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Fritz Loewenstein, 86, died peacefully in his home in Madison, Wisconsin on Thursday, October 18, 2012. Fritz was born in Osnabruck, Germany, and with his sister and parents, Alfred and Frida Loewenstein, escaped the Hitler regime and settled in Binghamton in 1937. In 1945 he served in the U.S. Army in World War II and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Following his army service, Fritz earned his undergraduate degree at Yale University and his medical degree at Harvard Medical School. He returned to Binghamton in 1963, and worked there for over forty years as a physician in a solo practice, specializing in hematology and oncology. Fritz also served on the faculty of the Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, New York. Following his retirement in 2002, he volunteered at Upstate Medical Center's Community Free Clinic in Binghamton. Fritz greatly loved his medical career and was devoted to his patients, many of whom became friends. His family fondly called him "Doc." Fritz was also an avid violinist and violist, and especially delighted in playing chamber music. He played with the Tri-Cities Opera Company and the Binghamton Symphony for many years. During the last years of his life, he lived in Madison, Wisconsin, while also spending summers in upstate New York. Fritz loved the outdoors, and hiked in the Catskills, the Adirondacks, and the Green Mountains of Vermont. He greatly enjoyed several backpacking trips in Montana, accompanied by his wife Bernice, his daughter Nina, or his sister Steffi. Only two months before Fritz died, he was interviewed by the Anne Frank Museum of Amsterdam because of his close boyhood friendship with Peter van Pels, a boy who would become well-known to the world as Peter van Daan through the diary of Anne Frank. The filmed interview will now be shown at the Anne Frank Museum. Fritz was predeceased by his wife, Bernice Loewenstein, the beloved mother of their four children. Their son William died in childhood. He is survived by his sons, David, of Madison, Wisconsin, and James of Towanda, Pennsylvania; his daughter, Nina Loewenstein of Kinderhook, NY; his wife, Lucy Loewenstein of Endwell, NY; his sister, Steffi Fletcher of Stockbridge, Massachusetts; and two granddaughters, Ilana Green of Kinderhook, NY and Stella Loewenstein of Madison, WI. A website in Fritz's memory is being set up by his family. Memories of Fritz may be sent to email@example.com and these will be posted on the website. A Memorial Service will be announced at a later date.
Published in Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin on Oct. 28, 2012