Louis L. Frydman 1930 - 2012
Louis L. Frydman passed away peacefully on January 24, 2012 after a long battle with prostate cancer. Lou was born in Lodz, Poland on July 1, 1930. His parents were Ryvka Ekerman and Chaim Majer Frydman.
Lou and his brother Abraham Frydman, just 1 1/2 years Lou’s senior, were the only members of their large extended family to survive the Holocaust.
Lou and Abraham survived three ghettos, numerous concentration camps, and three death marches. At the war’s end Lou was less than 15 years of age.
For a year the brothers attended a U.N.-administered school for orphans of many nationalities and religions. They then came to the United States.
Lou earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors in Sociology from the City College of New York in 1954, a Master of Social Work degree from Columbia University in 1956, and a Doctorate in Psychology from Yeshiva University in 1968.
After receiving his Master’s degree, Lou was employed as a therapist at the Jewish Family Service in Cincinnati. Later he worked at the Westchester Jewish Community Services in White Plains, N.Y. and also as an Adjunct Professor at New York University. In 1969 Lou and his family came to Lawrence where he taught at the KU School of Social Welfare until his retirement approximately 12 years ago.
In addition to teaching his social welfare courses Lou made frequent presentations about his Holocaust experiences to KU students, to students in public schools in Lawrence and Perry, and to students at St. John’s Catholic School. He also made presentations at Fort Riley, the Lawrence Jewish Community Center, and elsewhere. In May 2007 Lou was the featured speaker at the Holocaust Remembrance Service at the Kansas State Capitol. Lou also provided testimony to the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation and the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University.
Upon his arrival in Kansas Lou set to work almost immediately to study the Kansas mental health system. Lou devoted himself for many years to changing the Kansas involuntary commitment statutes and later, after these laws were changed, he worked tirelessly to help empower groups of former mental patients.
In the late 1970s Lou received funding from the Fulbright Committee and the National Institute of Mental Health which enabled him to travel to Poland to compare its mental health system to ours.
Lou’s favorite activity was getting together with his family and friends who will always remember his keen sense of humor. He also enjoyed traveling and gardening. Throughout his life he read widely to deepen his knowledge about the Holocaust.
In 1954 Lou married Jane Brunner in New York City. Lou is survived Jane and by their three sons: Dan and wife Bettie Frydman of St. Joseph, Missouri, John and wife Laurie Martin-Frydman of Lawrence, and Richard and wife Amy Lee, also of Lawrence. Lou is also survived by five grandchildren: Hannah, Jacob, Tess, Alyson, and Sofie Frydman, and by two step-grandchildren: Jason and Jacob Dickerson.
The family requests no flowers. Those wishing to make a contribution in Lou’s memory are encouraged to contribute to a charity of their choosing.
A celebration of Lou’s life will be held in the Spring of this year.