Dr. Fred J. Stutzenberger, Jr., a retired professor of Microbiology and Molecular Medicine at Clemson University, passed away on October 18, 2023. He was a highly regarded educator, researcher and artist who dedicated his life to teaching and inspiring young minds.
Born on November 10, 1940, in Louisville, Kentucky, Dr. Stutzenberger's passion for learning began early in life. He attended the Kentucky Military Institute, where his uncle Albert Stutzenberger served as one of his teachers and a mentor. After completing high school, he pursued his higher education at Bellarmine University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in science. He went on to obtain his master’s degree from the University of Houston before earning his PhD in Microbiology and Molecular Medicine from Michigan State. Dr. Stutzenberger's life was also marked by his service as a Lt. Commander in the United States Public Health Service during the Vietnam War.
Dr. Stutzenberger's career spanned several decades, during which he made significant contributions to the field of microbiology and molecular medicine. His research resulted in numerous published articles in various reputable publications. As a result of his dedication to both teaching and scientific exploration, he became a respected figure within the academic community. The impact Dr. Fred J. Stutzenberger, Jr. had on his colleagues, students, friends, and family cannot be overstated. His dedication to knowledge and his genuine love for teaching served as an inspiration to all who had the privilege of knowing him.
Beyond his professional accomplishments, Dr. Stutzenberger was first married to Anna Szymanski, upon which they had three children, John Robert, Matthew, and Stephanie. Fred and Anna traveled the world, lived abroad and supported each other as they advanced their careers and raised their children. Unfortunately, Fred and Anna separated, yet still kept in close touch.
Dr. Stutzenberger later met Patricia S. Turner to whom he was a loving husband. He helped Tricia grow through their nationwide travels and her home construction career. Tricia supported Fred through his creative endeavors and was a tireless and loving wife in his later years as his health declined, to which she never left his side when times were the toughest. His role as a grandfather brought him great satisfaction to see his own children bring up the next generation to which he provided great support to the future of Graham Hope and Brooklyn Stutzenberger.
Throughout his life, Dr. Stutzenberger demonstrated commitment to the well-being of the world as a whole through his academic research and his charitable giving to both domestic and international organizations. He also impacted his local community where he was well known in the circles of Clemson University for 50 years through his work as a scoutmaster for 27 years, including his work with local Boy Scout Troop 161 where he mentored dozens of young men, including his own son throughout the years. He helped found and run the Blue Ridge Mountain Men shooting club for many years with a focus on shooting sports competitions. He stayed involved as an emeritus at Clemson University guiding the next generation of professors and educators. He constantly thought about how personal actions affect the world around us and donated generously to educational foundations and charities.
Outside of work and family, Dr. Stutzenberger possessed an adventurous spirit. He enjoyed traveling across the globe and experiencing different cultures. An avid reader, he found solace and enrichment in the pages of books. Additionally, he was an excellent marksman, winning marksmen tournaments for decades while also being a true craftsman, dedicating his talents to creating muzzle loader rifles and pistols that were nothing short of works of art. Fred was an accomplished author published hundreds of times in microbiology research publications and national shooting sports magazines over many decades. His novel, “Akisni the Healer” is being published now and he will continue to have new articles printed in Muzzle Blasts for years to come.
A celebration of life service will be held at a later date on the campus of Clemson University.
Though he is no longer with us, Dr. Fred Stutzenberger's impact will continue to resonate through the lives he touched and the knowledge he imparted. He leaves behind a legacy that will be remembered and celebrated by all who knew him.
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