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Fred Andrew Booth, Jr.

08/30/1940 - 02/04/2024

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Obituary For Fred Andrew Booth, Jr.

Fred Andrew Booth Jr. was born to Mildred King Booth and Fred Andrew Booth Sr. on August 30, 1940, in Nashville, TN. He was ushered into the gates of glory on February 4, 2024, at his home in Dover, DE. As a child, Freddy was very active in his family church Seay Hubbard UMC. He attended Sunday School, Vacation Bible School and was a camp counselor at the United Methodist retreats outside of the city yearly. As a 1958 graduate of Pearl HS, he was a member of the varsity football team, set designer for the drama club and an all-around fun-loving student.

After graduation, Freddy enrolled in Tennessee State University, majoring in Architectural Engineering. While attending TSU, he became very involved in the local sit-ins and protests for equality. Having been jailed 3 times during the Civil Rights Movement, he was also a proponent of equal voting rights and very knowledgeable of Black History.

In 1961, Freddy followed his older brothers’ footsteps and enlisted in the US Military, joining the ranks of the United States Air Force. Originally, he was trained as a C-130 mechanic, however, when the opportunity presented itself to apply for the C-130 Flight Engineer School, Fred jumped at the chance, knowing that the challenge might be too much to bear. But with an extreme love of numbers and a tremendous work ethic, he graduated the school and began a life-long career as one of the first African-American C-5 Flight Engineers. His military career was filled with recognitions and medals, with the most momentous being a recipient of the 1979 McKay Trophy. The award is given to only one flight crew annually for having successfully flown the most dangerous mission during the year. He was presented the award at the Pentagon by the Commander of the US Air Force.

Eventually, Fred rose through the ranks of the military and retired in 1988 as Senior Master Sergeant of the 9th Squadron in Dover, DE. With about a 2 weeks rest under his belt, he continued his career as a C-5 Flight Engineer Instructor for Flight Safety International in Dover, DE. He absolutely loved his job and his co-workers, often remarking “if you enjoy your job, then you will never work a day in your life.” He retired from Flight Safety in 2008 and maintained close friendships with his military and civilian peers.

All who knew Fred, knew him to be an extremely loving and devoted husband to his bride, Sharon. And as the story was told, Fred’s father and stepmother Gloria, built a house across the street from the Johnson family, who happened to have a beautiful and equally talented daughter who was few years younger than the handsome military man. Once they locked eyes, love filled their hearts and in front of family and friends, they were married on December 29, 1973 in their hometown of Nashville. His career afforded them the opportunity to travel and live in such places as the Philippians, California, Hawaii and most all European countries. However, they decided to lay roots and grow a family in Dover, DE. In 1978, they had a daughter Shannon, and Freddy instantly became a loving and extremely devoted father. In the midst of his very busy work and flying schedule, he somehow managed to attend all family events and performances. His devotion and love spilled over to his granddaughters Selah and Sydney and he was always heard bragging about his girls. Even after his wife’s transition he still remained close to and often cared for her mother Della until her death.

During his years in Dover, Fred was a member of Whatcoat UMC, Mt. Zion AME and most recently Bethel AME in Smyrna DE. He was also a member of the esteemed Tuskegee Airmen. Freddy was a man of many talents and a tremendous golfer. With more trophies than can meet the eye, he enjoyed the sport for more than 60 years and was usually seen on the local AF Base golf course at least 4 times a week. He was also an avid lover of music and would support his wife, daughter and son-in-law at most all performances. In the past 2 years he became a Dance Bpop traveling to dance competitions with his granddaughter and was also a dog lover owning 6 dogs throughout his life, with the most recent companion being Chloe.

Most will describe him as calm, mild-mannered, decent and loving but they only begin to articulate him as a man. He loved God, he loved people.

He was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 49 years, Sharon W. Booth along with his brothers Robert and Charles Anthony Booth.

Fred left to cherish his memories his devoted daughter and son-in-law, Shannon and Donte’ Johnson; granddaughters, Selah and Sydney; brother, Harold Booth; sisters, Dollie Booth and Renee Booth (Al); sisters-in-law, Pamela Dawkins (Troy), Beatrice Pontoon and Candace Williams; brothers-in-law, Kevin Williams and Steve Williams; lifelong friend, Jim Drew (Annette); devoted neighbors and friends, Mike and Karen Seeney; along with a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, family and friends.

Live Stream

Services

17 Feb

Visitation

09:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Bennie Smith Funeral Home of Delaware (Dover) 717 W Division Street Dover, DE 19904 Get Directions »
17 Feb

Funeral Service

11:00 AM

Bennie Smith Funeral Home of Delaware (Dover) 717 W Division Street Dover, DE 19904 Get Directions »
11 Mar

Interment

10:00 AM

Delaware Veterans Cemetery (Bear) 2465 Chesapeake City Rd. Bear, DE 19713 Get Directions »
by Obituary Assistant

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Condolences

  • 02/17/2024

    You will be missed, thank you for picking me up in the vw so we could go skating. I remember all the fun I used to have. Rest in HIS arms . Love the Moore & Freeman family

  • 02/17/2024

    You treated me like a daughter. You called me your daughter and you and Mom Booth loved me as a daughter! You will be truly missed! Go and Rest, we got Shannon (and family), forever and always! Love you Pop! Love, Kay Porter & Family

  • 02/16/2024

    Sending prayers and condolences to the family. Mr. Booth was a kind man with a cleaver sense of humor. He will truly be missed. Love Josette Ashiru

  • 02/15/2024

    Our condolences to the family. Freddie you will be sorely missed. May you rest in peace. We love you, James and Annette Drew

Tributes

  • Red and White Floor Basket

    James Edward Drew sent Red and White Floor Basket for Fred Andrew Booth, Jr. - 02/15/2024

    Our prayers are with the family, Freddie will be sorely missed. We love you, Jimmy & Annette Drew

  • Pink Tribute Spray

    Pamela Dawkins sent Pink Tribute Spray for Fred Andrew Booth, Jr. - 02/14/2024

    From The Williams Family

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Popular Question

Remember all we enjoyed with them while they were alive. If you have recently lost someone you love, we hope that you will accept our condolences.

