Maryville father dies saving family at Florida beach


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A Maryville man described as a devoted husband and father of four daughters reportedly drowned Sunday, July 14 at a Walton County, Fla. beach after saving his family from the tide.

Local news outlets reporting that the man, later identified as Frederick J. Pepperman III, 53, drowned around noon in the Seacrest, Fla. area as beach lifeguards were also working three water rescue calls around the same time.

He was one of two deaths that day in area beaches.

Walton County Sheriff’s Office telling WATE 6 On Your Side there were a total of 15 water rescues that day.

The beach had the double-red flags flying that day due to water safety concerns. The local beach safety director telling local news outlets that double red flags mean the water is closed to the public.

“He died successfully saving his family from drowning”

Pepperman was originally from New Orleans, La. and moved to Maryville, Tenn. in 2003, according to his obituary: “After working for SimplexGrinnel, Fred started a successful business, Appalachian Fire Alarm Solutions, LLC with partner, Tom Brooks. Fred was a loving father who was proud of his daughters’ many academic and athletic achievements. Fred loved coaching his girls in softball and cheering them on from the stands during track, volleyball, soccer, and basketball games. Fred was truly a great man with a big heart and generous spirit. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, thunderstorms, and woodworking. He never met a stranger, was always ready with a smile and a story, and never turned down someone in need.”

Services will be held Saturday, July 20, 2019, at St. Francis of Assisi, 7719 River Rd, Townsend, TN 37882. Visitation will begin at 11:00 A.M. with a funeral service at 1 P.M. After the service, everyone is invited to 121 North Panoscenic Drive, Maryville, TN for a celebration of Fred’s life.

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