Fred Feldman

Fred Feldman, 1926 -2019

Fred Feldman, husband, father, sailor, New York City firefighter, tireless community advocate, and a long-time president of the Friends of the Key Largo Library, died on Saturday, May 11, 2019, in New Paltz, New York, aged 93, at the home of his daughter Nina Smiley.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Fred served with Honor in the Pacific during World War II, and was one of the first soldiers to enter Hiroshima after it was devastated by the atomic bomb.

A firefighter from 1957 to 1977 (the busiest years of the NYFD’s history), he retired to Key Largo to sail with his beloved wife Frieda, making many long-distance journeys.  Fred often used these trips to help establish libraries in Caribbean communities, including St. Vincent and Eleuthera.  His love of books also led him to become instrumental in facilitating the development of the Key Largo Library, from three small rooms of donated paperbacks to a large and world-class community institution.  During his four decades of sailing, Fred served as Vice-Commodore of the Upper Keys Sailing Club for many years.


A founding member of the Latitude 25 Writer’s Group, along with his wife Frieda and dear friend Steve Gibbs, Fred was a prolific writer of short stories and author of “Tales from Engine 281.”  Some of these stories are available at

A man of great courage and integrity, Fred died peacefully with his customary good humor and wit, his wife Frieda, daughter Nina, and son David at his side.  He is also survived by his beloved grand-daughters Katie and Lily Feldman and daughter-in-law Rita Ricketson, and was pre-deceased by son-in-law Bert Smiley.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Friends of the Key Largo Library  in Fred’s name.

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There are 2 comments

  1. Dave Feldman

    Fred Feldman was an amazing guy.
    He wasn’t perfect, but he spend the bulk of his life and time doing beneficial things.
    Firefighter. Builder. Creator and maintainer of institutions.
    Not that many of us can claim the same.
    I’ll miss him until, I hope, we meet again in some form.

  2. Dave Feldman

    Still miss Fred. He always enjoyed seeing his name in print…So, here’s to you, Dad.
    Extraordinary guy. If he still exists in any coherent or individual form of consciousness, my guess is that he is still intent on being of service to others…
    Lovingly, in remembrance,
    David (son)

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