Fernando “Fred” Tavares, 81, passed away peacefully on October 1, 2022 with his beloved wife by his side. He was born to the late Mary (Isidoro) and Joseph Tavares in St. Michael, Azores and came to America at the age of 9. Raised in New Bedford, he quickly developed a love for baseball and played for Mt. Carmel CYO, winning the City Championship in 1959. Soon after, his friend Joe Domingos brought him, reluctantly, to a CYO record hop where he met his future bride, Mary-Lou. Fred received an accounting degree from Bentley College in 1963, served in the Army Reserves, and he and Mary-Lou married in 1966. He continued his love of all sports, playing softball and coaching Pony League baseball. He was incredibly proud that four of his players were honored in Cooperstown after winning the Pony League World Series.
Fred’s greatest joy in life was raising 5 daughters in the home he and Mary-Lou built in Freetown. He was an active parishioner of St. John Neumann Church since its founding. He coached many softball teams and was active in the Freetown Girls Softball Association for many years. He was a disgruntled, yet loyal, Red Sox fan through the years, and would complain about them to anyone who would listen.
His love and dedication to family grew as he and Mary-Lou welcomed 13 grandchildren over the years. He dedicated his retirement years to being a Grampy; watching their sporting events, arts performances, and school activities.
Fred had a lifelong love of all animals but had a particular soft spot for dogs and squirrels. He also enjoyed musicals, old cowboy movies, and the Hallmark Channel. He loved Ma’s donuts and sweetbread from Lou’s Bakery, and often delivered them to family and friends.
Fred is survived by his wife of 56 years, Mary-Lou (Andrade), and their 5 daughters: Anne Tavares-Buker, her husband, Doug, and their children Elisabeth and Brady; Carolyn Rogers, her husband, Michael Bouvier, and their children Jillian, Hannah, and William; Jennifer Dumas, her husband, Bobby, and their children Joseph, Ty, and Hayleigh; Nicole Schaub, her husband, Cary, and their children Avery, Charlotte, and Dryden; Susan Barboza, her husband, Adam, and their children Delsie and Tatum. He is also survived by his brother, Jerry, and his wife Debbie, sister's in-law Cathy Watson and her husband, Lee, and Margaret Lyonnais, wife of the late Ron Lyonnais, and several nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the caring staff at Charlton Memorial Hospital, the Southcoast VNA, and the ALS Foundation for their support. A Memorial Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Saturday, October 8th at 10am, St. John Neumann Church, 157 Middleboro Road, East Freetown, followed by private inurnment in the Church’s Columbarium. In lieu of flowers, donations in Fred’s honor may be made to The ALS Foundation or St. John Neumann Church.
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