Frederick Warden Best, Jr. ’51

Frederick Warden Best, Jr. ’51, 82, retired Army colonel of Fayetteville, N.C., passed away Nov. 26 in his home. He graduated in 1951 from Davidson, where he played in the band. After Davidson, Best entered active duty again and served until 1975, culminating a career as a colonel at Fort Bragg. During active service, he attended graduate school at Syracuse University in business and finance, which prepared him for understanding how organizations function best. During his military service, he received three Legions of Merit, the Combat Infantryman Badge, and numerous awards and decorations. He also received the Bronze Star while serving in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. After retirement, Best’s long and exceptional service to North Carolina began. Over those years, there were two Freds: the “larger than life” Col. Frederick W. Best, Jr., who served with vigor and was a taskmaster to those around him. The other Fred was the quiet professional, who ensured that those in need were taken care of. In those periods where need was identified, Best could always be counted upon to contribute his time, talents, and money. For many years after retirement, Best was deeply involved in several organizations in various leadership positions. He served as president of the Board of Realtors in Fayetteville; as a leader in the Association of the U.S. Army, Braxton Bragg Chapter; as a trustee of Cape Fear Valley Medical Center; as a Mason and Shriner; as a founder and leader of the Tallywood Neighborhood Watch in the 1980s, which was a blueprint for Fayetteville; as part of the Episcopal Congregation at Fort Bragg; and as president of the Kiwanis Club of Fayetteville in 1997-98. He served as lieutenant governor of division 11 of the Carolinas district of Kiwanis International. It was his long service to Kiwanis and his generous financial contributions that Best will have a long and lasting impact to North Carolina. He joined the Fayetteville Kiwanis in 1977 and maintained 33 years of perfect attendance. For many years, he was the number one fundraiser for their annual reverse raffle, personally raising more than $100,000 that benefited the children of North Carolina. As a committee member, he helped raise and fund nearly 500 bikes in Cumberland County for the Terrific Kids program, a model program adopted by Kiwanis International. During his term as president of the Fayetteville club, he raised $22,000 to benefit iodine deficiency disorder. During that period, he was also recognized as a Kiwanis International Hixson Fellow by the Fayetteville club for his service to Kiwanis and Cumberland County. As president and lieutenant governor in Kiwanis, he was personally responsible for raising and awarding tens of thousands of dollars to worthy causes in North Carolina. His volunteerism contributed hundreds of hours annually and some years more than a thousand hours. Few have maintained the stamina and fervor that Best had in serving Cumberland County and North Carolina. He was recently awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. Best recently established a scholarship fund for military families to further their education at FTCC. He was also a Mason in a Masonic lodge in Fort Benning, Ga., for 54 years, and was also a member of MOAA. He is survived by his wife, Gladys J. Best, 3107 Drury Ln., Fayetteville, NC 28303; daughters, Carla Stanley Griffin and Denise Stanley Brisson; sons, Roger Stanley and Craig Stanley; eight grandchildren; and special friends, Rebecca and Michael Albert, Trent Laviano, and Michael Dibbert.