September 1, 1933 ~ September 27, 2023 (age 90) 90 Years Old


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God in his infinite wisdom blessed the world with a handsome son named Freddy (Fred) David Tidwell on September 1, 1933. Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas to Louis Garland Tidwell and Leotha Roberts Tidwell, he was the eighth of twelve children and the fifth son born to this union. As a child it was evident that his charismatic, caring spirit would impact the lives of everyone he encountered. He received his early education in Pine Bluff, graduating from Merrill High School. After graduation, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and he later earned a Bachelor of Applied Arts & Sciences from Texas State University. On September 27, 2023, our hero passed away into God’s graces after a lengthy illness, surrounded by loved ones. A warrior throughout his entire life, Fred earned his heavenly wings at 90 years old.

Fred met and married the late Mary Perry Tidwell in 1956. To this union, three daughters were born. He later met and married Jerelean Brundidge Tidwell in 1985. To that union, a son was born, and they remained married until his death.

Fred served his country with integrity and retired after 26 years from the US Air Force, receiving an Honorable Discharge. He was instrumental, during his service, with the Strategic Air Command (SAC) Social Action Office. As a key military leader, he developed and designed curriculum and led classroom instruction that addressed the challenges of diversity, inclusion, race relations and equal opportunity. Fred received numerous commendations and recognition for his exemplary dedication to the betterment of the USAF. He served in Okinawa, as well as military bases in New Mexico, Florida, Bermuda, Nebraska, North Dakota, and he ended his tour of duty in San Antonio.

From his humble beginnings in Pine Bluff, Fred lived a life committed to serve family, church, and country. Fred often reached out a hand to help those around him in many ways – including by participating in the Big Brother/Big Sister program mentoring youth and those in need.  Fred always opened his home to young soldiers that were unable to leave for the holidays, providing them a home cooked meal in a loving space to fellowship. A culinary maestro in his own right, he was instrumental with the Meals on Wheels program and meal ministry at his church. He felt it was always an honor to serve.  

In addition to his humanitarian efforts, he was instrumental in numerous civic activities, including serving on the San Antonio Arts Commission.  During his tenure, he helped establish the first Martin Luther King, Jr. March for the City of San Antonio in 1987, which is, to this day, the largest march of its kind in the country. He worked with the City of San Antonio and various artists to ensure city offices and buildings embraced the diversity of the community through art.

His star always shone brightly, he fulfilled his civic responsibility to enlighten and enhance lives through his Public Access television program: “The Fred Tidwell Show”.  He interviewed local political, healthcare, and religious leaders to discuss the issues of the day. Fred was a talented conversationalist and knew what to say regardless of the situation. His ability to story tell, provide guidance and share lifelong lessons was amplified by his intellect and quick wit. He selflessly worked with numerous mayors and dignitaries to address issues that improved the community.

Fred owned a successful company, AAAA Insurance Brokerage, which serviced the community for over 25 years during which he wrote policies with several insurance companies.

Fred accepted Jesus Christ as his savior at a young age in his hometown of Pine Buff. In San Antonio, he joined Greater Corinth Baptist Church where he held many roles – including service as a dedicated and committed Deacon, Trustee, leadership in the Hot Meals Ministry (also serving as the cook), planning of the annual Military Appreciation Day, Sunday School teacher, New Members Orientation teacher, and Brotherhood Chair. As he assisted his wife in planning former Pastor Carl’s last two anniversaries, he served with enthusiasm to ensure that Pastor Carl’s anniversaries were memorable occasions. Fred also wanted the best for his church family and the Pastor, and he worked diligently on everything he was assigned to do.

Preceding him in death were his parents, Louis and Leotha Tidwell, siblings LG Tidwell, Virgil Tidwell, Georgia Woods, Henry Tidwell, Ruthie Hill, Ora Royster, Betty Byard, Ollie Tidwell, his first wife (Mary Tidwell), a daughter, Deidra Tidwell-Ratchford and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives. Fred leaves to cherish his memory his loving wife, Jerelean; his children, Sheila Hawes (Jim), Maria Shaw (Elvis), Lisa Tidwell, and David Tidwell (Erin); three extended children, God Son Zion Bishop, play daughter Pamela Holliday and a special “little buddy” Ellyn Clay; siblings, Essie Jenkins of California, Louise Randall (Jon) of Maryland, Mackie Tidwell of Arkansas; six grandchildren, three great grandchildren, and a host of beautiful nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.

The family can say, and many can attest, that Deacon Tidwell was a Godly example who never met a stranger. The love he shared will never be forgotten. By his example, we are strengthened to go on and do God’s will. To God be the Glory, Honor and Praise!!!


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October 6, 2023

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Lewis Funeral Home
811 So. W.W. White Road
San Antonio, TX 78220

Funeral Service
October 7, 2023

11:00 AM
Greater Corinth Baptist Church
500 So. New Braunfels Ave
San Antonio, TX 78203

October 9, 2023

2:00 PM
Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
1520 Harry Wurzbach Rd.
San Antonio, TX 78209


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