NAPLES, FLA. - Frederic Close Towers died at his home in Naples, Florida on January 20, 2016. He was 82. Born in Washington, D.C. on January 9, 1934, he was a graduate of St. Albans School, Williams College, and Harvard Business School. He served in the U.S. Navy, first as an intelligence officer with the seventh fleet, and later as aide to CNO Admiral Arleigh Burke.
Affectionately called Freddy by family and friends, he will be remembered for his engaging smile, generous spirit, love of life and caring nature. He was an enthusiastic sailor, lover of choral music, and model trains. He was an innovator and had an insatiable curiosity about new technology, and he tried to learn something new every day.
In 1958, he married Kay Heffernan. Freddy and Kay were known for their gracious hospitality. One could always find a welcoming smile, good food and lively conversation at their homes in Maryland and Maine. Kay Towers passed away in 2000. They had one son, Frederic Jr., who died in 1979 as the result of an auto accident.
Freddy was one of the first people to write software for the financial services industry. In 1971, while a successful stockbroker at Johnston, Lemon & Company, he decided to explore the use of the computer in his work. He believed that, with the right software, computers could revolutionize the way stocks were valued and tracked. Working from his home office, as one of the nation's first telecommuters, he became one of IBM's first time-sharing customers. His programs "Valport" and "Hypo" hold two of the first software patents ever issued in the financial services industry, and were licensed to major brokerage firms throughout the country.
In 2004, he married Laurel Chamberlain Hinckley. In 2005, they moved from Maryland to Naples, Florida. As long time summer residents of Maine, they divided their time between homes in Southwest Harbor and Naples. In both communities they continued the Towers tradition of entertaining family and friends and participating in civic and sporting activities.
Freddy served as chairman of the governing board of St. Albans School, where he endowed the chair in Computer Science. He was a trustee of the Washington Cathedral Choral Society, Arena Stage, and National Maritime Heritage Foundation. He was also past president of the IOD World Class Association, chairman of the race committee of the Northeast Harbor Fleet and commodore of the Southwest Harbor Fleet, Maine. He was a member of the Naples Yacht Club, Royal Poinciana Golf Club, St. William Catholic Church, Chevy Chase Club, Causeway Club and Pot & Kettle Club (Maine).
He is survived by his wife, the former Laurie Hinckley; two sisters, Judy Towers Reemtsma and Dorcy Towers Burns; two stepdaughters, Betsy Kersteen Mulligan and Amy Kersteen Breckon; nine nieces and nephews; and two grandchildren.
The family will receive visitors on January 27, 2016, 3 to 5 p.m. at Fuller Funeral Home, Pine Ridge Road, Naples, Florida. A Mass of Christian Burial celebrating the life of Fred Towers will be offered on January 28, 2016 at 10 a.m. at St. William Catholic Church, 750 Seagate Drive, Naples, Florida. Services in Washington, D.C. and Southwest Harbor, Maine will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Albans School, St. Albans Annual Giving, Mount St. Alban, Washington, D.C. 20016-5069.
Local arrangements by Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main Street, Mt. Desert. Condolences may be expressed at
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Jordan-Fernald Funeral Homes