Biographical Sketch of David Daniel Fried
September 13, 1913 – June 10, 2013
In 1913 on September 13, David Daniel Jr. was born to David Daniel, Sr. and Elizabeth Cutsinger Fried. The Fried (Freed) family had come from Indiana in 1848 to Polk County Arkansas to the town of Big Fork. David Jr. was the 6th child of 10 children born to the parents, 5 girls and 5 boys.
His early childhood was in the small town of Big Fork, a short distance to Mena, Arkansas. His early education was in a country school. He enrolled in the University of Oklahoma Medical School, graduating in 1940 at the age of 27. War seemed inevitable. As many young men Dr. Fried enlisted in the U. S . Army Air Corp. In 1941 at the beginning of WWll he was assigned to serve as a flight surgeon in the South Pacific a position he held throughout the War. When peace was declared he returned to his hometown.
Soon he married Elsie Elizabeth Moreau. The union birthed three children, 2 sons and 1 daughter, raised in Dr. Fried’s small town of Big Fork, Arkansas, who as adults, relocated to Oklahoma and Texas.
His family oriented medical practice began immediately after the War. Dr. Fried opened his office in Big Fork. The Arkansas Academy of Family Phyisicians was in its organizational beginning. Dr. Fried became Charter Member. He attained the Degree of Fellow in 1972 and was re certified until he was 80 years old. In 1997-1998 he was named “Doctor of the Year” at the Academy His picture was featured on the cover of the initial Magazine published by the Academy. He was also a life member of the American Medical Association. One doctor during an series of interviews, conducted by Dr. Sam Taggart*, commented on being present when Dr. Freed was given an award for being the oldest practicing doctor of continuous practice in Arkansas.
From his beginning practice, people recognized his helping, caring nature. His practice grew rapidly. Families with children were especailly attracted to Dr. Fried because of his gentle loving care for each child. He became interested in civic activities and joined the Mena Lion Club and participated in their many community projects of the Lions.
Dr. Fried was a devoted member of the First Baptist Church of Mena. He was Deacon and Sunday School director for many years. His love for humanity led him into the mission field including at least seven different foreign trips that lasted for a short week or as long as a year. He and his wife made numerous excursions where he could offer medical aid as well as spiritual renewal. At home or abroad he was a helping friend to all.
Dr. Fried practiced medicine 63 years, 58 in Polk County, before he retired 2003 at the age of 90 . An accolade came from Dr. John Mesko who also practiced in Mena. His wife said ,“John always said, I want to be a Dr. Freed”.**
At age of 99 years on June 10, 2013 Dr. Fried died, three month short of 100 years. He had lived a long and productive life, caring for others from 1940 until 2003. Burial is at Pinecrest Memorial Gardens in Mena, Arkansas.
*From interview by Dr. Sam Taggart with Dr. Hiram Ward-unknown date
**From Interview by Dr. Sam Taggert with Dr. John Mesko and his wife, November 2016
Betty L. Battenfield February 2020