Freddie W. McCurdy

July 22, 1947 – April 9, 2024

Freddie Wilson McCurdy, 76, of Lexington passed away Tuesday, April 9, 2024. He was born in Columbia, on July 22, 1947 to the late Annie Mae Prosser and Manny “Mac” McCurdy.

Fred worked in emergency services as an EMT/Paramedic and retired as a communications supervisor for the Richland County 911 system. He was a part-time deputy coroner for Lexington County, as well as part-time for the Disaster Mortuary Operation Response Team known as DMORT, where Fred was honored to assist in identifying efforts at 9/11 in New York City. He was especially proud of his time with this team as he was with his tenure as Columbia’s Real Santa Claus. Fred has had many children, families, animals, and even reptiles on his lap for 25 years at Woodhill Mall. For at least 20 of those years, he rode in the Columbia Carillon Christmas Parade. He received the key to the city from then-Mayor Bob Coble in 2008. In 1993, Fred also received the Order of the Palmetto from Governor Carroll Campbell, another accomplishment he was especially proud of. After Woodhill Mall, Santa Fred was able to work in his hometown of Lexington at The Flight Deck Restaurant. He also rode in the Lexington Christmas Parade, another of his treasured accomplishments. In addition, he even bounced in a few clubs around town.

Fred was a founding member of the Lakels Club, and a longtime member of the local Jimmy Buffett Phan Club, The Palmetto Parrothead Club. He worked with the literary council. He was a mason with the Pacific Lodge and a Shriner.

Fred was especially proud of his family some by blood, some by luck. All were loved the same; NO MATTER WHAT.

Fred is survived by his beloved wife, Beth McCurdy; daughter, Lana Hayes; step-children, Erin Branham-Carson (Bo), Gail Jefferson (Leon), Glenn Nelson (Mary Lynn) and Kim Nelson; brothers, Don McCurdy (Frances) and Charlie McCurdy; sisters, Darrell Jean Glover and Patricia Buff and 16 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, 6 great-great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Fred was predeceased by his parents; infant sister, Diane; granddaughter, Kennedy Branham; son-in-law, Chip Hayes; and brother-in-law, Lloyd “Bud” Buff, Sr.

A funeral service was held for Freddie at 1 pm Monday, April 15, 2024, at Mt. Horeb Church. The family received friends at the church. Burial followed the service at Celestial Memorial Gardens in West Columbia.

Instead of flowers, memorials may be sent to one of Fred’s choices noted below:

Prisma Health Midlands Foundations Camp Kemo Programs, 1600 Marion Street, Columbia, SC 29201

Happy Wheels/ Kennedy’s Kids, PO Box 406, Lexington, SC 29071

Carolina Sunshine for Children, PO Box 1803, Columbia, SC 29202

The family would like to thank Dr. Robert Malanuk, Dr. Michael Roberts, Dr. Will Brabham and the medical staff of Lexington Cardiology; the PCU Floor of Lexington Medical Center; Dr. Vijay Koli and staff of Mid Carolina Internal Medicine; and Chris Nettles and Jalayna Burton of Heart of Hospice of Columbia.

Editor’s note: We are forever grateful to Fred McCurdy for all his contributions to our newspapers. This incredible human being has touched so many with his faith and actions. Santa Fred brought us love and joy to our communities and will be sorely missed as we cherish our memories of his time spent with us. Rest in Peace, Fred McCurdy, we see you as a true hero and are honored to have known you.

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