I believe Fred considered me to be his best friend; he was certainly mine, so I have a lot to say but it is hard for me to say it.
Like everyone, I was utterly shocked by Fred's death. I was looking forward to an email from him and, within a few days, going over to his apartment, sitting on his couch, being offered a schnapps and then talking. For a long while.
Fred always took the time and had the interest. Unlike so many of us in this age of being distracted, Fred intensely cared about what was being said, though he was never argumentative. He helped me understand my own views better without making me feel lesser for needing his gentle guidance.
Fred and I often shared drafts. He would send me a draft of something he'd written, often about Josef Albers, and I'd suggest edits. And I sent him drafts of what I'd written and he'd do the same. This message would have been better had Fred been around to help me with it.
Fred took the time. In this he was a traditionalist in the very best sense. True, in many other ways—from the way he dressed, to his unfailing courteousness, to his deep involvement with Judaism, to his idea of what made for a great teacher—he was a traditionalist. But for me, it was his deep concern and love and his complete loyalty as a friend that I will remember—and miss—most of all.
My heartfelt condolences to Suzie, David and to all of Fred's kin, and to Jenny as well. Fred expressed many times and in many different ways how very fortunate he felt to have her in his life.
Just as I feel about having had Fred in mine.