Fred A. Severance Jr. (1918/04/16)
Measles and pneumonia ended the life of a caring son, a brother and a Santa Cruz sailor.
Fred Alonzo Severance Jr. was born on November 17, 1888, in Fort Bragg, California, to Fred and Fannie Severance. His sisters Bertha, Edna and another sister rounded out the Severance family. The location where Fred Jr. spent his formative years has not been identified, nor has the date when he arrived in Santa Cruz. By 1917 his parents had divorced. His mother had remarried and moved to Santa Rosa; his father remained in Santa Cruz. In June 1917 Fred Jr. resided on Surfside Avenue in Santa Cruz and was employed as a "woodsman" by the F. A. Hihn Company on Soquel Creek. During this period he also became an active member in the Red Men fraternal organization.
Severance registered for the army draft but served in the navy. His draft registration records describe him as being tall and slender with blue eyes and brown hair. In 1917 Fred Severance Jr. joined the Navy rather than being inducted into the army and was assigned the rank of third class engineer. During his short naval career he received his basic training at Mare Island near Napa, California, and remained at that facility. Duty in Napa provided Fred with an opportunity to visit his mother in Santa Rosa and his father and a sister in Santa Cruz.
In early 1918 Severance contracted measles at the naval base and was hospitalized for a short period. Once his health returned he obtained a leave to travel to Santa Cruz to visit his sister, Mrs. Jordan. While enroute to Santa Cruz, Fred developed a chill that turned into pneumonia. His health continued to fail and on April 16, 1918, Third Class Engineer Fred Alonzo Severance Jr. died at the age of twenty-nine. Following a funeral, his remains were buried in Oakwood Memorial Park in Santa Cruz.
(WWIDR; Santa Cruz County Burial Permits 1905-1938, Genealogical Society of Santa Cruz Cnty, 2001; SCSf April 16, 1918 2:4)