Fred was born on October 23, 1958, to Jay and Lois Garber in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He grew up on a dairy farm and was the middle child of two brothers and two sisters. As soon as he was responsible he was gathering eggs and milking cows along with doing field work. He was the “fix it” guy around the farm and had innovative creative ideas in the entire farm operation.
In 1979 he married Nancy and was already a volunteer fireman since age 16 with the local volunteer fire company. He was always actively involved in the church from the time he was a youth. In 1984 he and Nancy moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut, with their first child to help with a church plant for almost three years. He was employed with a company where he operated large equipment. Their second child was born there.
They returned to the farm, where Fred continued farming with his two brothers and taking responsibility for the field work and machinery maintenance and also taking his turn in the milking parlor. This is where he was on the day he got a fire call, to which he responded and was on the way to pick up the second engine. On a wet road his pickup truck was hit head on by the first engine responding to the same fire. He died instantly, leaving Nancy with a two-month-old baby and three other children, each not quite 3, 5, and 8 years old.
Fred had been actively involved in their church leading worship and had written a number of songs which are a legacy he left to his church and family. His faith commitment was primary in his life and was experienced by his church, family and community.