Exactly one week ago, The Fortune Society community received news that our board member, colleague, and beloved friend, Fred Patrick passed away. Our hearts are still just as heavy, weighed down with grief and sadness, as we continue mourning the profound loss of such a genuinely kind human being. Fred’s sincerity and humility were unparalleled. His exceptional diplomacy, strategic decision-making, and ability to offer perceptive guidance were extremely rare traits- especially together in one person! The world, New York City, Social and Criminal Justice Movements, The Fortune Society- were, without a doubt, better because of Fred Patrick.
May his perseverance in the face of adversity to create policy and systems change, while never forgetting to put the humanity of others first live on, always.
Below, several members of The Fortune Society community shared insight into the ways Fred touched their lives and will continue to inspire them, always.
“I will miss Fred greatly. I first met him more than 20 years ago when he managed our Alternative to Incarceration contracts while working for the Office of the Criminal Justice Coordinator. He distinguished himself by his warmth, caring, approachability, commitment to the work that we were doing and the skill with which he handled a difficult contracting process. We truly felt that we had a partner in government when we worked with Fred, in a way that was very rare. Fred went through some hard times but he kept his humanity and commitment and I think that those hard times deepened him. We at Fortune had the privilege of having him work with us in a management capacity in service delivery, and his heart shown in the work that he did. When he left us to go on to other jobs including, finally to Vera, we asked him to continue to work with us by joining our board of directors. He was a valued member of the board, helping us with strategic planning and playing a leadership role in our program committee. Especially on the board program committee, his depth of knowledge and his commitment to our clients let him keep making a deep difference to the Fortune community. I will miss him greatly as a colleague and as a friend. But his humor and his caring and his warmth and his greeting of, ‘Hey you!’ will stay with me. Thank you Fred for all that you have given. You will not be forgotten.”
“Fred Patrick was a good friend, mentor and visionary who was kind, thoughtful, generous, accomplished and brilliant. Fred was unique because his brilliance was not just reflected in his personal and professional accomplishments (of which there were many), but in his ability to help others achieve their “excellence” as he would say. Fred had a talent for listening to people deeply and hearing not just what they were saying, but also what they were not saying. He would offer encouragement and ask probing questions allowing you to flesh out your thoughts, ideas and passions until you almost had the answer you were seeking. Then he would identify the one piece of the puzzle that was missing and either provide the piece or guide you to it. One of Fred’s most admirable qualities was his ability to help others realize their greatness and own it.
Fred was also one of the best conversationalists I ever met. He was not only knowledgeable but also fun. He always had something interesting to talk about, and listened with the same interest and curiosity he inspired. He treated people as important regardless of their socioeconomic status, professional role, or education. Fred contributed to many lives at a personal and grand level yet never seemed to want credit for it. While his passing was unexpected and untimely, his legacy will be timeless. Fred, you will be missed but not forgotten, and we thank you for all of the service and humanity you gave us while you were here.”
“First and foremost, Fred was a believer. His profound faith carried him through many life challenges, including the most devastating loss of his beloved parents. Fred shared his gifts and talents freely with everyone. Although probably the most informed and intelligent person in the room, he was also was the most humble, concerned, and loving. He was the kindest, gentlest, most caring, and committed man I have ever had the privilege of knowing.”
“I can’t begin to explain the sadness my heart feels losing my dear friend and colleague, Fred. He was always there for me- to lend an ear, give some needed advice, or just participate in some friendly banter. The thought of never seeing his smile or hearing his chuckle again is a tragedy, he made this world a better place and will be missed forever.”
“Fred’s passing hurts so deeply. I’ve known Fred for well over 15 years. He was a mentor, friend, colleague and inspiration to me and many others. I will always remember his smile and warm embrace every time we saw each other. Fred was always willing to offer wise counsel or lend a listening ear. His loss will be felt deeply in our community of advocates, service providers, and social justice change agents. The Fortune family will miss him tremendously. Fred will call upon us to remember and continue to elevate the issues he fought everyday – social and procedural justice, education, and criminal justice reform to name a few. Fred can rest in peace knowing that he touched so many lives and the many will pay it forward and one day we will achieve true justice. Rest in peace and solidarity, friend!”
Please keep sharing thoughts and memories of Fred on Vera’s In Memoriam page dedicated to honor Fred and his legacy: