Frederick Jacob Weintraub
August 28, 1942 - May 2, 2014 Frederick Jacob Weintraub, husband, father, grandfather, friend and educational leader, passed away at his home on May 2 after a brief illness. The son of the late Barbara and Israel Weintraub, he was born on August 28, 1942 in New York City. Fred transformed the spectrum of educational opportunities and services for children with exceptionalities in the United States. For over 20 years, he directed state and Federal legislative and judicial advocacy activities for the international Council for Exceptional Children. He is recognized as an author of what is now known as The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the federal law that guides all U.S. special education practices, and he played a significant role in the design and passage of other landmark legislation that improved education and life opportunities for children and youth with exceptionalities. In 1997, Fred moved to Los Angeles where he was a policy consultant to school districts in California and served as Monitor and Special Advisor to the Superintendent of Schools in San Diego, overseeing the implementation of a corrective action plan requiring extensive improvements in services to students with disabilities. Beginning in 2005, his vision and leadership for improving the education of such students was next demonstrated when he became the Independent Monitor of Los Angeles Unified School District's Modified Consent Decree. The lives of millions of children and youth with disabilities and their families have been improved because of Fred's diligent efforts and remarkably astute guidance. Fred lived life to the fullest. He loved and embraced time with his family and friends, visits to farmers market, and quiet time in his garden. Fred was known for his vigorous advocacy and insightful, ever-so candid interactions in the policy arena and highly respected for his integrity and profound dedication to educational equity. He leaves behind a legacy and example we all will strive to follow. He is survived by his loving wife, Lynne Cook, daughters Marya Long and Heather Moore, sister Norma Meyer, and their families. A memorial service will be held July 18 at the California Yacht Club, 4469 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey. Donations to the Frederick Weintraub Educational Leadership Scholarship at California State University, Northridge can be made to CSUN Foundation, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge, CA 91330.
Published by Los Angeles Times on May 18, 2014.
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33 Entries
Didn’t know you that well Fred, but what I did know, was all good. Rest in price Classmate.
Nick Flacco
Classmate
May 12, 2021
In 1979 you were like a CEC rock star to me Fred at 1920. I think about you often. Enjoy your rest.
May 12, 2019
Vjecnaja Pamjat Dear Friend - Memory Eternal

Many wonderful memories of our years at Shippensburg University.

Don Ernakovich
Lewes, DE
October 18, 2014
I was so very sad to hear of Fred's recent passing. I knew that he was ill, having received an email from him (posted on spedpro) describing his fight with Pancreatic Cancer. I was doubly saddened because my own dear father passed away from this dreadful disease in 2012. In a way, Fred was like a father to me...I worked at CEC Headquarters in the Public Policy Unit (first, with Joe Ballard, and then with Deb Ziegler) from 1993 to 2004, and felt in Fred a kindred spirit -- we were both from Philly and we were both Jewish. Many times, Passover occurred during CEC's Annual Convention, and I often shared a seder with Fred, Joel Mittler, and others -- making sure that this important Jewish holiday was not forgotten. Fred was almost a demigod at CEC; the man who helped create one of the most important pieces of legislation of our time -- 94-142. I learned so much from him during my time there, and I'm so honored to have known him.
Lynne, I am so very sorry for your loss, as well as the rest of your family. I want you to know that, for the 2nd year in a row, I participated in the PurpleStride for pancreatic cancer in Washington, DC. This year, I walked in honor of both my beloved father AND in honor of Fred. I will continue to walk and fight in their honor, in the hopes that this disease can be eradicated. With lots of love, blessings and best wishes to all.
Jacki Bootel
August 21, 2014
Fred was a wonderful friend and mentor to me as to so many others, always willing to share his wisdom and insights--bolstering me, showing me a way to solve problems, a new perspective, a gentle humor. I have always been amazed at the changes he brought about for our children who have disabilities, knowing that his work resulted in better lives for thousands, if not millions of children. We have lost a gentle power, one whose life will continue to affect us all very deeply. We are grateful that he lived.

Lynne, I am so sorry that you have lost your wonderful, loving husband.
Jane Burnette
July 27, 2014
I worked at The Council for Exceptional Children in Reston, Va with Fred from 1979 until he relocated to California. I surprised him by showing up at his place of work in the San Diego area in the late 90s. I admired him very when he worked in the Government Relations Dept at CEC with Joe Ballard and Bruce Ramirez. Learning of his passing saddens me very much.
Howard Branscom
July 25, 2014
He was a GREAT, kind, caring man!
He is, and always will be, 94-142!!!
I'll never forget him!
iris
Iris Kerbis Cantor
July 22, 2014
In Virginia it is a fitting day to remember Fred, a gorgeous day he would have relished. It was a proud moment when Fred received the CEC J.E. Wallace Wallin Lifetime Achievement Award for his many outstanding contributions to the education of children and youth with exceptionalities and the field of special education. While his revolutionary achievements on behalf of children with disabilities are most often cited, he was also a staunch advocate for children with gifts and talents and a champion of our field's professional preparation and practice standards.

