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Frederick E. Flothmeier, age 72, of Maple Glen, PA passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at Abington Hospital.
He was born in Wynnewood, PA while his parents, missionaries to Liberia West Africa, were on furlough in the States. He was the son of Ernest and Rosemary (nee Castan) Flothmeier. Fred spent his first seven years in Liberia before moving to Ventnor, NJ and then settling in Telford PA. He graduated from Souderton High School in 1967, spending his junior year in Karlsruhe, Germany as Souderton's first exchange student. He attended Muhlenberg College from which he graduated in 1971. There, Fred met his wife of 46 years, Lois J (nee Schneider) Flothmeier. He pursued and earned a master's degree at Penn State and Temple University. Fred was an art teacher for the Upper Dublin School District where he taught all levels, K-12, and taught in every school in the district over his 37 year career. He retired after many years at Fort Washington Elementary School in 2013.
Fred was not only an art teacher, he was an artist. It was one of his lifelong passions. He worked in many media, oils, acrylics, water color, pastels, charcoal, pen and ink and printmaking. He enjoyed painting the places he loved most, capturing the everyday beauty of the world.
He was a passionate fisherman. Even as a little boy in Africa he would run off with his young friends to fish. He loved all types of fishing. In the summers he enjoyed going out in the early mornings and evenings, almost always catching dinner. He especially loved to fish with his children and recently was able to impart the love of this most enjoyable pastime to his young grandchildren.
Fred was an equally talented cook and loved to prepare meals for his family in which the catch of the day was often featured. He was a creative cook, often preparing his own delicious recipes and searching for new recipes in magazines and online.
In his free time Fred loved to read about the world around him and especially enjoyed learning about the universe. He displayed fascination and wonder in the unknown. He was incredibly curious, reading books about the cosmos and devouring National Geographic and Smithsonian magazines.
Fred loved sports, participating in track and soccer in both high school and college. Being a soccer player in high school, college and post- college, he still enjoyed watching soccer games. In his sixties Fred took up golf and often agreed with Mark Twain who stated that "golf is a good walk spoiled".
Fred was a longtime member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Fort Washington where he sang in the choir and was a Sunday School teacher for many years. He and his family are members of the Paradise Falls Lutheran Association, where Fred's grandparents had built a cottage in 1930. He considered it to be paradise on Earth and it was definitely his favorite place to fish.
Other than his wife, Lois, Fred is survived by and was the devoted father of Andrew W. Flothmeier (Kate) of Mt. Laurel, NJ, Grant T. Flothmeier (Greta) of Collegeville, PA and Jennika C. Flothmeier (Jack Ambridge) of Chicago, IL. Fred is the loving grandfather of Johanna Rose (age 7), Matilda Jean (age 4), Kurt Ransom (age 4) and Vivien Jesse (age 1). Fred is also survived by a brother, Erich Flothmeier, of Tucson AZ, and two sisters, Anita Allwardt of Houston, TX, and Barbara Ivey of Bridgeport, PA.
A private memorial service will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church on Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 1PM. In-person attendance will be for the family, but anyone who would like to attend remotely on Zoom may do so. You can find the information about the Zoom service on Trinity Lutheran's webpage,
under the section about Fred.
The family is collecting stories, anecdotes, tributes and photos in place of condolences. If you wish to share your memories with the family these can be posted on the aforementioned webpage by following the directions outlined there. This action will bring up a form that will be sent directly to Fred's family.
Donations in Fred's name may be sent to Trinity Lutheran Church, 235 Summit Ave. Ft. Washington, PA 19034.
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Lois and family Joe and I are both sadden by Fred's passing. Please know our thoughts are with you, Gail
Mr. Float Mural Ft Wash Elem
Tribute to Fred from Dorothy Frey Kaiser -
I would like to add a personal comment to three of the sentences in Fred's comprehensive obituary:
"Fred was an art teacher for the Upper Dublin School District where he taught all levels, K-12, and taught in every school in the district over his 37 year career." My fourth graders at Fort Washington Elementary School (the school from which Fred retired) were always happy when it was their day to go to Art. They would not only get a lesson on an art technique but also hear stories or learn something new about the world.
