Fred L. Moffitt
Fred L. Moffitt, a devoted husband, amazing father and papa, businessman, philanthropist and civic leader left his wonderful life on earth April 16, 2016.
Fred was born in the front bedroom of his family home in Virden, Illinois on December 2,1926 to Fred and Mary Ann Keers Moffitt. Born the second of four children, he was very close to his brother and two sisters who called him “Budzy”. He attended Virden High School where his nickname was “Zip”. He was an athlete who ran track and played football.
World War II temporarily interrupted his studies. Fred left his sophomore year in high school as the result of a bet he won with his father and was honored to enter the Navy at the age of 17 to serve his country. He proudly served in the Pacific Theater on the USS Otus. Fred told his family that the Navy was the best training he ever received. He couldn’t wait to get into the Navy and he couldn’t wait to get out of the Navy and return to school. Fred was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1946.
World War II matured him considerably and he realized he needed to get an education.
Fred received his GED and at the suggestion of his brother and attended the University of Illinois. He began his career with Universal CIT which led him to the finance industry. He later joined the Bank of St. Louis as the Branch Manager in Texarkana. It was at that time that he secured and provided financing for many automobile dealerships. It was also in Texarkana where he met his best friend and love of his life, Viva Willetta Woosley in her mother’s flowers shop, Viva’s Flowers. They married in 1959. The family moved to Shreveport in 1964 and Fred Moffitt entered the most rewarding career of his life, which was the automobile business and founded Moffitt Volkswagen in Bossier City, Louisiana.
In 1971 he acquired the Mazda franchise and in 1976 he acquired the franchises of Porsche and Audi. He recently celebrated his 51st year as a Volkswagen dealer, 45 years as a Mazda dealer and 40 years as a Porsche and Audi dealer. Through the many years he developed a great many friendships from all over the world.
Fred served on the boards of numerous local, state, and national organizations including the Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association, Vice Chairman of the Volkswagen Dealer Council, Served two terms on the Porsche-Audi Dealer Council, elected for three terms to the Audi Atlanta Regional Dealer Council, Charter member of the Vanguard Society for Volkswagen Professional Excellence, Porsche Dealer Performance awards, Volkswagen-Audi Building award, Bossier City Commercial Beautification Award, and Mazda Gold Cup Awards Mr. Moffitt was also a charter member and served for many years as the State Chairman and the National Legislative Representative for the AIADA and for many years flew to Washington, DC to lobby against the death tax.
Fred was 3 times past president of the local Shreveport-Bossier New Car Dealers Association and he was elected Louisiana Dealer of the Year three times for District 4 and in 2005 Mr. Moffitt was named Louisiana Dealer of the Year by the Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association. In 2006, he was selected as a recipient of the Time Magazine “Quality Dealer Award”, of which only 66 Automobile Dealers were chosen over 19,500 Dealers nationwide. This is the automobile industry’s most prestigious award for business achievement and community service.
Fred’s goal was always to help the communities that had given him so much. He gave his time, talent and resources and served on many boards throughout his life including the state and local boards of the Odyssey House, past Chairman of the budget committee of the United Way, The Bossier Chamber of Commerce, and Ambassadors Club. He served for several years on the auction committee for Hal Sutton-David Toms Charity Golf Classic.
Dad was involved in fundraisers for Loyola High School and for three years donated a new Miata each year for the Loyola Duck Race. He also donated a car to be raffled off to benefit the opening of the new offices of the Catholic Diocese of Shreveport. His latest commitment, before he went to be with the Lord was his partnership this year with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by donating a new Mazda for the upcoming 2016 St Jude Dream Home giveaway.
All branches of the Armed Services were important to him especially his association with Barksdale Air Force Base. When he first arrived in the area he helped them in many ways. He also showed his commitment to Barksdale by serving on the Military Affairs Council. Fred was also named a Founding Father to the Friends of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Associations and a Lifetime membership in AFCEA.
