Fred G. Bostick Jr.: Red Bay benefits from Bostick’s generosity, love for community
PROGRESS 2023: What’s In A Name
When those Friday night lights go up in the fall, the Red Bay Tigers have a nice place to call home thanks in large part to the efforts of Fred G. Bostick Jr., for whom their stadium is named.
Bostick, who helped found Sunshine Mills with his father-in-law Omer J. Bullen, was “a no-nonsense kind of guy,” according to his son John Bostick. “He liked things done, and he liked things done correctly, and he liked things done quickly,” John added.
The elder Bostick was a decorated veteran of World War II, having served in the 9th Army in France, Belgium and Germany and having participated in the Battle of the Bulge. The one-time sergeant took his military discipline back into his civilian life.
“He gave out orders like a sergeant, and he liked them followed – 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” John said. His father would take nothing from anyone – for instance, one time when he was touring Red Bay High School with then-superintendent Bill Moss. “He came back from the big war smoking Lucky Strikes, and he smoked them nonstop,” John explained – including during that visit to RBHS. “The hall monitor came up to him and told him he couldn’t smoke there. He said, ‘You mean, you’re not supposed to smoke here,’ and he just kept walking down the hall,” John said with a laugh.
John, who is retired from the family’s Sunshine Mills, said he remembers vividly the day his brother Alan Bostick, president and Sunshine Homes, called him with some news.
“He said, ‘We’ve got a situation, and you’re not going to like it,’” John recounted.
Come to find out, the elder Bostick had done a little off-roading. “The school kept the stadium gate unlocked and let people from Red Bay go in and walk on the walking trail,” John explained. “One day my day was up at the school, meeting with superintendent and principal on some topic, and afterward he just drove in and went around the track in his vehicle.” Seeing the state of the facilities at the time, Fred marched right into Alan’s office and said, “The football stadium won’t do. There’s nothing been done to the football stadium in 25 years, and it just won’t do.”
At that point, the younger Bosticks were on the hook. John took charge of renovating the visitors’ side and press box, and Alan took the home side and the concession stand. The stadium was soon newly renovated – and, not long after, named in Fred’s honor. It was after his death in 2001.
“He would be pleased that his buddy Bill Moss had named it after him. He would be pleased,” said John. “He’d been a big supporter of the school all his life.”
According to his obituary, Fred was a lifelong member of First United Methodist Church of Red Bay; an enthusiastic and loyal member of the Democratic Party; and a charter member of – and instrumental in the construction and development of – the Redmont Country Club.
Mayor Charlene Fancher said the continuing support of the Bostick family means a lot to the Red Bay community.
“This is their hometown,” said Fancher. “They’ve supported Red Bay, and they are part of the backbone of what makes Red Bay function. Throughout the years, they’ve contributed to not only our school system but to our city overall. When there was a need, they have helped meet that need throughout the years.”