Fred C. Wooldridge passed away on September 19, 2021, in Highlands, N.C.
After moving to Miami Beach, Florida, from Louisville, Kentucky, his birth place, he worked for Florida Power and Light for several years as a Lineman Helper.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army and spent six years in the U.S. Army Reserve as a Staff Sergeant specializing in Communications.
He attended Miami-Dade Community College and received an Associate Degree in Criminology.
From November, 1961 to October, 1989, Fred served as a police officer in the Miami Beach, Florida Police Department.
He started out in the Juvenile Division as a School Liaison Officer, then progressed to Road Patrol, then Commander of the Criminal Investigation Unit and the Patrol Division. He was promoted to Major in October of 1980. As such, he commanded the Safe Streets Unit, was Project Director for the Chief of Police, and Executive Commander of the Criminal Investigations Division and the Special Burglary Task Force for the residential Miami Beach area. His most interesting or exciting position was when he became an Undercover Narcotics Officer and served in that capacity for more than three years, often masquerading as a dope dealer, complete with long hair and scruffy beard, at times finding himself in dangerous territory with people of questionable character. After that assignment he became Commander of the SWAT team and was a graduate of Miami SWAT School. During his time as a police officer he attended the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA.
Upon his retirement in 1989 Fred decided to take his experience as a SWAT commander and open up a rappelling business in Highlands, N.C., where he taught people to rappel from the beautiful mountaintop cliffs in the area. He kept up this business for 13 years as a summertime escape from FL.
After this career Fred decided to try his luck at writing and became a writer for the local newspaper as a satire writer. With his sense of humor, he sometimes alienated people who had different mindsets but most of his followers looked forward to his weekly column. Along with this new career he wrote two books, one a humorous collection of short stories called “I’m Moving Back to Mars” and then a serious novel called “Deceived”.
Fred was a member of Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church and assisted as an usher. He loved the Town of Highlands and enjoyed summers there and spent the rest of his time in Florida.
He leaves behind his wife of many years, Maddy, and three children, Ken, Cindy and Jeff, and nine grandchildren and one great-grandson.
Donations in Fred’s honor can be made to Tunnels to Towers Foundation or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
A memorial Mass will be at 9 AM on Friday, October 1, at Our Lady of the Mountains Church, Highlands.
Bryant-Grant Funeral and Crematory is serving the Wooldridge family. Online condolences can be made at www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com
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