Fred Searls III |

Fred Searls III

Fred Searls III, 78, of Moraga died Saturday, June 29, at Rheem Valley Convalescent Hospital in Moraga of complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

Mr. Searls was born in San Francisco to Fred Searls II and Gwynne Davis Searls. He attended schools in New York and California, graduating from Lowell High School in San Francisco. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and served in the western Pacific as an aircraft mechanic.

After the war, he earned a bachelor’s degree at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a master’s degree in engineering at the University of Connecticut. He began his career as an aircraft engineer at Pratt & Whitney. In 1958 he joined the maintenance division of United Airlines in San Bruno. In the early 1970s he served as a liaison to the Boeing Corp., helping United acquire the new Boeing 727 and 747 airliners. He retired in 1979 as an engineering chief of United’s maintenance base at San Francisco Airport.

He was a member of St. Francis Yacht Club of San Francisco, the Yacht Racing Association, and Coyote Point Yacht Club of San Mateo. In 1979 he and his wife moved to Nevada City, becoming the fourth generation of his family to live in the county. He joined the board of directors of the Miners Hospital and Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital. He was a docent at Empire Mine State Historical Park.

He is survived by his brother, Robert Searls of Melbourne, Australia; sisters Phoebe Searls True of Ross, Helen Searls deGroot of Chicago and Joyce Adams Searls of Phippsburg, Maine; children Gwynne L. Searls of Lafayette, Fred Searls IV of Sausalito, Emily Searls of San Ramon; and two grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Nevada County Historical Society.

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