Fredrick Owen "Fred" Aldrich
1943 - 2020
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Fredrick Owen ("Fred") Aldrich, 76, died peacefully on December 2, 2020, in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. Born December 24, 1943, in Sycamore, Illinois, he was raised in small towns in North-Central Kansas, including Bellaire and Osborne. Fred was descended from generations of Midwestern farmers, and worked his first full-time summer job as a farmhand when he was only thirteen. He graduated from Osborne High in 1961, then earned B.A. and B.S. degrees from the University of Kansas in 1966. He treasured his years at KU, forming many lifelong friendships, and he remained a Jayhawk fan for life. The next years brought him to places as varied as southern Mississippi and southern California. He taught high school in the rural Kansas towns of Belle Plaine and Olpe, worked for local newspapers in Emporia, Kansas, and Purvis, Mississippi, and lived in Los Angeles in the garage apartment of famed composer and musician Les Baxter. While in California, he worked a variety of jobs – including as a valet and bartender at Hollywood parties in the early 1970s. When fame and fortune in the entertainment industry eluded him, he headed back east. Fred moved to Louisiana in the mid-1970s and continued his teaching career at Catholic of Pointe Coupee, Brusly High, and Istrouma High. He taught a full course load while also coaching numerous sports. He worked as an assistant coach on staffs with Louisiana football coaching legends, including Dale Weiner (at CHSPC) and Leon McGraw (at Istrouma). He earned a Masters in Education from Louisiana State University in 1981. In 1983, Fred began working at Baton Rouge Magnet High School, where he would spend the bulk of his teaching career. He ran the school's groundbreaking TV & film production program for over three decades, taught classes in AP English, Public Speaking, and Journalism, and was the faculty sponsor for the school newspaper, Campus Currents. He also coached the school's quiz bowl, tennis, and debate teams, among many other contributions to BRHS extra-curricular activities. Fred was a proud member of the Deadly Delta (K)nights intramural basketball team in the late 1990s, playing alongside his son, Bradley, and many of his closest friends on the BRHS faculty. He even appeared as a cast member in BRHS student productions, including "Stage Door." He was honored as the East Baton Rouge Parish high school Teacher of the Year in 1999-2000. Fred was an amateur guitarist and prolific songwriter, frequently collaborating with Rockabilly Hall of Fame member Chuck Cowan. They co-wrote songs that appeared on multiple Cowan albums, including "Phonograph Record" and "Pick Your Pleasure." Their joint composition "When Images Collide" was featured in the campy, 1972 cult-classic horror film, Blood Sabbath. Fred also co-produced the 1974 Tim Hudson LP "The High Road Home" during his time in Purvis. Fred was active in community theater in his younger years. His roles included King Herod (in an Emporia production of "Jesus Christ Superstar") and Marachzek (in "She Loves Me" in Hattiesburg, MS). Fred was a devoted parishioner of St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, where he served on the vestry and played an integral role in the installation of the church's organ. He enjoyed playing tennis and enjoyed the friendships he made through tennis even more. He also covered high school sports for The Advocate as a contributing writer for many years. Fred was preceded in death by his parents Dale and Pauline (Ferguson) Aldrich and two brothers, Vernon and Dr. Charles Aldrich. He is survived by his wife Deborah, his son Bradley, his daughter and son-in-law Lacey and Daniel Hatfield, his grandchildren Maverick, Steel, Ace, and Journey (all of whom dearly loved their "Papa Fred"), his brothers John and Larry, sisters-in-law Kris and Patty, nieces Susan Aldrich Westcott, Ashley Jantz, Arleigh McCormick, Tiffany Draper, and Stacy Shirley, nephews Heath Knolla, Derrik Shirley, and Steve Shirley, and stepson Jed Dutton (fiancé Hannah). He is also survived by numerous grandnieces, grandnephews, and cousins. Fred's family would like to extend heartfelt thanks to Bruce and Kim Stonaker (and Toby) of Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, for their constant and unconditional support, care, and hospitality. A private graveside service will be held in Smith County, Kansas. A memorial service in Baton Rouge will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Baton Rouge High School Foundation.

