Frederick Charles Schlemmer II died January 12, 2020 in Houston, Texas. Fred was born in Watts Bar Dam, Tennessee on August 10, 1943 and grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He graduated from McCallie School in 1961 and attended the United States Naval Academy, graduating in 1965. He met his wife, Gloria, after graduation and they were married in 1967 in Atlanta, GA. While serving in the Navy, he took a course in Oceanography at Old Dominion, which inspired him to pursue this field. After serving his country in the Navy, he obtained a master’s degree in Marine Science from the University of South Florida in 1972 and a PhD in Physical Oceanography from Texas A&M University in 1978. Upon graduation from Texas A&M University, he joined the faculty at Texas A&M at Galveston. It was here he found his true passion, teaching and advising his students. During his tenure at TAMUG, he was a professor in the Marine Sciences Department. In addition, he went on 13 training cruises aboard the T/S TEXAS CLIPPER, teaching oceanography and touring ports around the world. He especially loved when former students dropped by to tell him that although at the time they thought he was a tough teacher, the education he provided was invaluable. A true testament to his enthusiasm for teaching was that he remained friends with many of his students over the years, and in 1999, he received the William Paul Ricker Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award.
For many years, Fred was involved in community organizations. He was active in the Galveston Historical Foundation where he received the President’s Award for Distinguished Volunteer Service, Galveston County American Cancer Society, president of Galveston Academic Excellence Booster Club, president of Galveston County A&M Club, and a Blue & Gold officer for the United States Naval Academy. At Trinity Episcopal Church, he served as a member of the vestry, as a lay reader, and a head usher. In recent years, Fred devoted much of his time assisting and serving the homeless. He took a daily three-mile walk on the seawall and through that, his outreach began. Frequently finding someone who needed a meal, medicine or help of some kind and when needed, he spent countless hours to help them maneuver through the difficulties of their lives.
Fred had an exuberance for a collection of varied hobbies. Fred was an avid reader and had a voracious appetite for learning about new things. You could find Fred in the Rosenberg Library for hours and hours just exploring and reading books and if you went with him to an art museum, you needed to be prepared to carefully study every piece. He loved talking to people and a healthy debate. All his travels sparked a love of getting to know new people and cultures. He also enjoyed going to the theatre and shared his love of musicals with his daughter. His passion for the ocean extended beyond his work as he loved to sail and be on the water. And of course, when the University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team was playing, he would love to cheer them on.
Fred was preceded in death by Frederick Augustus Schlemmer, Katherine Rice Schlemmer and William Lee Schlemmer. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Gloria Schlemmer, his daughter, Caroline Schlemmer, son-in-law, Jason Homrighaus, granddaughter, Kate Homrighaus, sister and brother-in-law, Patricia and Michael Underwood and sisters-in-law, Patricia Harkins and Mary Wolek.
A memorial service will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church in Galveston, Texas on January 31, 2020 at 11am. The Reverend Susan Kennard and The Reverend Edward Thompson will officiate the service. There will be a reception following at the church in Eaton Hall.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Trinity Episcopal Church in Galveston, TX or the American Cancer Society.