in all people. To me, he possessed a mind of the ‘old type’, a type I used to see in some professors who came of age during WWII; a mind nuanced from study, disciplined by living, and deepen by reflection. Of course, we need more like him. Condolences to his family and friends. We’ll miss him too.

  18. J.L. Says:

    My condolences and sympathy to Fred’s two families: the one in “real life,” and the one here online. I, too, found Fred to be a man of strong convictions, no doubt obtained from his own past real life experiences. His contributions will be missed.

    I’m away from home, usuing a public library computer when I decided to check up on Neo’s blog, and found the posting about FrdHjr’s passing. As is often the case when I’m surfing the web, I’ve searched out some music to listen to while I peruse various websites. As it happens, I was listening to Judith Durham (lead singer of the ’60s Austrailian folkie group The Seekers), doing her wonderful rendition of “The Olive Tree.” I found the song strangely appropriate, and offer it here in Fred’s memory:

    So let me fly, please lead me and I’ll follow you,
    Above the clouds, beyond the stormy sea.
    I long to share a world of sweet contentment there,
    In that bright land where grows the olive tree.
    In that bright land where grows the olive tree.

  19. Artfldgr Says:

    I am so sad now….

    please forward our condolences… if you get an address for flowers, let me know in an email.

    sigh.

  20. Jim O Says:

    I’ve been a long time reader of this blog, but have never commented, for whatever the reasons. I enjoyed Fred’s comments always and am saddened to hear of his death. My condolences to his family and to the readers here.

  21. expat Says:

    I will miss his thoughtful and enlightening discussions, and I am grateful that he shared himself with us. My thoughts are with his family.

  22. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    What sad news. He was an important member of this blog-community and he’ll be sorely missed.

  23. Tom Says:

    I was thinking of FredHJr this morning, looking forward to his comments on Honduras. He was in comment-life what I am sure he was in real life: A DAMN GOOD MAN.

    I am hoping Neo will pass on a link to his obituary if/when available, so that we can properly and openly and personally acknowledge our gratitude for Fred’s having been among us.

  24. Lame-R Says:

    :(

  25. neo-neocon Says:

    Tom and others: I do have the link to the obituary, but I want to check with Fred’s family first before posting it here. If I receive their permission, you can be sure I will post it. In any event, I will certainly convey all the messages on this thread to them.

    And I agree—I was thinking as I wrote that Honduras thread how much I would have liked to have been able to get Fred’s insightful take on it.

  26. Y-not Says:

    God bless Fred and his family.

  27. jon baker Says:

    FredHJr was one of the commentors whom I loved to read. Very passionate about what he believed. A patriot and a Christian man.

  28. br549 Says:

    God bless you FredH Jr. God bless your family. Thanks for what you brought.

  29. jon baker Says:

    I was looking back over some of FredHjr’s post, trying to verify something I thought he said, trying to find the exact words, then I ran across this:

    From June 9, 2009, FredHjr at 4:15 PM on a comment to “Wanting the impossible. More on cutting Health Care cost”

    “I have a condition called Meniere’s Disease. It was diagnosed two years ago and I had been suffering from it for some time. It’s a devastating condition, because you never know when a bout of vertigo is going to grab you. “

  30. Lee Says:

    A prayer and condolences to Fred’s family. Seems strange to say I’ll miss someone I’ve never met. Even anonymously, he affected our lives for the better.

  31. E. L. C. Says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out for Fred and his family.

  32. rickl Says:

    I am also saddened to learn of Fred’s death. My condolences to his family. That is one of the good things about blogging. We can develop relationships of sorts with all kinds of people from all walks of life that we never meet. It’s even more decentralized and democratic than talk radio in that respect.

    The funny thing is, I noticed Fred’s absence this past weekend and wondered about it. There were several great threads I would have expected him to weigh in on.

    I think Fred also commented at Belmont Club under the name “fred”. I’m nearly certain it was the same person because I noticed a great deal of similarity in their comments.

  33. Oh, bother Says:

    I, too will miss Fred’s comments. I always found them to be worth extra thought. Without even knowing him, I will miss him.

    Yesterday my brother, a blogger, visited and I was recommending Fred’s comments to him, saying that once a blog attracted two or three thoughtful commenters such as Fred (and I named some others from here and Belmont Club), then his blog would take off.

