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“Oh! My Papa”*

March 12, 2015

Sam Fox, My Father, A Holocaust Survivor

1929 – 2015

I wish to share with you some of the many lessons I was privileged to learn from my Father.

When asked by my Brother, “What is the secret to a successful and happy life?”, despite having experienced the Holocaust, in which he lost his parents and five siblings….despite then sitting in a wheelchair because of a paralyzing stroke….. despite that his wife, my Mother, was dying in the other room…..He said

“In life some people have it easy and make it hard and some people have it hard and make it easy” 

The value of charity

“When I first came to America I had nothing, yet I always gave to charity. When I did, it always made me feel rich.” – from an acceptance speech upon receiving an award 

The value of the pursuit of good

“The pursuit of the good is the noblest of character builders and one of the sources of true gratification”.  There are other things in life besides self-interest.  Personal involvement in others challenges, in community affairs are the greatest sources of personal achievement and success.  Too many people refuse to understand what it means to be involved and to help others.  They are truly missing something.  There is nothing as gratifying and self-fulfilling as helping others.  Why don’t you try it?  If you do, I can assure you that you will arrive at a similar conclusion.  Try it, you will like it”. – from another acceptance speech upon receiving an award 

These were just some of his words.  The valuable lessons learned by all who had the privilege of knowing him, came from watching him turn those words into deeds.

*Listen to Eddie Fisher’s beautiful song


40 Comments leave one →
  1. Dr. Seth permalink
    April 13, 2015 5:29 pm

    My deepest condolences. Thank you for sharing these life lessons. It is a great reminder that life is precious, difficulty is a relative term and service is the key to a good life. I will be counting my blessings and expressing my gratitude a little more after reading this.

    In Gratitude,

    Dr. Seth

    • Fred Fox permalink
      April 13, 2015 6:08 pm

      Thank you Dr. Seth
      Well said by you

  2. Joan A. permalink
    April 5, 2015 8:22 pm

    Hi Fred

    First my apologies for taking so long to respond. Somehow your email got buried in my in box and I just read it.

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. It was obvious how much you loved him and his loss must be very difficult.

    I knew your dad was a holocaust survivor but never knew he lost his parents and 5 siblings. To have lived so positively after experiencing such a horror is truly amazing.

    There are no coincidences in life. My friend and I were just discussing last night how “some people have it easy and make it hard, and how others have it hard and make it easy”. I had never heard that phrase before. After reading how your father believed this, it will always be forefront in my mind. Thank you for sharing and for doing your part in keeping his legacy alive. You’re doing a great job!


    • Fred Fox permalink
      April 6, 2015 7:47 am

      Thank you so much Joan. I’m glad that my Father’s approach to life will be of value to you.

  3. Fay permalink
    March 27, 2015 11:54 pm

    Fred –

    Thank you for sharing some of your father’s wisdom and for offering glimpse iof the many gifts he offered to those around him.

    May his memory be a blessing.


    • Fred Fox permalink
      March 28, 2015 6:50 am

      Thank You very much Fay

  4. Michael permalink
    March 25, 2015 4:59 pm

    I’ve heard for so long what an incredible man your father was and how much you’ve respected and loved him. To read his “philosophies” gives me true insights why that is so. Thanks for allowing me to understand it more.

    • Fred Fox permalink
      March 25, 2015 6:05 pm

      Thank you so much Michael

  5. Dr Bob permalink
    March 23, 2015 7:57 pm

    You are truly blessed to have a Dad of such tremendous character.
    What an inspiration and what a life.
    You, my friend, are living the same values.
    Privileged to call you my friend.
    All the best, Bob

    • Fred Fox permalink
      March 24, 2015 6:39 am

      Thank you very much Dr. Bob

  6. March 23, 2015 12:39 pm

    Fred, thank you for sharing about your dad and what an amazing man he was in so many ways…to be so caring and compassionate about helping others after what you describe as his early life and what he went thru. I can see more clearly now why you exemplify so much of what he gave to his family and community. My prayers to you and your family in this time of such significant loss. And I’m impressed that you so carefully have thanked all those who have told you how much you mean to them and that they feel your pain. Blessings my friend. Capt. Kirk

    • Fred Fox permalink
      March 23, 2015 1:05 pm

      Thank You very kindly Kirk

  7. Nick & Susy permalink
    March 15, 2015 2:18 pm

    Dear Fred,

    Sorry to hear about your Father,
    he sounded like a wise man, and you a good son.

    Nick and Susy

    • Fred Fox permalink
      March 16, 2015 6:44 am

      Thank You Nick and Susy

  8. Stefania permalink
    March 14, 2015 12:43 pm

    Dear Fred, losing a parent is difficult! Losing a parent like your father leaves one with so many emotions. Sadness, gratefulness, loss, privileged in having him in your life, blessed and most of all the power of love between you both that remains forever.

    My condolences to you and your family. Stefania

  9. Leslee permalink
    March 12, 2015 8:44 pm

    Fred, My condolences and heartfelt appreciation for giving us words to encourage as you experience this loss. Shalom, Leslee

  10. Mike L. permalink
    March 12, 2015 8:43 pm

    Fred..I am so sorry to hear about your dad. Over the years from listening to your stories it was almost as if I knew him. My prayers are with you and your family


  11. Steve T. permalink
    March 12, 2015 8:18 pm

    Fred, Nisha and I send our condolences for the loss of your father. From what you have told us, he sounds like a beautiful person. He left a great legacy in you. Steve

    • Fred Fox permalink
      March 12, 2015 8:44 pm

      Thanks Steve and Nisha

  12. Beni permalink
    March 12, 2015 4:01 pm

    The apple did not fall far from the tree

  13. Joel permalink
    March 12, 2015 3:25 pm


    I heard your stories about both of your parents for years and I know how close you were to them both. Nancy and I send our condolences to you and your family.


    • Fred Fox permalink
      March 12, 2015 3:29 pm

      Thanks to you and Nancy

  14. Rita permalink
    March 12, 2015 2:49 pm

    My condolences, Fred…..Rita

  15. Vince permalink
    March 12, 2015 12:15 pm

    Dear Freddie:

    The real Fantastic Mr. Fox has left the building. You have big shoes to fill, young man. My condolences and prayers to you and your loved ones.


  16. March 12, 2015 12:12 pm

    Fred you are fortunate to have benefited a great deal from and through your father’s words, deeds, and actions. You continue his legacy of giving to the community which benefits us all. I know how important your father was to you and I offer my deepest condolences

  17. Peter permalink
    March 12, 2015 11:18 am

    Dear Fred,

    You were very lucky to have as brilliant and noble a man for your dad. He was equally lucky. My heart is sad for your loss. God Bless.

    In respect,


  18. David permalink
    March 12, 2015 11:08 am


    I am sorry to hear of your loss. Your father was a good man and I think you learned that from him. Thank you for sharing your stories with me; they help me understand my life. 🙂


  19. Matt permalink
    March 12, 2015 11:06 am

    Freddie, I am glad to have known your SAM. A tenacious man who gave you all the space and support you needed in mind and spirit to find your own way and success in life. You honor SAM by the righteous way you have lived your life. Matty Kohn. Bayside High School 1966.

  20. Margaret permalink
    March 12, 2015 10:33 am

    Dearest Fred,
    Well said.
    Our deepest condolences go out to you and your beautiful family in this time of sadness and grief. I know how important and loved your father was by you, your children, your family, and the community.
    Much Love,
    Margaret, J., I., J., and N.

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