Remembering David Fedo (1943 - 2022)
Our poet David Fedo (Carrots and other poems, 2009) passed away in December 2022. We would like to celebrate our friendship and his life with the following eulogy, penned by Chan Wai Han.
One cannot mention David Fedo without mentioning his wife Susan in one breath. The lovely couple took it upon themselves to visit the 2008 Singapore Writers Festival soon after their arrival to chart a higher certification course for early childhood education, then parked at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Their warmth and joy at meeting new friends like us led to several outings to taste the hybrid culinary delights of our island.
I remember one particular evening when Hoe Fang and I brought them to Tiong Bahru to tackle a local steamboat meal in our sweltering climate. The gracious couple said they had never enjoyed such a meal so thoroughly before!
David eventually showed us his collection of poems, which Ethos Books published as Carrots and Other Poems in 2009. The cadence of his writing, observations of life in the USA through the seasons, remind me much of one of the few American poets I remember from school days – Robert Frost.
David and Susan were great supporters of many a Singaporean literary offering, attending book launches, plays and music performances as much as their busy academic schedule would allow.
After their return to Minnesota, we continued to keep in touch, albeit sporadically. My regret is that David had wanted to include a few more poems that he had written in a second edition of Carrots. We did not do this for him.
Rest in peace, David. I pray that I will be worthy to meet you, a great fatherly friend, on the other side of eternity.
At this moment
the light is overwhelming,
its coefficient clarifying the world
and even the universe,
whatever a universe may mean.
and such definition
require courage from those of us
or imagine that we observe,
alone or together,
this scene of brilliance and wonder,
replaced soon enough
by the usual and more profound
—Excerpted from "The Coefficient of Light", Carrots and other Poems
About David Fedo (adapted from Gately Funeral Home)
Born in Duluth, Minnesota on April 15, 1943, David Fedo was the second of three sons of Michael and Ramona Fedo, who were public school teachers. He graduated with honors from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, in June 1965. While at UMD, he edited the school’s weekly newspaper and also worked part-time covering sports and writing features for the Duluth News-Tribune. He also met his future wife, Susan Randall, and they married in 1966.
David attended Boston University on an NDEA Fellowship, earning an A.M. degree in English and American literature in 1966 and a Ph.D. in 1972. His doctoral dissertation, on the plays of William Carlos Williams, embraced two of his life-long passions: poetry and theatre. A poet throughout his life, David published his work in numerous journals and magazines, and a collection, Carrots and Other Poems, was published by Ethos Books in 2009. His articles on higher education, literature and travel appeared in both academic and popular publications.
Prior to joining Curry College, in Milton, MA, he chaired the Humanities Department, directed the Liberal Arts Division, and taught English—and also initiated a popular extracurricular theatre program—at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, in Boston, from 1971-80. He served on the College’s Board of Trustees from 1980-90. In 1980, he was appointed Associate Undergraduate Dean and Professor of English at Bentley University, in Waltham, MA, serving for more than ten years.
Throughout his academic career, he served as a member and periodic chair of college accreditation visiting teams, including for the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
After his retirement from Curry, David accepted a two-year appointment as Executive Director and Visiting Scholar of the Wheelock College Center for International Education, Leadership and Innovation, at Ngee Ann Polytechnic in Singapore, and his wife Susan was appointed to the faculty there. Their two-year contract extended to five, and during their time in Singapore they travelled extensively in Southeast Asia and were active in Singapore’s literary, cultural and educational communities. In 2012, they returned home to Medford, MA, where they were active volunteers with the Medford Historical Society & Museum, and moved to Melrose in 2021.
David is survived by his wife Susan and their daughter, Dianne Collazo. Other survivors include his brothers, Michael (Judith) and Stephen (Ann Speltz).