Herbert William Fredlund

Date of Birth

August 10, 1922

City of Death

Santa Barbara

Herbert William Fredlund, 91, was born in Alhambra, California, on August 10, 1922. His family moved to Santa Barbara where he attended McKinnley Elementary, Santa Barbara Junior High, and Santa Barbara High Schools. While in school he excelled in instrumental music and it was music that he made his life’s work. When he was 19 the United States went to war and he joined the Coast Guard. He was put into the band and was transferred to San Francisco. During a rehearsal he was asked if he could play piano for the women’s choir and he fell in love with the lead soprano even though she couldn’t keep the beat. When he told her that, she smacked him, and that was that. They met in April, were engaged in August, and Herb and Dorothy Lillian Selina were married in October of 1944. In November, Herb set to sea with the Coast Guard where he was clerk to the ship’s Chaplain on a Hospital vessel. He played piano for services. He was a natural sailor and spent his time on the ship while not working walking the decks and hanging over the edge. He was never seasick in his life and from that time loved being on the water.

After his war time service Herb collected his wife and new daughter, Nancy Jean, from Bristol, CT, and returned to Santa Barbara. He returned to college on the G.I. Bill and graduated from the Riviera campus of Santa Barbara College which later became the University of California, Santa Barbara. While in Santa Barbara they lived at Hoff Heights where, second daughter, Ann Elizabeth was born.

He began teaching in Calistoga, California, where son, Herbert William, Jr., was born; then Barstow, California, where daughter, Meredith Selina, was born; San Bernardino; and returned to Santa Barbara where son, James Brewster, was born. He taught at La Cumbre Jr. High School for 25 years, retiring in 1980. While the family was in Barstow, Herb commuted to Redlands University, where he earned his Master’s Degree in clarinet performance.

Teaching music was Herb’s job and he did it with grace and fun. He had so much to say about being a music teacher that he wrote a book about the experience. But, first and foremost, Herb was a musician and there was not an instrument he could not play within a few hours. He was much in demand as a pianist and played with many ensembles on clarinet and sax. He was offered a job with the Johnny Carson band but turned it down because he didn’t think it would last and he had 5 children to support. For years he played every Saturday night at the Cabrillo Recreation Center dances with “Joe, and the Kilowatts” dance band.

Herb was a man of many talents. He was a visual artist as well as a musician and he was a gifted writer. He had many passions one of which was sailing and being on the ocean. He was the proud owner of several boats and spent most of his leisure time on the water with his family. He had the true Viking mentality and would sail off into the horizon, not returning until he just happened to return. He was very active and rode his bicycle every morning well into his 80’s. He loved the out of doors and he loved any kind of travel. He made it his goal to take his children to every State and he would plan cross country trips accordingly. He was active with both his sons in the Boy Scouts and was part of the leadership of Boy Scout Troop 122 where he participated in all the activities.

After his retirement from teaching he became increasingly involved in the local chapter of the American Federation of Music where he served as Vice-President for many years and as President for a few months before retiring.

Herb is survived by four of his five children; Nancy Jean McCradie from Green Valley Lake, and Santa Barbara, California, Herbert William Fredlund, Jr., of Orcutt, California; Meredith Selina Sedgwick of Santa Barbara, California; and James Brewster Fredlund of Buckeye, Arizona. Preceding him is his wife of 41 years, Dorothy Lillian Fredlund, who passed on in 1985, and his daughter, Ann Elizabeth Staffeld of Seattle, Washington, who passed on in 2011. Herb is also survived by his 13 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on November 30, 2013 at 2:00 at the Goleta location of Welch-Ryce-Haider; 450 Ward Drive; Santa Barbara, CA 9311. In lieu of flowers Herb was a supporter of the Arts – next time you donate to a non-profit Art organization, please remember Herb.


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