    How devastated his family must be. My thoughts and prayers go out to them.

  34. TmjUtah Says:

    Smooth seas and a quartering wind are my wish for Fred.

    And God bless and keep him.

  35. Darrell Says:

    Wow, what a shame, I too was wondering where he was the last few threads, thought he would have something to add. My condolences to his family.

  36. Uh-huh Says:

    FredHjr, you will be missed.

  37. Oblio Says:

    Alas, poor Fred. I had thought there would be time enough to visit you New Hampshire and have a cocktail. God bless you, Fred, thou good and faithful servant, and your family. We will miss you.

  38. Foxfier Says:

    Prayers for his family, a peaceful rest to him.

  39. SteveH Says:

    I think we build images in our mind of fellow bloggers. I had a good upstanding citizen in mind for Fred. God bless him and his family.

  40. Oblio Says:

    According to his obituary, Fred was all he seemed to be.

  41. Gray Says:

    Aw, dammit…. I liked Fred. I liked his ideas and I liked his posts.

  42. Darrell Says:

    Oblio, link please?

  43. newton Says:

    Sleep well, Fred. Rest in Peace.

    And comfort for his family in this terrible hour.

  44. Webutante Says:

    I am so sad to hear this. He will be sorely missed.

  45. csimon Says:

    I, too, was shocked and saddened to read your note. Earlier, when reading your posts and then reading comments, I had actually noted that I hadn’t seen a comment from him. Strange, I know, but I guess that is testament to the fact that he was a very “real person” in this particular blog community, and one who contributed a great deal, which we looked forward to reading.

    I had a number of great exchanges with him (debate would not be appropriate as we agreed on much). He was very knowledgeable and his words were filled with commen sense. He was, indeed, fiercely patriotic — this came across in everything he posted.

    I hope his family knows that he will be missed greatly, not just by family and friends whom they know, but also by an entire “invisible” community, that is very real, and one which very much appreciated and respected his thoughts and wisdom. I know I will feel a void.

    May he rest in peace.

  46. Beverly Says:

    Oh, no! this is terrible. He was only, what? fifty-two or so? And his poor family must be reeling. I’ll miss him. I loved his passion, and his sword strokes against the Left he used to belong to were mighty indeed.

    For Fred. I wish I’d been able to meet you in “real life.”

    “For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio”

    III
    Well, so that is that. Now we must dismantle the tree,
    Putting the decorations back into their cardboard boxes –
    Some have got broken — and carrying them up to the attic.
    The holly and the mistletoe must be taken down and burnt,
    And the children got ready for school. There are enough
    Left-overs to do, warmed-up, for the rest of the week –
    Not that we have much appetite, having drunk such a lot,
    Stayed up so late, attempted — quite unsuccessfully –
    To love all of our relatives, and in general
    Grossly overestimated our powers.

    Once again
    As in previous years we have seen the actual Vision and failed
    To do more than entertain it as an agreeable
    Possibility, once again we have sent Him away,
    Begging though to remain His disobedient servant,
    The promising child who cannot keep His word for long.

    The Christmas Feast is already a fading memory,
    And already the mind begins to be vaguely aware
    Of an unpleasant whiff of apprehension at the thought
    Of Lent and Good Friday which cannot, after all, now
    Be very far off.

    But, for the time being, here we all are,
    Back in the moderate Aristotelian city
    Of darning and the Eight-Fifteen, where Euclid’s geometry
    And Newton’s mechanics would account for our experience,
    And the kitchen table exists because I scrub it.
    It seems to have shrunk during the holidays. The streets
    Are much narrower than we remembered; we had forgotten
    The office was as depressing as this.

    To those who have seen
    The Child, however dimly, however incredulously,
    The Time Being is, in a sense, the most trying time of all.
    For the innocent children who whispered so excitedly
    Outside the locked door where they knew the presents to be
    Grew up when it opened.

    Now, recollecting that moment
    We can repress the joy, but the guilt remains conscious;
    Remembering the stable where for once in our lives
    Everything became a You and nothing was an It.
    And craving the sensation but ignoring the cause,
    We look round for something, no matter what, to inhibit
    Our self-reflection, and the obvious thing for that purpose
    Would be some great suffering.

