FREDERICK ORMAND WATERS
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1927 - 2013
Frederick Ormand Waters, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather, passed away in our arms and surrounded by family on Wednesday December 4th, 2013. He was born in Alabama in 1927 to Boman and Corrine Waters. He left home at the age of 17 to join the Navy in WWII, and earned the first of two Purple Heart in Guam. After his Navy duty ended in 1946 he joined the Army, and was trained as a photographer, serving a tour in Japan and earning the name "Mizu-San", Japanese for "Mr. Waters".
Mr. Waters was hired by the Associated Press in 1952. He remained in Southeast Asia and covered conflicts that included the Korean War, the French-Indochina War, and Vietnam. He was wounded in Korea, hurt in a helicopter crash in Laos, and suffered an eye injury from a bamboo trap in South Vietnam. During the French-Indochina War, he covered the fall of North Vietnam. He was one of the last three newsmen to leave Hanoi before it was overrun by the Vietminh in 1954, and was able to smuggle out forbidden pictures for all the world to witness.
Mr. Waters returned to the states and made his home in St. Louis, where he worked until he retired. In Missouri he covered presidential visits, construction of the Gateway Arch, natural disasters, and all of the St. Louis sports events, particularly, his favorite team, the St. Louis Cardinals . He traveled with Martin Luther King, Jr. and covered the upheaval after his assassination. Due to his illustrious career and utmost respect of his peers, he was inducted into the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame in 2008. He chronicled his amazing life and career with the help of author Joe Culpepper in 2011 in his book Mizu-San. A Gulf Breeze High School Junior ROTC scholarship fund was established by Mr. Culpepper in honor of Fred O Waters.
During his extensive travels he met his beautiful wife, Mary, in Hong Kong. This year they celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary.
Fred Waters is survived by his devoted wife, Mary Waters of Gulf Breeze; son, Oscar Waters (Cyndi) of St. Louis; daughters, Karen Wiley (Wes) and Jane Taylor (Frank) of Gulf Breeze; nine loving and proud grandchildren, Jeremy, Brendan, Corey and Tyler Waters of St.Louis, Spencer and Clayton Wiley of Gulf Breeze, Shelby, Fisher and Koby Taylor of Gulf Breeze, as well as three great-grandchildren, Kylee, Mason, and Savannah Waters. He also leaves behind two sisters, Lurene Seaton, Sheila Stephens, and a brother, Tommy Brill, as well as a special nephew Mike Green. Fred Waters was our hero.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday December 8 at 2:00 p.m. at Bayview Fisher-Pou Chapel on Scenic Highway. A celebration of life will follow the service at Global Grill. In lieu of flowers please send memorial contributions to the FRED O WATERS MEMORIAL JUNIOR ROTC SCHOLARSHIP, SunTrust Bank, 11 Hoffman Dr, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561.
The family will receive friends from 1:30 p.m. until 2:00 p.m., Sunday at the funeral home.
BAYVIEW FISHER-POU CHAPEL, 3351 Scenic Highway is entrusted with arrangements.
Condolences may be offered at www.bayviewfisher-pouchapel.com.
Express your condolences in our guestbook at pnj.com/obits
Published in Pensacola News Journal from Dec. 7 to Dec. 8, 2013