"Fred was a long time member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Fort Washington where he sang in the choir and was a Sunday School teacher for many years." I also sang in the choir for many of those years. I was strictly an alto while Fred could be tenor or bass, whichever part was needed.
"Fred was not only an art teacher, he was an artist." When Bill and I were married in 2000, Fred made a painting of red poppies and the frame to go with it for our wedding present. We treasure Fred and Lois' gift, now more than ever.
NOTE: I AM SORRY I AM NOT FINISHED MY PREVIOUS TRIBUTE!
For their devotion and care. My brothers care for his family makes me proud of him. His quiet love and trust in the Lord gives me peace as I go into a new season of missing him. My hope going forward is the victory we have in Christ. Victory for this present life over loss, disappointment, and fear. Victory over death that we will one day see each other again! Till that end, when I see a picture from you I will smile with pride, when a memory drops in I will cherish, and I will always thank God for the time I had with you to be known as your sister.
Processing the loss of my brother has become a daily appointment for me. Today , I am drawn to three descriptive words that sum up the essence of my brother. They are kindness, caring and creativity. When it came creativity, God saw fit to give him just an extra measure full. With his art, whether it was water colors, pen & ink, pastels, or plain pencil it was all amazingly beautiful! In highschool, he took trumpet and french horn lessons and he loved his community of sound. Finally with his voice, he loved to sing. One of my fondest memories, was a time our mom gathered the family around the piano to sing hymn after hymn out of the old red Lutheran hymnal, only to stop us to adjust tone or pitch! I believe Fred used his voice to find his comfort and praise for the Almighty. Truthfully I grieve the days ahead when I won't be able to receive a simple pen & ink drawing in the mail, along with a note of encouragement in perfect caligraphy.
We were fortunate to grow up in a household where kindness and caring was lived out in many ways. Fred was kind! Yes he had strong opinions, but he was kind. Stories of his kindness to his family friends, neighbors, faith community and students speak for themselves. An attitude of kindness, leads gracefully into acts of caring. To me, watching Fred and my sister Barb care for our aging parents was Huge! It was a ful-time ministry of caring and love. To express my pride and appreciation
I am so sorry for your loss, Lois, Grant, Andrew, Jennika and family. Such sad news. I will always remember Fred as a funny, gentle, kind man with a wry sense of humor. I was honored to have him help me paint a mural in the Upper Dublin Township Library a few years ago. He was such an accomplished artist and I was so pleased he agreed to help with the project. I posted the map/mural of Upper Dublin. Of course Fred did all the best parts -- the new high school, the trees, and of course Loch Alsh Reservoir and the fish. Fred was like a second dad to my son, Tom, and he and Lois always welcomed friends with open arms. Such loving, giving people. Thanks for fun visits to the Pocono house and bonfires, picnics, and croquet in the Floth's back yard. And all the years Fort Washington Swim Club parents with our little Sharks, and UD soccer parents. Fred was always there to cheer on not only his own children's pursuits, but all of ours in the community. Forever grateful. Rest in peace, Fred.
UD Township Mural - Painted by C. Kocher and F. FLothmeier
I knew Fred for many years at our beloved Paradise on Earth - Paradise Falls in the Pocono Mountains. He never failed to stop to chat with me or my husband as he drove by our cottage or the beach. Many times we would see him out in a boat on the lake fishing and enjoying every minute of a favorite pastime of his. I also remember him as having a wonderful sense of humor. He was a very funny man and made me laugh with his quips. For many Labor Day weekends, a group of us would meet at one of our cottages for an "After Glow" to end the summer season with a farewell of food and fellowship. At these gatherings, I remember him keeping us laughing and also I fondly recall his sharing how people made pathetic attempts to pronounce his last name. To this day I think of him as Fred Fl -ahhhh - th - meer. I will miss his kindness and his humor. Carole (Ammon) DePue
As a student at FWES I had the privilege of being taught by Mr. Flothmeier. He was so talented and shared his passion with all of us. He has impacted countless students over his career and will be missed dearly.
