Obituary: Fred Scheidler (1947-2008)


Fred, doing what he loved.

Georgia archaeology lost an enthusiastic advocate upon the premature death of Fred Scheidler on July 15th. Fred resided in Marietta and in recent years had become a constant and welcome participant at a host of archaeological gatherings in and around Atlanta.

Archaeology was a lifelong interest of Fred’s, having become smitten with the subject as a boy in Florida. One of his favorite stories involved the discovery and preservation of a dugout canoe deep in the woods near his childhood home.

In support of the Society for Georgia Archaeology he cheerfully served as President of the Bulloch Hall chapter based in Roswell and as Publicity Chairman of the Greater Atlanta chapter, in addition to maintaining active membership in the Northwest Georgia and Georgia Mountains chapters. It is safe to say that there wasn’t an archaeological endeavor Fred didn’t love and he gave generously of his time by volunteering countless hours wherever he could. He was ever eager to relate storiesof his volunteer experiences, whether inventorying collections at Chieftains in Rome, assisting with a geophysical survey at Etowah, excavating in the northern hills or on the lower Ocmulgee, or working with collections at Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Fred is remembered in fact for his interest in carpooling to out-of-town events where he would regale like-minded friends with these and other stories.

Fred’s passion for archaeology inspired him to pursue numerous other projects independently. At any time he might have been found researching abandoned mines north of Atlanta, seeking to explain the accidental discovery of a brass “thunder mug” cannon, or tinkering to design better equipment for the field or lab. Most recently Fred was generating what became a much-loved electronic newsletter called “Great Dirt.” In numerous issues recipients were not only alerted to upcoming events relevant to archaeology, but they were treated to virtual excursions to projects around the globe.

Fred is survived by his wife, Carol Scheidler, and a son and daughter-in-law, David and Lauren Scheidler. The family recommends honoring Fred’s memory with donations to either:

The Society for Georgia Archaeology
Endowment Fund
c/o Secretary
P.O. Box 693
Athens, GA 30603

Fred Scheidler Memorial Fund
Episcopal Church of the Annunciation
1673 Jamerson Rd.
Marietta, GA 30066