Commander Frederick Lowell Highsmith, 94 of Jacksonville, passed away peacefully on September 10, 2018 at Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, FL., after an extended illness.
Fred was born on August 12, 1924 in Nahunta to his parents, Henry Clay Highsmith and Mary Magdelene Stone Highsmith. He is preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Mildred Jones Highsmith; 3 sisters, Mary Korson, Martha Norton, and Lizzie Mae Hendrix; his brother, Frank Highsmith; and several half brothers and sisters.
Fred retired from the United States Navy in July of 1973 after 30 years of service. He served two tours in the Korean Conflict. One of his most noted accomplishments was picking up the Astronauts of Gemini 5 (Pete Conrad and Gordon Cooper) on August 29, 1965 upon their splashdown in the Atlantic. He also commanded the Carrier Air Group 52. He managed Marine One Helicopters for President Richard Nixon.
Fred moved to Jacksonville with his wife in 1977 and he enjoyed hunting, fishing, and get togethers with his family and friends in Nahunta. He was an avid golfer. Fred was a long time member of Mandarin United Methodist Church in Jacksonville, FL.
Survivors include his three children, Frederick Lowell Highsmith, Jr. “Sonny”, of Jacksonville, Mary Patricia Tinklepaugh (husband, Jeff), and George David Highsmith (wife, Toni), of West Palm Beach, FL., of Lawrenceville, GA; 3 grandchildren, Courtney Clay Tinklepaugh (husband, Taylor Garner), of Atlanta, Aubrey Megan Small (husband, Tyler), of Ft. Myers, and William Lowell Highsmith (wife, Julie), of West Palm Beach, FL.; 3 great grandchildren, Addison, Makenzie, and Abigail Highsmith, all of West Palm Beach, FL.; Also his Hendrix nieces, nephews, and families, of Hickox.
He will be greatly missed by all who were fortunate enough to have known him. As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be sent to Mandarin United Methodist Church for the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home; 11270 San Jose Blvd. Jacksonville, FL., 32223.
A graveside service will be held on Saturday (September 15, 2018) at 11AM at New Hope Cemetery, in Hickox with Bro. David Jacobs officiating.
Arrangements are with Frye Funeral Home, Nahunta.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing our online registry at fryefh.com.