I met Fred in the 2d grade at Telford Elementary school when he returned to the states from Africa where his parents had been missionaries. Throughout our school years, Fred was among the most pleasant and affable members of our class, and his extraordinary artistic ability was evident from the start. He was a friend and encourager to all; kindness was his trademark. We most recently spoke at our 50th high school reunion, but not nearly long enough. From the tributes already written, it is clear that his characteristic concern for others never waned. He will be missed but leaves an enviable legacy. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. With great respect, Stan Ott
I had the pleasure of being taught by Mr. Float at FWES from K-5. I enjoyed his class and teaching style so much that I also spent a number of summers in art enrichment, also taught by Mr. Float. During art enrichment, when I needed help on a section, Mr. Float would come over and show me how to add depth or a new detail to my painting. Because his additions were always the best part of my work, I would call him over frequently for help but Mr. Float eventually caught on...My time spent in his classes inspired my decision to continue with art throughout high school and use it as an outlet as an adult. I also knew Mr. Float through swimming at Fort Washington swim club and UDHS. He was always the biggest fan for his kids and his students. His presence in the community will be deeply felt. Sending well wishes to the Flothmeier family. Love,
We met Fred when I taught at Fort Washington Elementary School with Lois. They had recently gotten married, and I remember Lois saying that she and Fred were happy that it rained on their wedding day as it was supposed to be good luck. I know they had a long, happy marriage and always found the positive in everything.
Although we moved and did not see Fred much after that, the memory of what a kind, genuine, and good person Fred was will always be in my mind. I know Fred touched many lives and has left the world a better place.
Sending much love and prayers to Lois and family. Sandy and Bob
Fred was a beloved teacher at Sandy Run MS where we were colleagues. I am so saddened to hear of his loss at a relatively young age. My condolences go out to his family. He inspired many children in uncountable ways.
Our family became acquainted with the Flothmeier's when our daughter, Perin was on the swim team at Upper Dublin High School with their children. But the times that I remember most about Float was when I would run into him at WaWa, or the grocery store and we would have wonderful impromptu conversations about school and retirement, which we were both enjoying. Please accept our condolences in the loss of such an extraordinary man. Sincerely, Monica and Peter Matthews
Although we moved from Pennsylvania when I was young, I've always remembered your lovely family. Two very specific memories stand out from a visit almost thirty years ago. Fred introduced my family to spicy brown mustard, convincing us that it was better than any other mustard we'd ever had. And he and Lois told a story that seemed the height of romance to my 16-year-old self. If I remember correctly, Lois had been a student in France, staying in a house without a flush toilet. And as magical as it might have been to study in France, that was not a highlight. So when Fred proposed, he said that he may not be able to give Lois much, but he would always make sure they had a flush toilet. Whether or not I actually saw a card, I have a picture of one in my mind -- drawn by Fred for Lois, with a toilet.
All my love, Megan Callaghan
I was lucky enough to sing in the Trinity Lutheran Choir for a few years with Mr. Flothmeier and Andrew. I’ll never forget how he could switch from tenor to bass and back. We tried to recruit him to the bass section full-time, but he was having too much fun covering all the parts as needed. That’s just one example of his dynamic personality and talent. And then there were the fun times on fishing outings at the Loch Alsh Reservoir and the church volleyball league. He’ll certainly be missed, but always remembered. Lots of love to Lois, Andrew, Grant, Jennika and the rest of the Flothmeier family. Love, JT
I was blessed to have Mr. Float in three unique capacities in my life. First, he was my art teacher at Fort Washington Elementary school for grades K-5. Second, he was my Sunday School teacher at Trinity and third I had the opportunity to work with him when I became a teacher myself and worked at Fort Washington. I remember as a kid the AWESOME stories he would tell us. He would make them up on the spot while we waited in line for our teacher to pick us up from art. We would be in suspense the whole time waiting for the big ending and then our teacher would show up and he would say, "Ah! I'll finish the story next week!" He never actually would finish the stories the next week, but we were always in awe of his story telling skills. I actually now use this trick with my kindergarten students while they are waiting in line to go somewhere. I also remember him teaching us how to make oragami boats in second grade. I can still do it to this day! He was a one of a kind, amazing person. He blessed our lives in more ways than we even know. He will continue to bless our lives because of the humor and joy he brought to all of our lives! Sending love and prayers to Lois, Andrew, Grant and Jennika.