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Published in The Advocate from Dec. 4 to Dec. 5, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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16 entries
December 12, 2020
Fred was a wonderful church friend. He certainly had an interesting life. I know that he loved teaching and enjoyed staying connected via Facebook with students from the past.
I recognize a past student of mine, too, Alex Weltman, whom I had during his 3rd grade year!
Caroline Derbes
Friend
December 7, 2020
What a great person, I'm glad to have known Fred and I'm sorry and sad to hear this news. I met Fred at the Highland Park tennis association HPTA Saturday round-robin. I was new to tennis and a beginner, Fred was so friendly, cheerful, and humble and made this low skill beginner smile and feel welcome. When we would play partners in a doubles match, he would continue to smile and joke even when we lost Love - 6!:)
Dave Campagna
Acquaintance
December 7, 2020
Fred was one if the most genuine, respectful and courteous gentlemen I have ever known..... and not a bad tennis player! The good Lord blessed us with Fred!
Steve Jackson
December 6, 2020
Mr. Aldrich is among my greatest inspirations to become a teacher myself - to create a legacy as he did.

For the past few years, some of us former students would have breakfast with Fred at Frank's on Christmas Eve. We called it "Fredmas." It was one of the things I most looked forward to about coming home to Baton Rouge for the holiday. I like to hope he felt the same about us.

We've all gone on to do great things - in large part, thanks to him.

He taught us much, and influenced us greatly. We honor him now by who we've become.
Tyler Reames
Student
December 5, 2020
Mr. Aldrich was a phenomenal teacher and it was a pleasure to be in his Public Speaking class in 2016-2017. He really cared about our plans for the future and never ceased to amaze us with his vast knowledge of the world. May he rest peacefully.
Taea Jackson
Student
December 5, 2020
Mr. Aldrich was a wonderful teacher, and he had an enormously positive influence on my academic career. No English teacher before him had ever let me believe I had any aptitude for the subject. Mr. Aldrich valued all points of view, did not criticize or judge, and encouraged everyone to participate in class discussions in whatever way they could. I recall writing several pieces of poetry for one of our class projects, and to this day I am certain there was nothing particularly outstanding about them. Nevertheless, Mr. Aldrich convinced me to submit them to a poetry workshop at LSU, and to my surprise I was invited to join other young writers to discuss our poetry on campus. I remain a lousy creative writer, but that experience was central to building the self-confidence I needed to perform well in college. Not long before Mr. Aldrich retired from BRHS, I was fortunate to meet him during a tour of the school. True to form for such a dedicated teacher, he remembered me, and we had a great time catching up. Thank you Mr. Aldrich, you will be greatly missed.
BRHS '84
Student
December 5, 2020
Such a compassionate and caring teacher! No matter the day, Mr. Aldrich was also so encouraging with the most wonderful sense of humor. Being his student was such a joy and he will be so dearly missed. May God bless his friends and family.
Kari
Student
December 4, 2020
Words fail to convey his influence on us all. His love for others shined each day and may it be felt forever more in heaven and on earth.
Evan
December 4, 2020
Mr. Aldrich was an incredible teacher, but an even more amazing human being. He had a profound impact on me as an awkward teenager in his TV Production classes at BRMHS. I am grateful to have known him, and I am praying for his family as they maneuver this unimaginable loss.
Casey (Reynolds) Hysell
Student
December 4, 2020
Prayers and Condolences to the Aldrich Family!
Kathleen Gorsuch
December 4, 2020
From years past when he covered high school games for the Advocate and coached at several area schools to his days at Baton Rouge High the definition of “class” was Fred Aldrich. RIP good buddy
John Musemeche
Friend
December 4, 2020
The world is definitely a bit dimmer without Fred Aldrich's bright light in it but I know heaven is certainly shining brighter. Mr. Aldrich was partly responsible (and he proudly took credit) for getting my husband Duane & me together. We were both in his homeroom Journalism/Campus Currents class at Baton Rouge Magnet High School in 1984-85 which was his first year of being the advisor. Duane was co-editor and I was copy editor. Mr. Aldrich created an atmosphere of mutual respect, teamwork and empowerment which helped Duane & I build on the friendship we already had and I'm quite sure contributed to us eventually ending up together. Wow...talk about life changing! When Duane & I married 6 years later, Mr. Aldrich even came to our wedding. Although we hadn't seen him in many years, Facebook allowed us to reconnect and communicate. It was evident to me that he was a man of faith & compassion. His posts always made me smile, laugh...or consider a different point of view. I think that would have pleased him.
Wishing all of his loved-ones strength & peace as you learn to live in a world without him. Thank you for sharing this wonderful man with all of us.
Rest well Chief...knowing that you made a real difference in the lives of your students.
Duane and Donna Labbe
Student
December 4, 2020
Mr. Aldrich was one of the best teachers I had at BRHS. Prayers for all of his previous students, his friends, and especially his family. I know he will be missed.
Storie Melancon
Student
December 4, 2020
RIP Mr. Aldrich.
C G
Student
December 4, 2020
He was a wonderful teacher!! May he Rest In Peace and may his family find comfort during this time! God Bless!!
Matt Becker
Student
December 4, 2020
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