Saturday, March 08, 2014
R.E. Fiddler, 90
R.E. Fiddler, a former Westport resident and retired U.S. Merchant Marine captain, died March 6 at the Village at Brookfield Commons. He was 90.
Born in Parsons, Tenn., the son of the late Herbert and Nettie Fiddler, he had been a Westport resident since 1967 prior to recently moving to Brookfield.
He was a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, class of 1945. While a cadet, he served during World War II under the auspices of the U.S. Coast Guard. Upon graduation he began his 40-year career with the Merchant Marines, rising to the rank of captain and master.
He sailed for the U.S. Lines his entire career, and while onboard the SS United States, which still holds the speed record for the fastest transatlantic passing, he had the honor of meeting both Presidents Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
His last assignment was as captain/master of the SS Oklahoma on its maiden voyage. “The Captain,” as he was affectionately known, loved everything to do with the sea. Everything in his life evolved around this passion, and he excelled at all levels of seamanship and navigation and strove for perfection, not only from himself, but all those around him.
He was a member of the Fairfield County Hunt Club and the Masters, Mates and Pilots Organization.
Survivors include a daughter, Maria Leukart and her husband Jay of Monroe; a daughter-in-law, Terry L. Fiddler of Brookfield; three grandchildren, Sarah Kelly and her husband Brian of Fairfield, Ashley Leukart of Monroe, and Tim Fiddler of Brookfield; two great-grandchildren, Connor and Jack Kelly, and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents and wife, Dora, he was predeceased by his son, Edward Fiddler.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday, March 10, at 10 a.m. meeting directly at St. Luke Church, 84 Long Lots Road, Westport. Entombment with military honors will follow in Oak Lawn Cemetery Mausoleum, Fairfield. Calling hours have been omitted.
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Sending condolences from Shirley Doyle and family. Love and Peace to the family.