Fred Fayette wearing a baseball cap at the wheel of his research vessel, R/V Neptune

Remembering the Legacy and Kindness of Fred Fayette

It is with a heavy heart this week that we remember Fred Fayette, coach, researcher, and generous supporter of the Lake Champlain region, who passed away last week.

Fred’s efforts and contributions to research on Lake Champlain were truly remarkable. With his unmistakable boat, R/V Neptune, Fred supported the 8-year Lake Champlain Cultural Resources Survey which documented the entirety of the lake via side scan sonar, as well as research dives on the shipwrecks of the steamboat Phoenix, the Revolutionary War gunboat Spitfire, and countless canal boats and other wrecks.

Fred’s legacy extends beyond his research efforts. He was an incredibly generous person who gave freely of his time, expertise, and resources to support the causes he believed in. He was an early supporter of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, supporting our mission, archaeological research, and artifact conservation efforts to ensure the Museum could continue to educate and inspire future generations through the rich history of Lake Champlain. Our conservation lab, Lake Survey, and many of our research dives would not have been possible without Fred.

“Fred was a true mariner of Lake Champlain with thousands of hours behind the helm. He was also an incredibly kind and talented person who shared his time and expertise to help everyone,” said Chris Sabick, the Museum’s Director of Research and Archaeology. “Fred’s long-term support of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and its mission has been instrumental in our efforts to discover and share the maritime history of the Champlain Valley with the public. It is impossible to overestimate his contributions to these efforts.”

Fred Fayette was an extraordinary individual whose impact on the Lake Champlain region will be felt for generations to come. He will be deeply missed, but his work, kindness, and spirit will continue to inspire us all.