Deceased September 11, 2001
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Fred Rimmele died September 11, 2001, while en route to a medical conference in Monterey, California. He was a passenger on United Airlines Flight 175. Fred enriched the lives of all whom he met, and will be sorely missed by family, friends, and patients.
Fred was born and raised in Clifton, New Jersey, and attended Montclair Kimberley Academy. Fred graduated from Amherst College magna cum laude, majoring in English and chemistry. His chemistry honors thesis, "Factors Influencing the Phosphorylation of Bovine Olfactory Cilia Proteins" was explained to many friends, but understood by none. He was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi honor societies. Fred rowed crew for the Lord Jeffs throughout his college years, and was proud to be one of the "old guys on the wall" of LeFrak Gym. Additionally, Fred was a (sic) editor for Sabrina, the humor magazine.
College conversations with Fred frequently started with a jovial "Dude," often followed by the abbreviated query, " 'sup?", and frequently included a subject (a chemistry test, a crew practice, his sophomore off-campus room draw) which "sucked." I was therefore surprised at graduation to learn that Fred was an English major. Yet in several respects, he was the true poet-athlete. Fred's life was filled with beauty, at times rough-hewn, yet skillfully balanced.
Following college, Fred attended the Duke University School of Medicine. He described his experience in a letter sent during his first semester. "I went to Amherst, I knew Amherst, and frankly, senator, Duke Med School is no Amherst." During his training, Fred wrote a column, "The Septic Skeptic," and edited the medical student newspaper, Shifting Dullness. He received his medical degree in 1994.
Fred attended the Maine-Dartmouth Family Practice Residency between 1994 and 1997. More significantly, during this time he met, courted, and married Kimberly Trudel, an executive in the software industry. The wedding was a special event that reflected their mutual interests, featuring sea-kayaking, home-brewed beer, a lobster pot, and even an exchange of vows. At some point during the festivities, Fred completed his residency training. He briefly entered private practice before joining the faculty of the Family Practice Residency Program based at Beverly and Hunt Hospitals.
Fred and Kim's marriage was a blessing and joy to them both, and to all who knew them. Though they hiked the Swiss Alps, bird-watched in the rainforests of Belize, and canoed the backwaters of Maine, what they loved most was to be with each other, walking hand in hand.
"Email me more, Dude! Use that info superhighway," Fred once wrote in a Christmas card. Although we didn't write much for the kind of correspondence I now wish we had shared, Fred and I collaborated via email to assemble the ten-year reunion issue of the Sabrina. He took great joy in this project, but was "unfortunately" unable to attend the Class Reunion. Instead, he was touring the Irish countryside with Kim. I last saw Fred at the '00 Homecoming game--incidentally the Lord Jeff's first football victory against Williams since our freshman year.
Fred was an Eagle Scout, amateur naturalist, faithful church-going Episcopalian, consummate Scrabble player, dabbler in the stock market, hopeless romantic, home-brewer, and loyal friend. His disposition was naturally curious and inventive. His playful personality intertwined seamlessly with his firm moral compass and his natural ability to lead.
"Frederick," as he was called by his immediate family, had a special bond with his mother, also an avid bird-watcher. Visits to family in New Jersey always included time with his mother to travel the New Jersey shore in search of new birds for his "life list." His love of nature was rooted in his scouting experience, which he shared with his father. Fred and Kim shared many fun times with Fred's sister and brother-in-law, who also live in the Boston area.
As a physician, Fred was known for his caring and respectful demeanor. His deep spiritual beliefs guided his actions. His colleagues remember him as an excellent clinician who was impeccable in his pursuit of detail: a true caregiver whose commitment and irreverent sense of humor carried him and his colleagues through many hard times. His students remember him as "always being there for them." A perfectionist, he demanded excellence and at times seemingly superhuman performance--though never more than he was willing to do himself.
Fred was a compassionate and gentle person, with an adventurous spirit and generous heart. He always had a smile on his face and a kind word for everyone. Fred often spoke of life as being a precious gift, and seized every opportunity to enjoy this gift to its fullest. Fred's untimely death leaves a great void in the lives of those who knew and loved him. The love he shared freely will be cherished.
Fred is survived by his wife, Kimberly Trudel; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frederick C. Rimmele, Jr.; his sister, Karen M. Connors; his grandmother, Mrs. Frank Kunzier; and loving aunts, uncles, and cousins. Memorial donations can be made to Amherst College, or to The Nature Conservancy. His family wishes to thank the community for their support, prayers, and sympathy.
James L. Carroll Jr. '90