Frederick Alan Fleming of St. Petersburg, our beloved husband, dad and granddad passed away peacefully Saturday, June 30, 2012. He was 75. Affectionately called “Papa” by family and Fred by those that knew him, he lived a special life of extreme contrasts. He is survived by his loving wife of 14 years Cassie Fleming, his daughter Tammy Rehnke (Dr. Rob Rehnke, Katelynn and Shelby Rehnke); his daughter Leslie Gross (Joel Gross, Ian and Lucy Gross); his son Scott Fleming (Gigi Fleming, Remy and Emmy Fleming); all of St. Petersburg. He is also survived by his sister Zana Ennis (Howard) of Inverness, (nephews Skip, Fred, Clark, and Thomas Ennis) and his stepson Joey Cassady of St. Petersburg; his stepson Chuck Cassady of Orlando, mother in law Betty Hendry of Homosassa, his brother in law Lee Hendry of Clearwater, and his brother in law Brad Hendry (Nancy) of Homosassa, and eight step-grandchildren. Fred grew up at 2200 Pass-a-grille Way, moving to the beach from Barrington, Illinois with his parents Frederick Covert Fleming and Ruby Maude Mullen Fleming, when he was three. He had a full military education, graduating from Florida Military Academy, Admiral Farragut Academy, and later The Citadel in 1960. He was a member of the elite Summerall Guard drill team. His years at The Citadel were some of his most cherished memories. But his pride and joy in life were his wife and family. Even with his rigid military education and strict parents, he truly had the heart of a child – always finding the positive in everything. He was the indomitable optimist. He was not your typical dad either, he was more like a loveable Viking with a club and a hug. He always loved making people happy by feeding them. His love language was certainly cooking for others. He was a member of Central Christian Church in the 1960s and 70s and the Northeast Exchange Club-with the role of pit manager for the Southland Regatta hydroplane races on Lake Maggiorie. Friday, the day before he died, he enjoyed a long lunch at his barbeque restaurant Champions BBQ on Fourth Street, with his nephew Skip and long time buddies Jimmy Appley and Jerry Geegan, reminiscing the good ol times. He was doing what he loved best having a lively conversation over a plate of his home cooked barbeque. He made a career of building custom homes in St. Petersburg and Naples, Florida before turning a lifelong culinary passion into a profitable venture. In the early 1990s he and a companion invested five years on the U.S. and Canadian rib fest tour, winning over a hundred awards, most of which were first place and the peoples choice award. He got his feet wet with a small restaurant in Crystal River, not realizing how difficult the restaurant business can be. He had his award winning sauce bottled, but would later lose the rights to his sauce. He persevered, and with his new wife Cassie, they met and befriended Brian Storman, a local restaurateur, and together they opened a successful barbeque restaurant on Fourth Street called Fred Flemings Famous BBQ. That restaurant was followed by two others before he opened Champions BBQ at 4400 4th Street, North, St. Petersburg last summer. Cassie and Freds step-son, Joey Cassady will continue running the restaurant, and someday hope to get his sauce bottled once again. Visitation will be held 10:00 to 11:00 am, Saturday, July 14th at Anderson McQueen Funeral Home at 2201 Dr. MLK St. North, St. Petersburg, Florida, followed by a Celebration of Life service at 11:00. A reception will immediately follow, serving his famous barbeque. Expressions of sympathy may be made in his name to the The Citadel Foundation. Tags: 1960

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