Fred Medders, 71, 'mayor' of Ednor Gardens


Frederick C. Medders, a retired chauffeur, chef and community worker, died of cancer Tuesday at his Ednor Gardens home. He was 71.

Known as "Big Fred," he was also called the "unofficial mayor of Ednor Gardens," said his wife, the former Maethelda Morris of Baltimore, whom he married in 1950.

Mr. and Mrs. Medders' first residence was in Lower Ashburton, where he and his wife established the La Burt Improvement Association.

"He loved solving problems," she said. "He counseled the youth, befriended the elderly and defended the rights of all citizens."

In 1965, he was named an Outstanding Citizen of Baltimore and was honored at a City Hall ceremony by Comptroller Hyman Pressman, who gave him an award for his efforts in rescuing a mugging victim. Police arrested the mugger as Mr. Medders chased him with a golf club.

Mr. Medders was born in Hickory, S.C., and attended schools in Gastonia, N.C. In 1946, he came to Baltimore and worked in a defense plant.

He joined the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in 1951 as a dining car chef and worked on such legendary trains as the Capitol Limited and the Royal Blue, where he was known for his gourmet abilities.

"He was my father's second cook on the B&O;," said Del. Tony E. Fulton, D-Baltimore. "After my dad died, I told him I was adopting him as my dad. He was so helpful with advice when I joined the Colonial Golf Club three years ago and started learning the game. He was a wonderful man."

After leaving the B&O; in 1961, he became the chef at the Merchants Club until 1966, when he became an executive chauffeur for Alexander and Alexander Inc., the Baltimore insurance brokers.

Fond of carpentry, he designed and built several additions to his home, and was a part-time instructor in carpentry in the evening school at Mergenthaler Vocational High.

"I couldn't get sick or die on Tuesdays or Thursdays," recalled his wife with a laugh. "Those were his golf days. They were set aside, and that was it. He only gave up his Sunday golf date when he joined the church."

He was a founding member of the Colonial Golf Club, one of the oldest black golf clubs in Baltimore. He also was the past president of the Carroll Park Golf Association and was a member of the Monumental Golfers. The Junior Golf Association named a trophy in his honor for his many years of support of its organization.

"He loved competing with his golf buddies, who were eager to challenge the Big Guy who could hit the ball a country mile," his wife said.

He was active for many years in Emmanuel Christian Community Church, where he served with its Community Men group. He was a founding member of the National Social Club and a member of the Cups and Saucers club.

Services for Mr. Medders are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. today at Emmanuel Christian Community Church, Lanvale Street at Carrollton Avenue.

Besides his wife, he is survived by a son, Frederick Medders Hawkins of Charlotte, N.C.; a daughter, Janis Almira Thompson of Baltimore; and four grandchildren.

The family suggested contributions to the Emmanuel Community Christian Church Scholarship Fund.

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