Chaplain (LTC) Fred L. Maddox, US Army, Retired, 88 years old, passed away at East Georgia Regional Medical Center, Statesboro, Georgia on Tuesday, February 8, 2022. Brother Fred, as he was fondly called, was born in Cordele Georgia, Crisp County to the late John Alexander Maddox and Nannie Sue (Moreland) Maddox. The receipt of payment to the doctor for his delivery was a ham and a gallon of syrup. Brother Fred enjoyed syrup on just about anything.
Raised on a farm, he developed a strong work ethic and was determined to study agriculture and become a farmer like his brother, Gene, and his father. Upon graduation from East Crisp High School, and we should mention he was the Homecoming King his senior year, he attended Berry College in Rome, Georgia. It was during the fall of his junior year at Berry that he decided to devote his life to full time ministry. He continued his education at Emory University Candler School of Theology and as he was finishing his Masters of Divinity at Emory in Atlanta, Fred was the Assistant Pastor and a choir member at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church. That is where he became smitten with a young and spirited college student from Young Harris College, his beloved Pat. Pat was working at Davison’s Department Store and staying at a boarding house in downtown Atlanta with her friends that summer. That fateful day, Pat chose to go to church with her Methodist friend instead of her normal Baptist church. The result was a remarkable love story that lasted over 62 years. They were married on June 14, 1959.
Brother Fred’s first appointment was to Peavy Memorial Methodist Church in Cordele, Georgia. Other appointments during this time period included Adrian Charge and Wilmington Island United Methodist Church. In the late 1960’s, the US Army was in need of pastors during the Vietnam War and a call was distributed to young pastors to volunteer. Following in his brothers’ footsteps, all of whom served in WWII, he volunteered to serve his country as a Chaplain in the US Army. He was commissioned as a Chaplain (Captain) in 1967. His initial commitment to the US Army was for three years, with one of those years being in Vietnam. He served with the 101st Airborne Division, the famous Screaming Eagles. After he returned home, he and Pat decided that he should continue to serve his country in the military, and they did so faithfully for a total of 24 years.
Throughout Brother Fred’s military career, he and his growing family enjoyed the travel and adventure of military life, which included ten moves to various places, including three years in Fairbanks, Alaska, and another three in Okinawa, Japan. Throughout all those adventures, the 1971 VW Bus that was bought brand new in Fairbanks, Alaska, faithfully moved the family from coast to coast and overseas. That VW Bus is still with the family today. Brother Fred’s scheduled retirement from the US Army was slightly delayed due to the 1st Gulf War, but he did finally retire from the US Army in the summer of 1991 as a Lieutenant Colonel.
After his official retirement from the US Army, Brother Fred returned to serve in the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. His first appointment was to Statesboro First United Methodist Church. He and Pat came rolling into town in the 1971 VW Bus and they embraced this new adventure in the Statesboro community, and the community, in turn, embraced them. They decided they would make Statesboro their permanent home. There would be other appointments by the church, but home was always Statesboro.
In and out of the military, Brother Fred had a passion to serve and encourage. To him, serving was his way of sharing God’s love. In addition to his work in the church, he found time to serve his community as the Bulloch County Lions Club President, Statesboro Food Bank President, United Methodist Children’s Home Auxiliary President, supporter and encourager of D’s Diner, Emory School of Medicine Volunteer (donor) and a Dan Williams Sunday School Class member, just to name a few. He touched so many families and community members with his quick smile and boisterous laugh. His joy was to be shared with everyone in his community, and he was always there to provide a comforting hug, a hand squeeze, and a prayer in times of need.
Throughout his years he gave comfort to others and displayed a calming sense about him. Whether in a diner, a convenience store, or restaurant, Brother Fred never met a stranger and often engaged new acquaintances in conversation. A stranger to him was a friend that just needed an introduction. Words others have used to describe him are kind, thoughtful, gentle, joyful, man of strong faith, and wise. His family would add devoted, generous, courageous, thankful, appreciative and loving.
