Family members of Lynchburg legend Dave Fruehauf presented $5,000 in donations in his honor to two local organizations that meant a great deal to him: The Moore County Historical Society and Friends of Animals Rescue and Adoption Center. Fruehauf moved to Lynchburg in 1985 after a distinguished and colorful career in the United States Air Force and in the defense private sector, serving decorated missions as a pilot and flying the SR-71 Blackbird. (The SR-71 was retired in 1999, but still holds the world record for the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft to this day!) Traveling great speeds and altitudes, Fruehauf was awarded multiple Distinguished Flying Crosses, Air Medals, and Meritorious Service Medals and served in a multitude of leadership positions. Fruehauf also worked and flew test missions out of Groom Lake in the highly classified military base Area 51 in Nevada. Dave was even visited by the production crew of Ancient Aliens on the History Channel, sharing some of his experiences at the top secret installation in an interview. If you were on the Lynchburg square in 2020 or earlier, there is a good chance that you met Dave! He was known for his day not being “bad for a Monday”, no matter what day of the week it actually was. Volunteering as a guide at the Moore County/Lynchburg Jail Museum, Dave loved to chat with folks from near and far, never meeting a stranger. Wherever Dave went, his beloved dog Jack was sure to be seen by his side. According to Dave’s wife, Wanda Fruehauf, Jack was a brindle pit-mix that was left behind by previous owners in the neighborhood that showed up at Dave and Wanda’s home during a cold January around 2010. After witnessing the poor pup eating black oiled sunflower seeds that were put out for the birds and squirrels, Dave decided to keep Jack, who turned out to be ‘the best pet anyone could have’, according to Mrs. Wanda. Dave Fruehauf passed away on October 10th, 2020, less than a month after losing Jack to cancer.
Wanda moved to the Knoxville area shortly after her husband’s passing to be near family. Dave’s son Eric and his wife Wendy are Realtors with Baker & Cole Properties and live locally. The family members gathered together in Lynchburg last week to present both The Moore County Historical Society and Lynchburg Friends of Animals with $2,500 donations. “He loved the Jail Museum and the people from near and far that he was able to talk to and connect with there,” Historical Society President Mike Northcutt said. “We appreciate the donation in Dave’s honor to keep the Jail Museum up and running. We will be installing an area with his history and photos to share with visitors.”
Though Dave’s furry friend Jack wasn’t rescued from Friends of Animals, he understood the importance of their mission and supported the cause. The animal rescue’s job is never finished and the donation is much appreciated, as Friend of Animals has taken in more animals this year than they ever have.
Mr. Dave Fruehauf loved Lynchburg, and Lynchburg loved him back.