All my Love and Prayers to Lois and the family. As Fred's weekend and summer neighbor here in Paradise Falls, I will miss our occasional chats over the "fence" about the family and the community. Fred will be missed.
This was a gift from Fred. We have it hangIng in our living room.
My prayers are with the family as they deal with a great loss. With his wife, he raised three wonderful and unique children. I hope their memories of their time together will help them during this sad time.
I am a volunteer with Art Goes to School and spent several sessions at Fort Washington in Mr Flothmeier’s classroom...his sense of humor and welcoming nature was something I always looked forward to...I always learned new perspectives from him about the portfolio I was sharing with the class....please accept my sincere condolences....Tess Harnick
Mr. Float was an amazing teacher, he spent time making sure every child was happy with their art at the end of the day. Many of the pieces from my elementary school years were because of him, and I was so bad at art, but I wanted to go to his class every day because of him. Through a series of events, in fifth grade, I was in a show his son, Andrew, directed. I remember performing it and walking out of the theatre to see my art teacher, Mr. Float had driven an hour to see the show and bring me flowers. There were many reasons for him to see that show, but it's still a clear memory of seeing one of my very first supporters give me flowers. That was just the kind of person he was, kind and caring no matter what.
Mr. Float was a friend to everyone he met. As a shy fourth grader entering public school for the first time, his classroom quickly became a haven of comfort and creativity for me. He was truly so encouraging to us as young artists and I distinctly recall many projects in his class that taught us the fundamentals of art. My first self portrait, still life and perspective drawings were all thanks to his teaching. I’ll always especially appreciate that he would let a few of the fifth grade girls help him with the kindergarteners during a lunch or recess period. He also held an art club, which he made certain was serious time to focus on special art projects. Mr. Float’s class was often made even better by stories he’d share with us of his fascinating life experiences and wisdom. For Halloween, he would take an afternoon to gather us all in a circle and tell scary stories (even trying to startle some of us here or there with a sudden “boo!” at the height of the suspense). He was a talented storyteller for sure. Thank you for everything, Mr. Float. The lives you touched are more numerous than most could dream of touching.
I worked with Fred for 12 years when I was the principal of Fort Washington Elementary School. Fred was a talented & dedicated professional. Children, parents, and fellow teachers loved him. I was so I impressed with Fred whenever I visited his classroom.
Fred would display his beautiful original paintings all over his art classroom walls for his students to see and learn from. Fred shared his talents and his love for art with his students. After I completed a required formal observation of Fred teaching he told me he was so happy with the written observation that he was going to share it with his parents. Fred was a good soul. My thoughts and prayers are with Fred’s family.
Mr. Float (as we called him) was my elementary school art teacher in the 90s. I have many clear memories of him. He was very memorable, fun and interesting and I enjoyed learning more about him through this obituary. My condolences to his family.
Our deepest condolences! Both my (now) teenagers benefited from Mr Float s talent! He was very much loved. He inspired 6 year olds to paint. I kept some of my kids art on mugs. He will forever be in our hearts!
Mr. Float was the first art teacher I had back in 1997. During my time at Fort Washington Elementary, he was the best and most memorable part of everyday. He inspired and changed the lives of all of his students. His passion for art and his talent were infectious. He engrained in me a deep appreciation and love for creativity and the beauty of the world. Friends and I often reminisce about how he was the best art teacher we ever had. Hearing of his passing was heartbreaking and my thoughts are with his family and friends. I hope everyone can find comfort knowing that Mr. Float lives on in so many young artists whom he championed and mentored. Every brush stroke they paint, picture they take, film they create, or word they write has a piece of him. No matter the medium, he is there — always and forever. Thank you, Mr. Float.
My deepest heartfelt sympathy goes out to the Flothmeier family. It was only three weeks ago Fred stopped me when I was mowing at Paradise Falls. Of course we talked about the virus, our families and how he enjoyed having the grandchildren spend some time with them at PF. But we also spent time talking about our love of fishing. Rest in peace my friend.
