Richard Fremont-Smith

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  • "Goodbye old friend."
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Richard Fremont-Smith, American Red Cross Board of Directors Member Richard Fremont-Smith, Age 78 died on November 12 in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Mr. Fremont-Smith was born in Boston, Massachusetts on March 11, 1935. He was the youngest child of Dr. Maurice Fremont-Smith of Boston and Mary Dixon Thayer Fremont-Smith (originally from Philadelphia). He attended Milton Academy ('54) in Milton, Mass., Harvard College ('58), Columbia University (M.B.A. '69) and the George Washington University (Graduate Certificate '72). From 1956 to 1966, and again from 1982 to 1994, he served in the United States Coast Guard as an enlisted man, commissioned officer, and a civilian executive. He served on cutters in the Atlantic Ocean, as Commanding Officer of a USCG station in the Philippines, as Commanding Officer of a cutter in the Atlantic and Commanding Officer of a cutter in Vietnam. In Vietnam, he served in combat in 1965-1966 and was awarded several medals including the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V". After returning from Vietnam in 1966, he resigned his regular commission and was commissioned in the USCG Reserve. He remained active in the reserve until 1986, when he retired having attained the rank of Captain (0-6). During his reserve service, he was Commander, or Deputy Commander, of several major USCG Reserve units. In 1982, he was recalled to active duty in the Coast Guard to head up a task force at Headquarters in Washington, D.C. that was studying a particular Coast Guard mission. He remained in this position until 1985. From 1966 to 1982, he worked in New York City and in Boston for Xerox Corporation, Paine Webber Inc., Telex Corporation and as Assistant Director of the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (now Brigham and Women's Hospital). He was also Associate Director of a federal health care regulatory agency and Vice President of a national hospital management corporation. During this period, he was Vice Chairman of Disaster Services, Chairman of Chapter Operations, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Boston Chapter, American Red Cross. In 1985, Mr. Fremont-Smith became a civilian employee of the Coast Guard in Washington, D.C. He served in several senior positions in health care management and, for more than six years, as Coast Guard Liaison Officer to the Assistant Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon. In 1989, he was loaned to the Red Cross for a six week period where he helped manage Red Cross disaster relief efforts on the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands after Hurricane Hugo. In 1993, he served as a member of Vice President Gore's National Performance Review Task Force. He retired from the Coast Guard in 1994 and relocated to Fort Lauderdale, FL. He remained active with the Red Cross (which he first joined as a teenager in 1952). He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Broward County Chapter, and he travelled nationally to major disasters as a national Red Cross Disaster Relief Officer. Mr. Fremont-Smith is survived by a brother, the Hon. Thayer Fremont-Smith, Esq. of Boston, many nieces and nephews, cousins in the Philadelphia area, and many friends in Boston, Washington, D.C. and in Florida.

Published in Sun-Sentinel on Dec. 6, 2013
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