When I first came to CEC as a neophyte intern, Fred was my guide and mentor to the world of national public policy and associations. He was generous of his time, willingly shared his knowledge and unselfishly supportive; all the things you desire of a coach. He fervently believed CEC was about action and making a difference, a lesson he modeled throughout his professional career. His genius for new ideas was both challenging and invigorating, he always seemed to have an eye on the future. Fred dreamed big dreams and had the courage and wherewithal to see those aspirations through to a new reality - a transformational leader.

Some of my fondest memories are of the fellowship we shared in his red sports car on our way to and from meetings downtown hashing over politics, sports, traffic, events of the day; Fred, cigar in hand, enjoying a round of golf; our fishing excursions to Assateaque and Chincoteaque with horseshoe crabs dominating our catch; and his flair for the unique - cowboy hat, office rocking chair, trading his desk for couch and chairs (Fred being Fred).

Fred was passionate about American Indian children and their families benefiting from special education public policy advances and not being left on the sidelines. His Lakota/Dakota name, Soaring Eagle (Wanbli Kasayela), aptly reflected his advocacy and leadership for a just decent world that values and empowers all of its children and youth. Like all inspiring educators, he helped us realize we can and do make a difference and that it truly matters.

It was a blessing to have shared, my relative, Fred's path and a life-long friendship. Pilamayan (thank you).
Bruce Ramirez
July 18, 2014
Fred, thanks for the fun times and chats when we bumped into each other at Trader Joe's. You are a sweet and fun feller, for sure!
Cynthia Desrochers
July 18, 2014
I never met Fred actually. What I know about him is from the stories Roberta and Lynne told me when Roberta and I visited Lynne early July. From what they told me a picture raised of a remarkable and warm person. You could still feel his presence in and around the house. A presence which even felt a kind of familiar, even though the two of us never met. I'm sure Fred and I would have become friends. It's a pity life has decided otherwise. I will honor his memory anyway in my warm friendship for Lynne.
Adrian Hofstede
July 17, 2014
Fred was a scent. The scent of his pipe while we indulged in smoking in his office, exchanging stories about trips to Europe, life in the East Coast and political lobbying.

Fred was a smell. The smell of his old car, in cool early mornings, driving to farmers' market. Always visiting the same stalls: buying flowers for Lynne, tasting all the tomatoes before choosing the best one, pampering ourselves with his tamale and coffee and my fresh orange juice and croissant.

Fred was a smile. The smile he gave me when he heard I had a boyfriend and he could finally stop worrying for ‘his little one in Italy'. He looked often like a turtle, one of those funny, pensive and charming characters of cartoons and comics, whose smile would always follow a little pearl of gentle wisdom, that could give a totally new and clever perspective to any complicated issue.

Fred was a sound. The sound of his laughter when Lynne would ask which one was the prosciutto in front of a melon and ham dish: after all, she was always his most loved ‘potatoes and steak Midwest chick'! Fred was Lynne and Lynne was Fred. I never met a more improbable couple. Never so opposite in their traits and tastes. Never so complementary and well-balanced. Never so in love after decades of true partnership!

Fred was a song. The old lovers' song by Jacques Brel. “I know all your spells, You know all my charms. You kept me from trap to trap, I lost you from time to time... It took us much talent, To be old without being adults”. His love for life, for people, for sophisticated cuisine, for street food, for Jewish jokes, for university shirts, for human rights, for liberal talks. To value past and experience without ever being boring. Shopping for an outfit that would show his aristocratic glamour and then swagger to seduce his wife once more. Visiting museums and art galleries and gourmet's delis, and then end up in a thrift shop trying old hats and costumes. Tenderness and kindness, wit and humour.

This was Fred. And I already miss him.

Roberta
roberta mineo
July 17, 2014
Fred was a mentor to me in my early career beginning when I interned at CEC in the mid-1980's. He was a colleague that I looked forward to seeing each year at CEC and other national events. He made a great difference in the lives of children and youth with disabilities as well as impacting policy and professional development. He willl be missed.
Sharon deFur
June 23, 2014
I loved how attentive, supportive, and generous Fred was. Besides his nurturing qualities, he was a brilliant raconteur and conversationalist. His analyses of political and educational subjects especially debunked common misunderstandings, but he saw the humor in them. He made the world a more interesting and delightful place.
David McNeil
June 22, 2014
The loss of a loved one is never easy however having such a love is a precious gift. Sending you and your family love.
Christy Hill
June 20, 2014
Dear Lynne and Fred's Family.
I was so very sorry to learn of Fred's passing. His passion for social justice defined his life and his contributions to improving the lives of others cannot be overstated. I valued greatly the opportunity to have worked with him and to call him a friend. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
David Riley
June 20, 2014
Lynn,
The faculty in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling are holding you in our hearts. much love,
Shari Tarver Behring
June 19, 2014
I cherish my memories of working with Fred when he was at CEC and I was at University of Illinois. His work was truly pioneering, and has directly touched the lives of millions of children and families. We had quality time together when he taught summer classes for us at U of I, and I learned then about his genuine commitment to helping others. Plus, he was a pretty darn good tennis player! He ran me around the court without mercy. I admired his advocacy work in California. His impact on so many is a lasting legacy.
Steve Lilly
Steve Lilly
June 19, 2014
I have just recently learned of Fred's passing. My heart goes out to Lynn, his family and friends. Such a loss.