Of all the accomplishments that Brother Fred had throughout his life, he was most proud of his family. He was a devoted husband, father and a doting grandfather. He was the happiest with his entire family surrounding him and that happiness was palpable. His devotion to his Pat after 62 years is a testament to the abounding love in his heart that will be missed the most.
Rev. Fred Maddox is survived by his devoted wife of 62 years, Patricia Ann (Brooks) Maddox; three children, Laneah June Maddox of Warner Robins, GA; Lacrecia Ann Maddox of Alexandria, VA; Fred Alexander Maddox (Andrea Michelle Johnson) of Atlanta, GA; two grandchildren, Alexander Brooks Maddox and Robert Sawyer Maddox. Fred was predeceased by his father John Alexander Maddox and mother Nannie Sue (Moreland) Maddox, his brothers Rev. Eugene Matthews Maddox, John Moreland Maddox Sr., Notley Glawson Maddox Sr. and Lemuel Maddox. Fred has 43 nieces and nephews.
The family will receive guests a half hour before and after the memorial service that is planned for 2 PM Saturday, February 26th, 2022 at 1st United Methodist Church in Statesboro, Georgia. Brother Fred’s final internment will be at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia at a future date. Honorary pallbearers are The Dan Williams Sunday School class, the Bulloch County Lions Club, and pastors and wives. Pastors are encouraged to don robes at the memorial service.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations be made to Berry College, Emory University or Statesboro 1st United Methodist Church.
His military career took him around the world more than once. His military assignments included 1988 – US Army Retirement 1991, Deputy Post Chaplain, Redstone Arsenal Alabama; 1984 – 1988, Chaplain, Residential Treatment Facility for Alcohol Rehabilitation, Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Fort Gordon, Georgia; 1983 – 1984, Clinical Pastoral Education, Walter Reed Army Medical Center; 1980 – 1983, Staff Chaplain, US Army Garrison, Okinawa, Japan; 1977 – 1980, Assistant Staff Chaplain on Post, 3rd Brigade Chaplain – 9th Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Washington; 1976 – 1977, 528th Field Artillery Group, TUSLOG 67, Thrace, Turkey, Cakmakli; 1975 – 1976, Advanced Course, US Army Chaplain Center and School, Fort Wadsworth, Brooklyn, NY; 1972 – 1975, Assistant Staff Chaplain, Religious Education, Post Pastor, Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Maryland; 1969 – 1972, Assistant Brigade Chaplain, 171st Infantry Brigade (Separate/Light), Fort Wainwright, Fairbanks, Alaska; 1968 – 1969, 2/502nd Infantry Battalion Chaplain, Vietnam; Hue/Phu Bai area, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) 1st Brigade, 2/502nd Infantry; 1967 – 1968, and Assistant Brigade Chaplain, Combat Training Center, Fort Benning, Georgia (Sand Hill).
During his service he was the recipient of numerous awards, campaign ribbons and commendations including the Legion of Merit, Army Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal w/ Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (3rd Oak Leaf Cluster); Army Commendation Medal (1st Oak Leaf Cluster), Vietnam Service Metal (4), Humanitarian Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon (3), Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Parachutist Badge.
United Methodist South Georgia Conference Assignments:
Brother Fred retired from active duty in 1991 and moved to Statesboro, Georgia where he served as the associate pastor at Statesboro 1st United Methodist Church. His last appointment was at Portal United Methodist Church in Portal GA. Other churches served were Langston Chapel United Methodist Church, Epworth United Methodist Church, Jesup, GA; Morningside United Methodist Church, Thomasville Georgia; Wilmington Island United Methodist Church; 1961 – 1964, Adrian Enlarged Charge, Adrian GA; Peavy Memorial United Methodist Church, Cordele GA; and Assistant Pastor, Wesley Memorial Methodist Church, Atlanta, GA.