Fred "Stanley" Lichtenstein
July 30, 1926 - March 15, 2017
Fred "Stanley" Lichtenstein, 90, passed away recently in Monterey following a brief illness. His passing was preceded by that of his wife, Lucile Doris Lichtenstein, by just five weeks.
Stan delivered papers in this small Midwestern town where he became an Eagle Scout. Although he lost his father at 9 years old, the Boy Scout mottos became the guidelines to which he structured his life. He moved to California with his mother when he was 13 years old and later graduated from Whittier High School while working as a stock boy in the downtown Whittier JCPenney Store.
Stan was "called up" for Army Air Corps duty during WWII and worked as a radio operator. Shortly after his time in the service, he returned to Iowa to marry Lucile Schoenfeld, who he had met in first grade. The couple moved immediately to California where Stan earned his BA at Whittier College. Stan and Lucile relocated to the East Coast where he earned his degree of Masters of Business Administration. The couple returned to California where Stan reunited with the JCPenney Company and became the assistant manager of the Long Beach JCPenney Store. The family moved again to the San Fernando Valley when Stan worked as assistant manager in the North Hollywood JCPenney Store; to Fullerton, when he developed a program to recruit management trainees on college campuses; to New York where he worked on a team that developed a training program for new employees; to the Redlands JCPenney store (which won JCPenney's Gold Cup Award for the one, super-performing JCPenney store in the United States each year); to Hawaii, where he managed a large, anchor JCPenney store in the mall in Hilo, Hawaii; then, two years later, to Salinas, where he managed the JCPenney Store in Northridge Mall until his retirement in 1987.
Stan was an active member of the Downtown Chapter of Rotary International while living in Salinas, and had been a Rotarian in various locations for more than 40 years. Stan also held a variety of positions in a philanthropic and social organization of retired JCPenney executives, HCSC, becoming an inactive member only recently. He played local, weekly golf until 2015 and on many vacations to Scotland and Ireland where he played on historic courses with his brother-in-law, Fred Fathauer. He played as often as possible with his grandson, Ryan, and granddaughter, Kate, from the time they were both in elementary school.
Stan and his bride of 68 years, Lucile, participated and enjoyed Salinas-based events, exploring the central coast and visiting Sonoma county to spend time with their grandchildren and families. The couple enjoyed small family gatherings, dining out in their community and attending to every project and family event of their neighbors in Salinas.
Stan was a "J.C. Penney Man", coming up through the ranks from the stockroom through his retirement many years and assignments later. He almost never entered a JCPenney Store anywhere in the country without being identified by a JCPenney associate as, "…the man who hired me" or "…my favorite store manager".
Lucile partnered with him in his career, always aware that a move was ahead. And as the manager's wife, she passed out pumpkin pies of Christmas Eve to employees at the front door of the Redlands JCPenney store and made decorative gingerbread men for employees at the Hilo, Hawaii, store and later, at the Northridge Mall JCPenney.
Stan was organized, optimistic, nonjudgmental and always interested in the life stories of others. He had a deep conviction regarding the value of education and encouraged all young people to acquire an anchor to their career goals by taking advantage of every educational opportunities.
Since childhood, Stan loved a bike ride. He and Lucile could often be seen biking (until about 15 years ago) through the neighborhoods of South Salinas. When this activity became too risky for the aging couple, Stan and 'Cile walked every day in their neighborhood, greeted neighbors and counted their steps as they went.
Stan is survived by his daughter, Susanne Buxbaum and son-in-law, Dr. William Jones of Monterey; grandson, Ryan Buxbaum of Santa Rosa, his wife, Annie, great-grandchild, Skyler Buxbaum; granddaughter, Katie Napp and her husband, Robert Napp of Yorkville, and sister-in-law, Lois Fathauer of Waverly, Iowa.
A graveside service is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 8, 2017, at the Garden of Memories in Salinas.
In lieu of flowers, Stanley requested that donations be made to Whittier College in Whittier, or to The Boy Scouts of America.
Published by The Salinas Californian on Apr. 5, 2017.