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Richard James Fetterman
September 4, 1925 - March 8, 2008

Gilbert, AZ

Richard James Fetterman

Richard James Fetterman was the oldest child and only son of three children born to Dorothy M. (Weedling) and Lafayette Ressler Fetterman. Dick, as he was known, left home when his youngest sister was about nine years old for Ohio State College in Columbus on a scholarship where he was on the swimming team and among the best swimmers in the world. He was also on the Pepsi Cola Swimming Team in Cincinnati, OH.

Beginning his third year of college, he transferred to the University of Miami in Florida where he was the captain of his swimming team. He graduated from there.

He swam in many competitions and won many medals and trophies in backstroke and also in medley swimming in the United States and Hawaii, and perhaps other places. He narrowly missed the Olympics because he caught a cold.

At twenty-seven years of age, Dick married a nurse and lived in the Miami area where they bought a house and investment land along the Florida coast. He never used his college education, but lived very frugally mainly on his investment money. They had two children, Ann and then RJ seven years later. The whole family helped him build a 40-foot sail boat, which they lived on for a number of years and sailed around the Florida Keys. For years after his marriage dissolved, he lived in a camper on his truck and traveled to different parts of the United States.

Dick was somewhat of an exotic figure, as he was interested in adventure, collecting bottles that were at the time around three hundred years old which he found in the mangroves of the water, into geology and checking out rocks, extremely into eating healthy, although we caught him eating ice cream, etc. Whatever he pursued, he was totally focused on the subject.

He loved climbing mountains and could climb thousands of feet fairly quickly. He also loved riding bikes, once entered into a race in Florida on a one-speed bike and beat all the others that were on more modern bikes. He was offered a reward but told them he could not accept it because he had not entered by the rules.

Later on, he studied all religions and could “hear the earth.” Since then, I have read that this is true. In a very quiet place (mountains, secluded areas, etc.), you can actually hear or feel the earth vibrate. I believed him because he could explain everything. He knew a lot about cures for different things and wanted to be notified if anyone became ill or even sick with cancer. He would come to our aid.

He was intelligent and happy, eccentric and wise. He had a gentle spirit and meant evil to no one. He did exactly what he wanted with his life and lived it to the fullest measure until it was time to go. Dick returned home from Guatemala where he was diagnosed with liver cancer. He passed away shortly after that and his body was cremated.

His daughter Ann is a published writer of novels and also maintains a website and blog. She is married to a Brethren minister with a church in the Phoenix area. His son RJ lives on Maui.

A very special thank you to his sister Gloria Rogers and niece Cathy Haney for providing the above biography.

Rev. 7/2015