Why is having a funeral ceremony important?

Throughout human history, and around the globe, people have gathered together to acknowledge the death of a member of the community. No matter who the deceased was, a funeral ceremony is the one (and sometimes the only) opportunity for everyone to come together to acknowledge their death, recognize the community's shared loss and share the burden of grief.

What is the average cost of a funeral service?

The National Funeral Directors Association states the national median cost of a funeral details the average costs of a funeral in 2012: $7,045 (however, if a burial vault is required by the cemetery–and it usually is–the median cost can rise as high as $8,343). These statistics aside, the cost of a funeral service is wholly dependent on the specific services and products selected by the family member(s) responsible for making funeral arrangements. Your funeral director will thoroughly explain all options, ask the important questions about your family's budget restrictions; and otherwise do everything he or she can to provide you with a funeral, memorial service or celebration-of-life that meets your emotional and social needs, all the while staying in line with your financial expectations

How does the cost for a funeral ceremony compare to the cost of a memorial service or celebration-of-life?

Attempting to compare the costs of the three is rather like trying to compare oranges, mangoes and apples; it can't be done. Perhaps it's easier to see funerals, memorial services and celebrations-of-life as three points on a spectrum–a range, if you like–of ceremonial formats. At one end is the funeral; at the other, the celebration-of-life, and in the middle, the memorial service. The funeral is most commonly the most expensive of the three; which is especially easy to see when you consider the cost of the casket is a significant expense. The cost of any of the three is totally dependent on the choices you make during the arrangement conference.

Who should be invited to a funeral?

It's a lot like asking 'who should be invited to a wedding': people who would want to be there. A person's role at a funeral is two-fold: one, they are there to demonstrate support for the bereaved family. Second, funeral guests are there to tend to their own sorrow; to begin to come to terms, in the safety of a shared collective experience, with the death of someone they held dear. While it's not common to send out invitations to a funeral (generally, the service details are published in the newspaper or online, and those who wish to attend, do); it does make a certain amount of sense to reach out to certain individuals by phone, email, or social media to ensure they are aware of the service date/time (and express your desire for their presence). When preparing the guest list for a funeral service, you should both listen to your heart and use common sense. You know the people that mattered most to your loved one, as well as those who mattered least. Whatever you do, don't invite more people than the venue can comfortably handle.

Is it necessary to have flowers at the ceremony?

Flowers create a background of warmth and beauty which adds to the dignity and consolation of the funeral service. "Necessary" may not be the right word; but there's no doubt flowers at a funeral or other end-of-life ceremony serve many valuable purposes including a means of a visual expression of sympathy, love and respect or a means of lending support.

What's involved in preparing the body for viewing at a visitation or funeral?

The preparation of the deceased can involve a number of different tasks performed by trained and licensed embalmer and restorative artists. Without going into too much detail; the body is temporarily preserved by embalming, refrigeration, or a combination of the two. It is washed, dressed and otherwise groomed; then placed in the chosen casket for viewing. Should you wish to know more about the process, contact us. There are also many excellent articles online describing the process in greater detail.

If it makes people uncomfortable, why is it necessary to view the body in the casket?

Human beings are interesting creatures: sometimes we need to see in order to truly believe. It's a way of confirming the fact that, indeed, this individual is dead; but it's also an opportunity to say your "good-byes". You may find it a cathartic time where you can quietly share a long-held secret, let go of any anger or resentment, and otherwise come to terms with their death.

How can I best prepare my children to attend a funeral?

When asked this question, we like to tell people it's best done with honesty and awareness. Let them know basically what they can expect. Advise them there will be people there who will be sad and may cry openly; tell them there will be time for some people to stand up and talk about how much they loved the person (but they won't be required to do so). Let them ask all the questions they need to ask, reassure them you'll be right next to them throughout the experience. Never force them to go to a funeral, and always give them the opportunity to change their mind about attending.

What is a celebrant?

The Celebrant Foundation and Institute define celebrants as "trained professionals who believe in the power and effectiveness of ceremony and ritual to serve basic needs of society and the individual. The Celebrant's mission is to help the client create a ceremony that reflects his or her beliefs, philosophy of life, and personality." A life-cycle celebrant is especially valuable when a family has no religious affiliations or ties to a clergy person or minister who can officiate the funeral service, but involving a celebrant in the funeral planning process has been found to enhance the funeral experience for all concerned. "The Celebrant comes to the table with no agenda," shares the Institute's website, "and no preconceived notion of what the ceremony should or must look like. Instead, through careful interviewing, the Celebrant elicits what is meaningful for each client." If you think hiring a celebrant is the right for your family's situation, contact us for more details.

How long is a funeral service?

Simply put, "it depends on the service". Just as no two movies or novels are the same length or cover the same emotional ground; no two end-of-life ceremonies are the same.

Must I wear black to the funeral ceremony?

Black used to be the only color to wear to a funeral; but not anymore. Today things are less formal than they once were, and it's not totally uncommon for families to ask prospective guests to altogether avoid wearing black clothing. Should you have additional questions about funeral attire or etiquette, please contact us.

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