When Fred Feicht’s friends learned he was staying at a retirement community, some asked if he had gone there to die. Fred, 81, disagreed. “I’ve got things to do,” Fred said. A resident for 12 years, Fred is an active senior who enjoys living independently at Trinity Community in Beavercreek, Ohio. He volunteers by playing the organ at chapel, Sunday services, during the Christmas season, and every Friday morning. He also volunteers to greet residents and visitors at Trinity, calls Bingo, and enjoys word games, socials, and musical programs.
Fred followed in his parents’ footsteps when he moved to Trinity. His mother and father lived there for eight years. Fred is also very committed to continuing a family legacy of donating to Trinity. He has been a monthly donor for more than 22 years to Trinity’s Life Enrichment Fund, which provides financial support for community projects and resident care. “I’m giving exactly what my dad gave. It isn’t much, but I’ve been doing it every month since 1994,” said Fred, a retired bank teller and former employee at Ludlow Battery and Ignition, which was founded by his grandfather.
Fred has been around Trinity since its beginning. He knows many of the people who were part of the founding planning committee by name as he points at the names on the plaque inside the entrance. “I don’t think there’s any place like Trinity. No. 1: the friendliness. That’s very important. Wherever I go, I see people and say, ‘Hi.’ I’ve known this place since it was built,” Fred said.
Staying active at Trinity is ingrained in Fred, said his sister, Martha Neitman, 79, who also lives at Trinity. Helping others is important to the siblings. Martha, who also donates to the Life Enrichment Fund, notes of her brother, “He likes to support the things he’s interested in doing. I’m all in favor of that. He’s very faithful.”Fred, a Sinclair Community College graduate, has a degree in financial management and is a fourth generation member of St. John’s Lodge No. 13 F&AM (Free & Accepted Masons). “My dad, grandfather, and his father were active in the Masonic Lodge,” Fred said. During his 58 years as a member of the lodge, Fred presided or served as an officer. There, he developed a passion for playing the organ; a talent he honed and eventually shared with churches he attended in the community. What does he love about the organ? “The sound,” he said. “The difference between the piano and the organ is the foot pedal. It gives it that extra something. It’s soothing,” Fred said.
When asked to name his favorite songs to play at Trinity, Fred rattled off a handful of gospel classics and American standards. O Jesus, I Have Promised, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, Onward Christian Soldiers, America, and God of Our Fathers. When asked why he plays music, volunteers, and consistently donates his time and money to help others,he recited Matthew 7:12:
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”