On a hot and humid New Jersey summer day, about four minutes after meeting him, Bob Fredrickson invited me to dinner with his family. He hadn’t seen his youngest son in months, and I’m sure he’d have loved to have that first meal together without an outsider. He didn’t know at the time (and neither did I) that I’d become family soon enough when I married that son. He just extended the dinner invitation because he was a kind man.
Over the the last twenty-eight years, I saw him extend the same courtesy many times: my grad school friend who dropped in for coffee joined us for a New York City lunch, other friends traveling across the country given a meal and a place to stay for the night, a dinner out for a friend and her daughter recently relocated to Arizona. Like that dinner so long ago in New Jersey, he didn’t have to and wasn’t expected to extend an invitation to join – he just did.
I see that generosity in his sons – Bryan, Barry, and my husband, Dave. I see his love in how each raised their children. It’s a legacy that cannot be bought or sold, but it’s worth is undeniable.
Thank you, Bob. For the life you gave to this world.
Thank you, God. For Bob’s life.