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Frederick Royce Converse passed away surrounded by his family and loved ones in Danbury, CT on October 27th, 2023. Though he was 74-years-old, he was spirited and young at heart.
Born on April 6th, 1949, Fred spent his childhood in Dover, MA. He loved his hometown dearly, and enjoyed sharing stories of his life there. His particular favorites involved good-natured pranks on the local police force and good times at Dover-Sherborn High School, where he excelled at cross country running and played keyboard in his band, The Footprints. He was a diehard Red Sox fan, and spoke often of attending games where he watched Ted Williams at bat.
Fred’s talent on the piano showed itself at the early age of three; however he was never able to read music. Impressively, he instead played by ear with perfect pitch - imparting his own flair onto music that he also enjoyed listening to, such as jazz classics and Broadway musicals.
After earning a BA in Psychology at Windham Collage in Putney, VT, Fred began to play the piano professionally in a variety of venues. These included the Putney Inn, the Lodge at Mount Snow, and The Hotel Northampton. It was then that he met the director of a singing group of waiters and waitresses called The Dynastics. Fred would eventually become the group’s musical director, composing vocal arrangements for their performances, then handing off the music to the group’s piano player to play; because interestingly, Fred could compose and write music, but was unable to read back himself what he had composed.
Fred met his first wife, Stevie Converse, through a mutual friend at the Dynastics; and they were married in 1980. During this time, Fred continued to play “gigs” at many venues, and eventually formed The Fred Converse Trio. Fred and Stevie later moved from Vermont to Brooklyn, NY where he continued to be an active participant in the performing arts scene. The community of people Fred met while working in Vermont and New York became much loved, life-long friends.
As time went on, Fred pivoted from performance to more traditional work experience. After exploring various careers through a temp agency, in 1981 Fred landed a job at Showtime Networks (a division of Viacom). Even though this first job explicitly required experience with computers, a technology that he had never worked with before; Fred was never one to be deterred by failing to meet important prerequisites. He took the job and over time blossomed as a data systems analyst; specializing in coordinating data analytics with IT systems. During his 20 years there, Fred developed a variety of data collection and organizational systems that kept the juggernaut media company ahead of its competitors in the then budding field of computerized analytics and communications. He worked at this job tirelessly, and proved himself to be an effective and industrious leader in the company.
His life shifted gears again in the early 90s when he and wife, then Lou Converse, moved to Darien, CT. There, they left behind the chaos of city life and started a family. His first two children were born in 1994: twins Jacob and Eli. A few years after this, Fred’s life again changed direction: he exited his job at Showtime and went through a divorce. Though these years were challenging, he took great pains to remain close with his children and co-parent them with Lou. He was an early adopter of the “work from home” lifestyle when he followed up his career at Viacom with another data systems job at BigPipe.com. This move allowed him the flexibility to be available for his young sons: volunteering in their elementary school classrooms, spending time teaching them to ride bikes, tie shoes, play baseball, and enjoy the outdoors. He was passionate about his work; but his dedication to his children was unmatched.
In 2002, he was remarried to Shannon Converse, with whom he would spend the rest of his life. They grew a long and loving relationship together - a marriage that lasted 21 years. Also in 2002, Fred and Shannon founded and operated a successful tutoring placement agency called My Tutor and Me. They operated the company out of their homes in Norwalk and Darien, CT. The company was recognized for their excellence in the education field by entities such as the New York Times and the Better Business Bureau.
Fred’s third child, Aedan, was born in May of 2010. With Fred’s older twin boys entering adulthood, Aedan’s birth signaled a new phase in Fred’s life. Though he and Shannon would continue to run My Tutor and Me for another 10 years, it was when they moved to Brookfield, CT in 2015 that Fred began to slowly enter retirement in order to focus on the aspects of his life that brought him joy. While Fred was Aedan’s stay-at-home dad, he continued to keep up with the twists and turns of his older children’s lives. Fred closely followed progressive politics, immersed himself in nature and the outdoors and spent time with his beloved dogs. He also continued to cultivate other hobbies including photography, genealogy and, of course, music.
In May of 2018, a major storm passed through Brookfield which caused considerable damage to the forest surrounding Fred’s and Shannon’s property. Though it was originally difficult for him to make sense of what had become of the woods, Fred would eventually come to enjoy landscaping the field that was left in the storm’s wake. He photographed vibrant sunsets overlooking the now-exposed hills from the porch of their home; and he spent many, many hours appreciating the plants and animals that began to repopulate the area. To Fred, this home that existed so close to nature and the peace it brought him: where he could think, work, spend time with Aedan and chase the family dog, was an immeasurable blessing.
Fred passed away deeply in love with nature, music, and his family. He will be remembered most of all for these passions. His life was a true gift to all those he loved.
He is survived by his spouse Shannon; his children Eli, Jacob and Aedan; his immediate siblings Paula and Roger; his half and step siblings Chris, Gary, Tim, Ted, deLancey and Peter; and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held in Dover, MA on Thursday, November 9, 2023 at 11:00 AM, at The Dover Church, 17 Springdale Ave, A reception will follow.
Please RSVP to Paula Converse, firstname.lastname@example.org if you are able to attend in person. The service will be Live Streamed via this link https://youtube.com/live/tdCs4B9Wn68:
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made in Fred’s memory to The Appalachian Mountain Club. Follow this link (www.outdoors.org) to make a donation.