Richmond County has lost another community patriarch with the recent passing of Dr. Fred McQueen.
The retired medical doctor passed away Sunday, April 30, at the age of 75, according to his incomplete obituary with McNeill Funeral Home.
A native of Maxton, McQueen joined the U.S. Army in 1969 and was a soldier in the 82nd Airborne Division based at Fort Bragg, spending much of that time learning about the medical field.
McQueen earned his undergraduate degree and attended medical school at Howard University, a historically black university in Washington, D.C. His internship was at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
He started moonlighting at the emergency room of Richmond Memorial Hospital in 1974 and was recruited to Hamlet’s Sandhills Medical Center in 1977 by Dr. Bill James.
McQueen opened his own practice in 1980, which he ran until his retirement at the end of 2020.
McQueen has also been active with the Richmond County chapter of the NAACP, serving as president for more than 30 years.
In 2016, McQueen was honored by the General Assembly for his service with the civil rights organization as well as being a local doctor and was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.
In the late ‘80s, McQueen was instrumental in securing the historical marker for Hamlet-born jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane on U.S. 74 Business and in 2020 year opened the Coltrane Blue Room on the corner of Hamlet Avenue and Bridges Street, which is the building where the jazz legend was born in 1926.
Click here to read about the Blue Room.
(Note: Information was taken from an RO story from his retirement. Click here to read that story.)