Fred Poznak
1931 - 2021
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Poznak, Fred

Fred Poznak, a resident of Hyde Park for over 70 years, died peacefully on February 11, 2021 at Sunrise Lincoln Park in Chicago from complications of pancreatic cancer.

He was born in Chicago on August 17, 1931, to John (Ivan Alexeivitch) Pozniak and Yetta Yospe, immigrants from the neighboring towns of Slonim and Pinsk in Byelorussia (now Belarus) who met at a left-wing organization in Chicago in the years following World War I.

Fred attended Pope and Lawson elementary schools in Lawndale. As their mother worked long hours in the garment industry, he and his sister spent childhood afternoons at the Marks-Nathan Jewish Orphan Home on South Albany Avenue. After graduating from Marshall High School in January 1949, Fred attended Theodore Herzl Junior College (where he was an award-winning staffer on the student newspaper, the Herzl Light), and thereafter the University of Chicago.

He worked for several decades at Alnor Instrument Co. as a quality control inspector of precision electronics including micromanometers, thermal anemometers, and other airflow measurement devices for hospitals and industry. He later did electronics inspection for WMS Industries (manufacturer of Bally and Williams pinball and gaming machines).

Fred was a skilled and intrepid photographer, venturing all over the City to shoot "dawn patrol" images (Black and White only!) with Carl Zeiss folding and twin lens reflex roll film cameras and, from the 1960s, with his trusty Nikon F.

He read endlessly, particularly political and military history, and could recognize and hum any number of operatic melodies. He was reasonably confident that Shakespeare did not write Shakespeare and adamant that Richard III had been traduced by successor regimes. He dependably completed the New York Times crossword puzzles almost to the end.

Fred was devoted to his older sister, Margaret (Richard Y. Mine, Jr.), who died in 2020. He spent countless late evenings patiently teaching developing and printing technique to his nephew, Andrew Mine (Rachel Shefner), in particular instilling the adage "let the darks get good and dark." He was the proud great-uncle of Natalie, Naomi and Alexander Mine.

Services are private. Arrangements by Cremation Society of Illinois, 773-281-5058 or

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Published in Chicago Sun-Times on Feb. 21, 2021.
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