I always loved spending time with Mr. Float. He was an awesome person. When I was in 5th grade my classroom was right across the hall from his Art room and I would sneak over to his class and play solitaire on the computer instead of being in class. I remember him eventually kicking me out in a fun kind of way to get me back to class.
In addition to elementary school shenanigans, I remember swimming with Grant and Jennika at the Fort and always thinking it was so cool that our Art teacher was there. I think I recall his spot being right by the diving boards looking down at the finishing wall. We were always able to laugh and joke around even though I was just a kid. He was awesome and I wish the whole "Float" family peace during this difficult time!
Mr Float is among a short list of people who inspired my to become an art teacher- I’m now 23 years into my career and I think of him often. His love, energy and enthusiasm, his approach to teaching, sometimes he’s a measuring stick for gauging the messiness of my art closet! Thank you Mr and Mrs Flothmeier for sharing your kindness and love with the children of Fort Washington. I am holding your family in the light. May his memory be a blessing for all who loved him.
As a high school kid Mr. Flothmeier hired me to help paint houses over the summer. We worked hard and had a lot of fun. He always had a positive attitude and treated me with respect. He was a great teacher and always made art class fun. Thoughts and prayers to his family! RIP!
What a great inspiring teacher he was. I also had his wife at FWES in 2nd grade open space back in maybe 1975. Sending condolences to the family and community.
So many wonderful memories of Fred as an Art Teacher, a colleague and a parent and father. My condolences to his family.
Mr. Float was my elementary school art teacher, and one of my favorite adults as a child. He always put a smile on my face, and had the best way of engaging us. He told scary stories, made exaggerated hand movements, and gave art demonstrations with 20+ little heads surrounding him. He had a passion for teaching children, and a passion for art, and it showed. I was so saddened to hear about his passing. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. I will never ever forget Mr. Float. Thank you for the best childhood memories!
Fred was my elementary school art teacher. I always enjoyed my time in his classroom, and I will forever remember his extraordinary talent for telling stories.
I met Fred in the early 70's as I grew up in the house next to his wife Lois' parents. Fred was always very nice and very friendly. I remember his dog Oliver too. Way back I remember Fred was looking for summer work when school was out and he painted the outside of my parents house - before vinyl siding! I had Fred as my art teacher in 7th grade at Three Tuns Junior High School in 1977. He made art class fun and I enjoyed it. Fred taught an elective course at Three Tuns when I was there for fishing. I can attest to how much he enjoyed fishing. I was not in his class. I had never fished in my life. He came over to my parents house on a Sunday evening and talked me into joining his class on a field trip to go fishing the next day. I will never forget it. I didn't catch anything and never became a fisherman, but I will never forget how Fred got approval for me to join his class for the day fishing. It was really nice of him and it sure beat a day in school! Great guy. My thoughts go to Lois and his family.
Fred was my elementary school art teacher, I would sit in his room at recess most days so he could draw pencil portraits of me, and so I could do oil pastels while everyone else played. I’ll always remember his scary stories during Halloween and the way he made us all jump out of our chairs, my overall favorite thing about my elementary school experience. I ran into him a few years ago at my high school art show and was shocked he still remembered my name, congratulating me for still making art. Thank you for everything Mr. Float ❤️ I’m so upset to hear this news.
I was a colleague of Fred for 20 years and along with everyone at Fort loved our easy going Fred. I would love whenever Fred came back to visit us, he always stopped in to see me and say Hi. He would tell me how much he was enjoying retirement. Our Mr Flot will be immensely missed at the Fort. I am so very sorry for this tremendous loss. Please know I will keep you in my prayers. Sue Houseman FWES Nurse
My name is Dan Green, and I was blessed to work with Fred for over 10 years as a PE colleague. I truly loved Fred. Every time I saw Fred in the building, I gave him a "bro" hug. He always cheered me up, and was a wonderful, and genuine person! The news of his passing was the most shocking and devastating I have received other than that of a relative. My deepest, heart felt condolences go out to your entire family. He was simply salt of the earth, and will be forever in my heart. I will never forget Fred!
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