I didn't know him well but always enjoyed his company. He led an influential and inspiring life. My depest sympathy.
Jim Hasenauer
June 19, 2014
I remember meeting Fred through Lynne at a campus event, and even in a five or so minute talk I could sense the depth of his spirit and the calm warmth he radiated to even strangers. He was an exceptional man who left a lasting legacy in all circles of life. It was a privilege to know him. My condolences to Lynne and family.
Christie Logan
June 19, 2014
Fred and Lynne were instrumental in changing the lives of our family. Sino and I speak often about how so much that we have now is because of both of them. We were devastated by the loss of Fred, but we remain so very, very grateful that we got to share dinners and glasses of wine with him. He was pure joy to us.
Jeff and Sino Donato-Sapp
June 17, 2014
My grandpa Fred Weintraub was the best grandpa ever. I loved his jokes. I will always remember and love him. Grandpa was always there for me. I loved him.
Jordan Long
June 6, 2014
Lynne and family
We came to know Fred through Lynne with who we have 40+ years of history. He was warm, quietly intelligent and lovingly prepared us one of the best meals of our lives. The photo gallery is a wonderful idea, and it help us experience Fred in the earlier stages before we had the privilege of knowing him. Our thoughts are with you all.
Love,
Russ and Donna Goodman
June 3, 2014
I'm sorry I mispelled Weintraub, on our last entry........and this is from Jon and Suzanne Cordes, with so much love.
June 3, 2014
Jon and I truely loved Fred. He was such a fun guy to visit with, and always made you feel welcome. We especially loved being part of the Weintrab's Passover table, and having Fred reading all the prayers. We will miss him, and were so blessed to be able to have spent such fun times with Fred, Lynne, and Marya, and the rest of the family.
June 3, 2014
I first learned of Fred in the late 1970s when I was in the Doctoral Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. The chair, Dr. Frances Connor, was a Past President of CEC and she made sure we all knew of her former student, Fred, who went to Washington to work on the passage of P.L. 94-142. In my perhaps somewhat interpreted memory of what Dr. Connor told us, Fred was actually single-handedly writing this law and boy, was I was mightily impressed as she extolled his virtues. I can't recall when we first met, although it has been many years now and I have been fortunate to consider myself a friend. I may never forget the pedestal that Dr. Connor put Fred on, but he always lived up to that introduction, committed to the children we care about and always able to interpret the events of the day with his intellect, wit, and analysis. I shall also recall our last conversation, just a few days before his passing, when I was complaining about the current state of the country and the field of education. He stopped my ranting and told me that we were a success, that we had made it…..we created a system that educates every child with a disability and while we may disagree with some of the details, we have been successful in creating that structure. So, on behalf of the millions of children with disabilities and their families as well as those of us who are fortunate to think we play a small part in their education, I want to acknowledge and thank Fred. Dr. Connor was right on the mark about him. He does belong on that pedestal and that is just where I will keep him.

Sari joins me in offering our thoughts to Lynne and the family.

Joel Mittler
Joel Mittler
June 3, 2014
Thoughts and prayers to your family at this difficult time. Fred will be missed. Remember the happy times as they will comfort you. Fellow member WWHS class of 1960.
Jàne Turner Reish
May 29, 2014
Our respective relationships with Fred began in the professional realm in the 1970's in Washington DC, developing over time into a strong, nurturing friendship that endured till the end of his life. We treasure many memories of shared pleasures and his enduring good nature and endless devotion to his work in the field of special education and to his loving family. With a fine wine in hand, we celebrate our friend with love.
Marty and Linda Kaufman-Lewis
May 21, 2014
Fred was my best friend all through high school. We shared similar world views and commitments to changing the world for the better. His path ultimately led to improving the education of exceptional children. As the father of two such kids I'll always be grateful for his positive influence on their lives. Shalom Fred!
May 21, 2014
As successful as my Father was professionally, he was equally as celebrated as a family Man and Father. He provided support, guidance, true love and compassion with ever breath he took. He will be missed ever day of my life.
Marya Long
May 20, 2014
Fred took over for me as class president in 10th grade and stayed in the job till we graduated. He did a far better job in that roll than I could have ever done. I have lots of fond memories of Fred in high school. Great Life!
Fred Smith
May 19, 2014
I remember Fred well. Please accept our condolences. (Delhaas Class of 60)
Nick & Christine Flacco
May 19, 2014
Fred was a fine man and will be greatly missed by many. I didn't know him well, but I did benefit like all his classmates from his wisdom and leadership skills. I'll be praying for the family.
Larry Worrell
May 19, 2014
On behalf of Fred's high school Classmates, at Delhaas and Woodrow Wilson High School, Class of 1960, I offer our love and condolences to Lynne and Fred's extended family. Known to us as a true leader in Education and Life for over 60 years, Fred will be fondly remembered.
Allan Alter
May 19, 2014
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