In Memory of Frederick Ferber

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Horst Frederick “Fred” Ferber, age 77, died at the University of California, San Francisco hospital on Saturday, February 10, 2007, following a courageous battle with cancer. He kept a positive attitude to the end, and was comforted by his wife Susan and frequent visits from his three children, six grandchildren and his many devoted friends.

Born in Siegen, Germany on December 17, 1929, his family moved to Holland when Fred was three years old to escape rising Nazi oppression. Between the ages of 11 and 14, he endured perpetual hardship and fear of discovery by the Nazis while hiding in various Dutch homes. Two months into hiding, Fred was separated from his parents and had minimal contact with them until the war ended. Originally named Horst, he was nicknamed “Freddie” by a young boy whose family was hiding him at that time. The name stuck. He co-authored the book, “Hiding Horst: Memoirs of a Jewish Boy” detailing his experiences during and after World War II.

By age 16, Fred was playing jazz piano and won a national amateur competition the following year. Fred came to America at age 20 with $25.00 in his pocket and a dream of becoming a professional jazz musician. He soon secured a job in the garment district of New York while establishing himself as a musician. His dreams were put on hold when Fred was drafted by the US Army. Whether by fate or irony, he was stationed in Germany with the 34th Army Band and teamed up with a young Eddie Fisher. Fred and Eddie performed throughout Europe and also played together stateside.

Fred Ferber went on to have a number of professions over the years, but his love and talent for jazz kept weaving its way through his life. Between jobs as an insurance salesman, hotel owner, department store fashion buyer, and travel agency owner, there was always music. Fred performed on the road and later in life was quite successful playing society events in the Bay Area. Fred played for the likes of Presidents Nixon and Bush (the elder) as well as other well known people. He worked with Peter Duchin in New York and Walt Tolleson in San Francisco; more recently, he played music in the Morro Bay area, and recorded “A Family Portrait” – a collection he arranged, on which he plays and sings standard songs with his son Freddie Ferber and his granddaughter Hannah Ferber.

Fred is survived by his beloved wife, Dr. Susan Scheidt, his cherished children Frederick J. Ferber, Robin Ferber-Airheart, and Natalie Ferber Ratz, and his adored six grandchildren: Justin, Hannah, Joel, Amanda, Andrew and Kathleen.

Fred often said that his philosophy of life was to “Expect the Best.” His optimism and good humor were an inspiration to all who knew him. Despite the horrors of the Holocaust and the trauma of losing family to the Nazis, Fred kept a positive outlook and did not dwell on the past. He always looked forward and kept exploring new experiences.

A celebration of Mr. Ferber’s life will be held March 3 in Morro Bay. Please contact the College Chapel Mortuary in San Francisco at (415) 824-13113 for details. Donations may be made to the Prostate Cancer Research Institute, (310) 743-2116.

The Prostate Cancer Research Institute mission is to improve the quality of men’s lives by supporting research and disseminating information that educates and empowers patients, families and the medical community.

PCRI is certified as “Best in America” by Independent Charities of America.

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By Phone: If you would prefer to phone in your donation, call us at (310) 743-2116

By Mail: Your tax-deductible gift in the form of cash, credit card, stocks or real estate should be made payable to the Prostate Cancer Research Institute and sent to:

Prostate Cancer Research Institute
5777 W. Century Blvd., Suite 800
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Federal Tax ID Number: 95-4617875

With each memorial or “gift in honor” contribution received, an announcement letter will be sent to his wife, Dr. Susan Scheidt. The amount given is never indicated in the announcement letter. The donor will also receive an acknowledgment letter. It is PCRI’s policy to acknowledge all memorial and “gift in honor” contributions promptly after receipt.

The Prostate Cancer Research Institute is a non-profit corporation, exempt from federal income taxes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It has been classified as an organization that is not a private foundation as defined in section 509(a) of the Code, and qualifies for a maximum charitable contribution by individual donors.