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Fred Foster Tilden 1924-2020

Fred Foster Tilden, 95, died peacefully at home at the Avery Heights retirement community in Hartford, CT on Sunday, February 16th surrounded by his loving family. Fred was born June 12, 1924 in Montreal, Canada to Louise and Fred Tilden.


He is survived by his adoring wife of 72 years, Barbara M. Tilden, 95, his daughter Cynthia Tilden-Machleidt and her husband Cornelius Machleidt of Berlin, Germany, sons Fred Tilden and his wife Lisa Namerow of West Hartford, CT and Peter and Linda Tilden of Belmont, MA. He is also survived by six grandchildren, Simon and his wife Elvina Machleidt of Zurich, Switzerland, Caroline of Belmont, MA, Alexandra of Providence, RI, Jacqueline of San Francisco, CA, Elizabeth of St Louis, MO, and Anna of West Hartford, CT.


In the class of 1942 Fred graduated from Melrose High School where he captained both the varsity tennis and basketball teams.


After graduation he joined the Army/Air Corps and gained the rank of 1st Lieutenant as a navigator on the “Son of a Blitz” B-17 Flying Fortress, completing 36 missions.


After service in the Air Corps, Fred attended Dartmouth College and graduated with a BA in history and economics.


He was married on December 27th, 1948 to his beloved Barbara and together they lived in a number of locations – Hanover, NH, Melrose, Lynnfield and Winchester, MA, London, England, Rye, NY and Hartford, CT.


Fred was in business for over 40 years and among other positions, he served as overseas Chairman of Venus Esterbrook in London, England from 1967-71.

Fred and Barbara traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Caribbean, and the United States, enjoying many skiing trips to the Alps and sailing excursions on private boats in the Caribbean.


As a critical political observer who loved debating with friends and family, Fred was an avid reader and in younger days also enjoyed playing tennis and hiking the White Mountains of New Hampshire.


Overlooking the spectacular view of Menemsha Pond from the deck of the family cottage in Chilmark, MA., Fred was most happy sharing the sunset and his Menemsha Moments with his family.


There will be a private family memorial.


Fred’s family would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Mercy for her warm, empathic, and highly skilled care.


In lieu of flowers donations can be made to either The Trustees of Reservations, 200 High Street, 4th Floor, Boston, MA. 02110, (denote “The Marthas Vineyard Fund”), or Avery Heights, 550 Avery Heights, Hartford, CT 06106.

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