Frederick R. MacLean, Sr.

April 7, 1940 – September 20, 2023

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved patriarch, Frederick Richards MacLean, Sr., who passed peacefully on September 20, 2023, surrounded by his wife, children, in-laws and grandchildren.

Frederick Richards MacLean, Sr., 83, of Lighthouse Point, Florida, passed away on September 20, 2023.

Fred was born on April 7, 1940 to Thomas Alexander MacLean and Dorothy Harper MacLean (née Richards) in Columbus, Ohio. Fred was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, graduating from Cincinnati Country Day School in 1958. He went on to study political science at Johns Hopkins University, graduating in 1964.

While in college, Fred met Anne Sherwood (“Sherry”) Beard or, as he referred to her, “the love of my life” and informed her within minutes of being introduced that he was going to marry her. Anyone who knows Sherry can imagine how that announcement was received! But it turns out Fred was right, and they married on February 22, 1964.

The newlyweds moved to Milwaukee where Fred sold group life insurance for Minnesota Mutual. Fred and Sherry started a family with their first two children, Anne Michele (“Mikey”) MacLean and Frederick Richards MacLean, Jr. being born in Milwaukee. A few years later, they moved to Lighthouse Point, Florida where they put down permanent roots. In 1970, their third child, Tracy Ellen MacLean, was born. About the same time, Fred decided to change careers.

Working full time to support his young family, Fred made the nightly commute to the University of Miami for four years to attend law school where he graduated second in his class in 1974. As he told it, he and Sherry did not have two nickels to rub together, and he could not afford to accept any of the associate attorney job offers he received so they got a bank loan on a handshake and opened an office. Fred was the lawyer and Sherry did everything else. Fred, an unprofessed feminist, encouraged Sherry to go to law school, which she did while running the office, and the rest is history. The law firm that is now MacLean and Ema was born 50 years ago next year.

Fred was a visionary, believing that if you have a vision for the future then you will make decisions – both conscious and unconscious – that will guide you to fulfill your vision. Fred’s ultimate vision was for his family to stay close and connected, an integral part of each other’s lives. With that in mind, Fred set out to create businesses that would sustain not just he and Sherry but their children and descendants for generations to come. In addition to the law firm, Fred and Sherry also created a wealth management company, Heritage Investment Group, in 1993. Heritage celebrated its 30th anniversary this year with more than $1.5 billion under management.

Many men are husbands and fathers, but few men are patriarchs with the vision, drive and integrity to create a legacy of love for their family for generations to come.

Fred’s loving heart and generosity extended beyond his family. He gave back to his community and others in many ways. He was the president of the Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce and gave more than thirty years of service to the Pompano Beach Rotary Club. He, along with Sherry, also assumed causes they felt were important to maintain the integrity of Lighthouse Point, a place they fell in love with more than 50 years ago. Fred also coached all his children in various sports while they were growing up. For their dedication to Lighthouse Point, they were honored as “Keepers.”

Charitably, Fred and Sherry supported Woodhouse, Irving’s Lodge, Our Father’s House Soup Kitchen, and veterans’ organizations locally and in Georgia, where they had a farm. Fred also helped countless individuals, some who just needed advice or a leg-up in life, and others who had nothing at all. He did this quietly and felt sincere joy helping other people succeed. He was immensely proud and selfless. Finally, with a huge love for animals, Fred and Sherry supported numerous animal causes for many years.

Frederick R. MacLean, Sr. (1974)

Fred is survived by the love of his life, Sherry, and their three children, Mikey (Thomas), Fred, and Tracy (McCarver). He is also survived by their spouses, Adrian Thomas, Laura MacLean and Ian McCarver, respectively; by his five grandchildren, Lillian Thomas Nagle (m. Ryan G. Nagle), Frederick R. MacLean III, Henry Beard Thomas (m. Yazmin E. Thomas), Madeline R. MacLean and Kathleen A. McCarver; and by two great-granddaughters, Hollister P. Nagle and Rosalie L. Thomas. All three of Fred and Sherry’s children live in Lighthouse Point, as do their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Fred’s final gift to Sherry, Mikey, Fred and Tracy was to look each of us in the eye, tell us he loved us, was proud of us, had a wonderful life and implored us not to be sad because he was ready to go. While our hearts are heavy, Fred’s gracious words help to ease our pain.

As we bid farewell to Fred/Dad/Grandpa, we remember the fun, love, wisdom and warmth he brought into our lives. His spirit lives on in the memories we shared and the values he instilled in us. He will be forever missed but never forgotten and his legacy will continue to guide and inspire us.

Rest in peace knowing that your love will shine on in all our hearts.

At Fred’s request, there will be no funeral service. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite charity in honor of Fred.

As published by Sun-Sentinel on September 23, 2023.