Remembering Travis Dustin Fretter, winemaker, teacher, welcoming Berkeleyan

Travis Dustin Fretter played piano and guitar and sang songs in many languages.

Travis Dustin Fretter. Submitted photo

Travis Dustin Fretter, 1940-2021

Travis Dustin Fretter passed away July 9 after a recent cancer diagnosis, with his family by his side. He was 81.

Travis was known as an award-winning winemaker, a teacher of European languages, and an outgoing and welcoming Berkeleyan. He was fluent in English, French, Italian and German. He had a great sense of humor and was always available to friends and family members when they needed a helping hand.

Travis was loved and appreciated by many friends, relatives, acquaintances, and associates in California and around the world. He was witty, talented and sincere — always up for conversation with old friends and new, sharing a delicious meal and a glass of wine. He played piano and guitar and sang songs in many languages, much to the delight of loved ones and visitors.

Fittingly, these were some of the last words he heard: Il y a longtemps que je t’aime; jamais je ne t’oublierai.

He will be missed by his mother, Grace; his sister, Gretchen; his daughters, Sophia and Xenia; his partner, Betsy; and by many dear friends from his boyhood days, his years living in Europe and his involvement in Bay Area communities.

Donations can be made in Travis’ name to his German group, the Gerlind Institute, online or by sending a personal check to:

Gerlind Institute for Cultural Studies
2128 108th Ave.
Oakland, CA 94603

This was Travis’ choice, as he had been on the board of directors for Gerlind.

Travis Dustin Fretter. Submitted photo