Frederick Drift, 83
Led a Life Many Envied
October 18, 1934 - February 1, 2018
Frederick “Fred” Drift, 83, of Skillman died on February 1 after a long battle with cancer. He led a life many people envied.
Fred was born on October 18, 1934, to the late John and Katherine (Stritter) Drift and grew up with four siblings in Belle Mead. He was a “Jersey guy;” raised and schooled in Montgomery and Princeton. He was a Navy man and served eight active years in the naval reserves. He lived briefly in California and British Columbia, Canada, and traveled to every state in the US — meeting interesting people while exploring the country.
When an amputation stopped him from running bulldozers and backhoes 30 years ago, he and his wife opened Pear Tree Creations, a local gift shop on Route 518 and Vreeland Drive in Skillman, and he started running embroidery machines, creating logos and beautiful stitchery for clients in the US and abroad. He never quit.
Fred had an upbeat personality. He was always smiling, quick to help others, and loved to travel and explore. With a curious and mechanical mind, Fred enjoyed nature, sports, and always stood ready with the duct tape to fix anything.
Family members have said a UFO was hovering over his home ready to carry him to his next adventure, which was to conquer outer space. Space fascinated him.
Fred was a faithful and loving husband and awesome father who adored his children. A true friend to everyone, he lived life to the fullest. His loving daughter, Dana Leigh Drift; and his brothers, Donald of Texas, and Raymond of Pennsylvania, predeceased Fred.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years, Gwen “Wendy” (Saums) Drift; his loving son Dwayne and his wife Lisa (Liscik), who now own the original Belle Mead homestead; brothers John of Canada and Richard of Florida; plus many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. A memorial service was held at the Hillsborough Funeral Home, on February 13.