    So, once we have met the Son,
    We are tempted ever after to pray to the Father;
    “Lead us into temptation and evil for our sake.”
    They will come, all right, don’t worry; probably in a form
    That we do not expect, and certainly with a force
    More dreadful than we can imagine.

    In the meantime
    There are bills to be paid, machines to keep in repair,
    Irregular verbs to learn, the Time Being to redeem
    From insignificance. The happy morning is over,
    The night of agony still to come; the time is noon:
    When the Spirit must practice his scales of rejoicing
    Without even a hostile audience, and the Soul endure
    A silence that is neither for nor against her faith
    That God’s Will will be done, That, in spite of her prayers,
    God will cheat no one, not even the world of its triumph.

    IV
    CHORUS

    He is the Way.

    Follow Him through the Land of Unlikeness;
    You will see rare beasts, and have unique adventures.

    He is the Truth.

    Seek Him in the Kingdom of Anxiety;
    You will come to a great city that has expected your return for years.

    He is the Life.

    Love Him in the World of the Flesh;
    And at your marriage all its occasions shall dance for joy.

    – W. H. Auden

  47. Oblio Says:

    Darrell, I am leaving the decision on publishing the link to Neo. Fred gave us a lot of clues over time about who he was. From those, he can be found.

  48. Thomass Says:

    It is a shock. We will all miss Fred and I’m sorry and sad to hear about his passing. He was an interesting person with a great deal of knowledge and experience.

  49. Hong Says:

    Glad to see the lib trolls are quiet. Fred had the stamina and skill to eviscerate their petty and worthless ‘arguments’. Miraculously, they knew to keep silent for once.

  50. neo-neocon Says:

    The following is from an email from commenter “Jimmy J,” who’s been having trouble posting here for some reason and wanted to add this message:

    I’m writing to say how sorry I am to learn of Fred’s sudden demise. Your post about him and the wonderful way he contributed to the discussions was very moving and appropriate. I agreed with every word you wrote. FredHjr was indeed an outstanding contributor to the discussion. I wanted offer my deepest condolences to his family.

  51. T Says:

    I just saw the announcement about FredHjr’s passing. There is nothing I can add that hasn’t been said in the many previous posts.

    His insight will be missed, and neo, thank you for both the announcement and the eulogy.

    It is for us to carry on with an insight and thoughtfulness worthy of Fred in the hope that our participation here somehow leads to something positive, just as his presence did.

    His insight will be missed. My deepest condolences to his family.

  52. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    It would have been nice to have met him and spoken live, as he was an interesting cat. I don’t think he lived far away, either. I missed my chances.

    With that in mind, interested parties coming up to NH are welcome to attempt to contact me. I’m already going to be seeing Carl from No Oil For Pacifists when he comes up from DC next month.

  53. portia Says:

    I’m sitting here crying like an idiot and feeling foolish because I never met him but I feel as if I’ve lost a friend or a sibling.

    His comments were always good at putting finger on the vague unease I felt about something, and on putting logic to my kneejerk reactions. His deep learning was more appreciated than I can express.

    I will miss him. May we be granted his clarity of mind.

    P.

  54. neocon hippie Says:

    I have lurked here for years and I have always enjoyed Fred’s comments both here and at Belmont Club. I am sadden by his untimely, unexpected passing.

  55. Dan Says:

    A painful reminder that the authors of the comments on this and other blogs are living, breathing human beings. Fred seems the sort of man it would have been fun to talk to in person, a good man and one who is now missed by his family. I feel lucky to have been touched by his presence, even if only in a tangential way.

  56. Paul Snively Says:

    The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
    Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
    Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
    Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it

    – Omar Khayyam

  57. Rose Says:

    I add my prayers to yours.

  58. Matt Litvak Says:

    I’m crying and I rarely cry at anything.

    I knew Fred from another site FF.COM we always enjoyed each other’s posts and communicated in PM’s from time to time.

    We had wondered what had happened to Fredrick since we had not seen a post from him in several weeks. He would usually tell us when he was going somewhere and would be absent.

    Fred, I will lite a candle for you this Sunday.

  59. actualités du jour Says:

    Ditto the above.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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