Frederick Gilchrist
March 21, 2015

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  Frederick L. Gilchrist, a retired machinist and medical equipment fabricator, passed away on Saturday morning, March 21, 2015. He was 90 years old.

Fred was born in Somerville, the son of the late Stanton and Sarah Gilchrist. He grew up in Somerville and was a 1942 graduate of Somerville High School. He enlisted in the Navy to fight in World War II. He held the rank of Aviation Metalsmith Second Class and served from January of 1943 to April of 1946. He was the recipient of the Good Conduct Medal and World War II Victory Medal. Fred started his career splitting his time with Harvard Medical School and the Protein Foundation. After 7 years, the 2 companies merged to become Harvard Medical School Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology. He spent another 35 years working as a machinist and fabricator. He was extremely talented and resourceful. The researchers would need a particular piece of equipment or tool and Fred would listen to their needs and fabricate the tool or machine they envisioned. He made Harvard’s first Electrophoresis Machine. He also had the opportunity to work alongside his father many of those years. Fred’s mechanical ability extended to his everyday life as well. He purchased a shell of a home in 1953 and he finished the home himself. He could fix almost anything and much preferred to do it himself rather than pay a contractor. He was so determined that he was still cutting his lawn and shoveling the snow at the age of 90. He enjoyed spending his summers with his family in Alton Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee. He enjoyed boating and the relaxed atmosphere of being on the lake. He also enjoyed square dancing with his wife as members of The Minuteman Squares. After he retired, he spent 25 years volunteering at the Emerson Hospital in Concord.

Fred was very active in the Masons where he served as a Master of the Simonds AF & AM Lodge several times during his many years as a member. He also served as District Deputy Grand Master of Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts presiding over the lodges in the Sixth Masonic District. Fred proudly participated in parades, ceremonials, socials, and countless civic events as a member of the Masons. Fred was the husband of 69 years of Shirley S. (Skillin) Gilchrist. He was the loving father of Diane Vigneri & her husband Thomas of FL and David of Worcester. He was the brother and best friend of the late Henry Gilchrist & his late wife Pauline. He was the proud grandfather of Neil of Holden, David of Holden, and Stacey Mayfield of Malden. Great grandfather of Adam, Lucas, Alexi, David & Jonathan Gilchrist and Simon & Baxter Mayfield.

Funeral services will be held at the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn Street, BURLINGTON (exit 34 off Rt. 128/95, Woburn side) on Friday, March 27 at 11 a.m. Visiting hours Thursday from 6-8 p.m. Interment in Puritan Lawn Memorial Park Peabody. Memorials in Frederick’s name may be made to a charity of one’s own choice.
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