LAKE PLACID — W. John Friedlander, 82, died in the early morning of Sept. 17, in his Lake Placid home.
He was born May 22, 1931 in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of John W. Friedlander and Gladys Fleishmann.
From Cincinnati, Ohio, he earned a bachelor's degree with a double major in English and government from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, where he lettered in football, basketball and tennis. He did graduate work at the University of Cincinnati, University of Vermont and Oxford University in England.
After two years in the Navy and a stint on the taxi squad of the Green Bay Packers, he found his niche in teaching, coaching and administration of private education.
Starting with the former Viewpoint School in Amenia, N.Y., he moved to his alma mater of Berskshire School in Sheffield, Mass. His next post was the Peddie School in Hightstown, N.J. before St. George's School in Newport, R.I. He brought his teaching (English) and coaching experience to Lake Placid's Northwood School in 1965 and was appointed headmaster the following year until his retirement in 1996. Although the financial future of NWS was dubious when he took over, he also handled fund raising and left the school with a $3 million endowment.
During his 30 year tenure as headmaster, he was recipient of the 1988 Distinguished Bowdoin Educator Award and was cited by a New York State Legislative Resolution in 1991 for his achievements in the field of education.
He was also a member of the National and New York State Associations of Independent Schools, New York State Athletic Commission, Secondary School Admissions Testing Board, the Clarkson University Advisory Council and the Governor's Advisory Council on the Aging.
Membership on community boards include the Lake Placid Education Foundation, Lake Placid Sinfonietta and North Country Community College which he chaired for 8 years.
His greatest contribution, however, is the influence he had for 4 decades during the formative years of thousands of young people. Many wrote or returned for visits to confirm this fact, thanked him and payed him tribute. They always appreciated his sense of humor and understanding. Many mentioned the voluntary "drop-in" visits to the office of "The Big Guy", "Cheese" or "Freddy" as he was affectionately referred to among students.
Paramount in Headmaster Friedlander's philosophy was giving a young person a second chance, creating an opportunity for him/her to succeed and gain confidence in order to become a happy and successful adult.
In addition to his wife, Linda; he is survived by his sister, Joan Fox of Cincinnati; and four children, Catherine Schilling of Goffstown, N.H., John Walter Friedlander of Aragon, Ga., Patricia and Diana Friedlander of Lake Placid; six grandchildren also survive.
Calling hours will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19th at the M. B. Clark, Inc. Funeral Home in Lake Placid, N.Y.
A Funeral Service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept., 20th at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Lake Placid, N.Y., Rev. John Yonkovig will officiate.
In Lieu of flowers the Friedlander family suggests donations be made to W. John Friedlander Fund for Student Scholarship and Faculty Enrichment at Northwood School, Attn. Advancement Office, P.O. Box 1070, Lake Placid, NY
12946 or Tri Lakes Humane Society, 255 George Lapan Hwy., Saranac Lake, NY 12983.
Relatives and friends are invited to "light a candle" and share a memory, story or condolences at www.mbclarkfuner alhome.com. The M.B. Clark Funeral Home