In Memory of
Frederic Eugene Weber

December 2, 1924 - October 19, 2014

Member of Detroit Lodge No. 7 for over 50 Years
Initiated February 11, 1964
Pennant No. A-1293

Lodge President 1969 & 1970
Lodge Warden 1965 & 1966

Fred at the 2012 Lodge Dinner Dance

Longtime lodge member Fred Weber passed away on October 19, 2014 after a battle with bone cancer and complications of a broken hip.  He was 89 years of age.  Fred was a member of the lodge for over 50 years, serving two terms as lodge President (1969 and 1970).

Fred’s parents met aboard the S.S. TASHMOO, where his father Thomas was Chief Steward.  Fred’s mother, a recent widow, had come aboard the TASHMOO for an excursion and met Thomas.  Love and marriage followed and their only son Frederic was born on December 2, 1924.

Being the chief steward on the S.S. TASHMOO had perks and one of them allowed Mrs. Weber and young Fred the use of the area beneath the pilothouse. Previously the area had been the Captain’s cabin and when a new cabin was constructed behind the wheel house for the Captain the area beneath the pilothouse became a lounge. Fred would go aboard with his mother for weekends on the TASHMOO to Port Huron. He remembered being in the private lounge on a number of trips.


Fred often went with his father to inspect the vessel during the off season when it was in the Detroit Shipyard. His father snapped a photo of young Fred at the railing of the TASHMOO prior to the 1936 sailing season. It was during the 1936 season that the TASHMOO struck a rock while leaving Sugar Island in the lower Detroit River, then mooring at a dock in Amherstburg. Fred’s father recalled it was an orderly sinking. As the boat settled to the bottom, the band and dancers simply moved one deck higher to continue the evening’s festivities.


After the S.S. TASHMOO was salvaged Fred’s father requested permission to retrieve a few items from the vessel that were in a White Star Line warehouse in Detroit. He was allowed to take some china and a number of silver serving pieces engraved TASHMOO. These were used in the Weber household until Fred decided to disperse his collection. 


Fred grew up helping his dad on the S.S. TASHMOO and then on the S.S. PUT-IN-BAY which ran to the Lake Erie Islands and midnight dance cruises on Lake St. Clair.  Fred was in charge of the concession stand. He then got his own summer job at age sixteen on the S.S. EASTERN STATES of the Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Company Line.

Uncle Sam called Fred in 1943 and he served in the U.S. Army 326 Harbor Craft on a tug which was stationed in India. The tug brought supplies to the cargo planes that were flying ‘over the hump” bringing supplies to the Chinese Army during World War II. One of Fred’s vital jobs was to provide beer to the pilots who were flying cargo planes over the Himalaya Mountains. The planes had to fly straight over the mountains and in order to keep the pilots awake they were required to pop a number of cans of beer. It was not the alcohol in the cans that the pilots needed, rather the oxygen that was released when a can of beer was opened. With a small reserve of oxygen in each can the pilots could attain the proper altitude and then come down safely on the other side of the mountain. Fred recounted that a book had been written about the Army’s experiences in the India Campaign and it was entitled “Confusion Beyond Imagination’.

After returning from World War II, he returned to Detroit where he worked on the Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Company’s S.S. GREATER DETROIT as a purser. When the GREATER DETROIT was taken out of service at the end of the 1950 sailing season he took a job with Detroit Edison and retired from that company after forty years of service.


In 1950 he found and dated Joan and soon they were Mr. & Mrs. Weber. Their only child Ty was born in 1952. Fred’s heart was always with the “Boats” and he photographed many of the vessels that plied the Inland Seas and came to the Port of Detroit, often from the windows of the Mistersky Power Plant where he worked for many years.

Fred and Joan became involved with the International Shipmasters' Association.  He joined Detroit Lodge No. 7 on February 11, 1964 and Joan joined the Ladies Auxiliary.  Fred participated in numerous lodge activities, holding several lodge offices and serving on committees for a number of lodge dinner dances and conventions. After Fred’s retirement from Detroit Edison he kept active in the Detroit Lodge even though his eyesight was failing.  Just this past winter (February 2014), he made a special effort to attend the ISMA Convention held at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. 

Fred had a great interest in the Dossin Great Lakes Museum.  For a number of years Fred was the maritime news editor for Telescope magazine that is produced by the Great Lakes Maritime Institute, a support group of the Dossin Museum.  He would painstakingly gather information on the activities of the Great Lakes vessels, news that is now readily available on the internet. He helped document the comings and goings of the Lakers and knew the five Great Lakes and Seaway system well.
He and his good friend Captain Donald Erickson enjoyed volunteering for duty at the Detroit Boat Show and could be found in the pilothouse of the WILLIAM CLAY FORD that was attached to the museum after the vessel was taken out of service.  Fred had a special interest in the WILLIAM CLAY FORD where he served as a ‘deck hand’ and ‘wheelsman’ on the vessel during his long vacations from Detroit Edison. This was all due to the action of his best friend Captain Donald Erickson.

Per Fred’s wishes no funeral services or visitation were held.  He remarked, “Do nothing after I die, salute the flag and think of me once.”  Fred’s wife Joan preceded him in death, passing away in 2008.  Fred and Joan Weber were both interred at the Great Lakes National Military Cemetery in Holly, Michigan on November 14, 2014. They are survived by their son Tyree and daughter in law, Mary Weber of Clinton Township, Michigan.

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Aboard the William Clay Ford

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              Fred Weber & PGP Captain Don Erickson                         Joan & Fred Weber at the 2005 Lodge 7 Dinner Dance