In 1998 after a 14 ½ hour operation for oral cancer at LSU Health Science Center, he realized the importance of the hospital to our community. From January 2000 until November 2010 Mr. Moffitt served as a member of the LSU Health Sciences Foundation Board of Directors. Upon his retirement as an active board member, Fred was elected as a Director Emeritus of the Foundation. Fred was a consistent supporter and vocal advocate for LSU Health. Mr. Moffitt was instrumental in starting the foundation’s major fundraiser “What’s Up Doc?” and was the primary sponsor every year and continued to be a major supporter of what is now known as An Evening for Healers.
He was an avid golfer just as he enjoyed the game he enjoyed even more the fellowships, and the relationships that grew from the game. He also loved to travel with his wife Willetta. During his long life they traveled all over the world together. He especially enjoyed his many trips with his wife to Florida to watch the major league baseball spring training, and the seniors tournaments.
His love of God was evident in his everyday life. He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church for 52 years. He was honored to be a Member of The Equestrian Order of the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and he attained the rank of Knight Commander with Star of the Holy Sepulchre.
His beloved wife Viva Willetta Woosley Moffitt, his parents, his sister Julia Moffitt Malek preceded him in death. He was very proud of his family and left to cherish his memory are his daughters Susan Geralyn Moffitt Henson and husband Michael of Bossier City. LA; Mary Anne Moffitt Green and husband Kim of Shreveport, LA; his sons Michael Fredrick Moffitt of Shreveport, LA; and John Patrick Moffitt and wife Sarah of Shreveport, LA. “Papa” was a real role model and so proud of his precious grandchildren, Matthew Christopher Green, Thomas Alexander Green, Merideth Claire Moffitt, Laura Catherine Moffitt, Andrew Peter Holman Moffitt, Lauren Elizabeth Moffitt Henson and John Patrick Moffitt, II. Also left to treasure his memory is his brother Dr. James Moffitt and wife Dorothy of Urbana, Il, sister Patricia Moffitt Strow and her husband Dr. Wallace Strow, of Springfield, Il, brother-in-law David Malek and his wife Sharon of Naperville, Il, and his many nieces and nephews and also his many friends that he loved so much.
Honoring Fred as pallbearers were his grandsons, Matthew Green and Thomas Green, sons-in-law Michael Henson and Kim Green, nephews Jay Woosley and Jeff Woosley, and close family friend, Dr. Joseph C. Jones.
Serving as honorary pallbearers were his grandchild Andrew Moffitt, nephews James Moffitt, Thomas Moffitt, Bob Krebs and David Ryan Malek. Kaye Lex, Dr. Joseph Jones, Dr. Eugene St. Martin, William T. Murphy, Rogers M. Prestridge, Charles Higgs, Andy Andrews, Richard Sale, Mike McCarthy, Dr. Stan Woosley, Marlin Sledge, and the employees of Moffitt Volkswagen-Porsche-Audi-Mazda.
The Moffitt family would like to express their deepest appreciation to our many family members, friends, priests, nuns, physicians, nurses and caregivers who showed their compassionate care with continuous love, prayers and support for Fred and for our family especially Dr. Joseph C. Jones. The family extends a special thanks to the physicians and staff at Willis-Knighton Medical Center, Promise Hospital of Bossier City, Devine Health Care, and Hospice of Shreveport-Bossier.
A Mass of Christian Burial celebrating Fred’s life was held Thursday April 21, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 211 Atlantic Avenue Shreveport, Louisiana 71105. Officiating was Monsignor Earl Provenza. Interment followed at Forest Park, St. Vincent Avenue. Visitation was held Wednesday April 20, 2016 from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with a prayer vigil and rosary at 6:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Shreveport.
The family suggests memorials may be made to LSU Health Foundation 920 Pierremont Road Suite 506, Shreveport, Louisiana 71106, Shriners Hospital for Children 3100 Samford Avenue, Shreveport, Louisiana 71103 or the charity of the donor’s choice.
Fred believed that he had a lot to look forward to and a lot to be thankful for. Every day is a gift from God and Fred lived a long and wonderful life.
Rose-Neath Funeral Home
Marshall Street Chapel