Ode to Paul Fairbrook


Paul Fairbrook, left, and Mel Corren share their WWII military experiences at Fairbrook’s home in August, 2023. The link to this filmed conversation is below. Photo by Cyndy Green.
I had the pleasure of knowing Paul Fairbrook for many, many years and would like to make known some of his many accomplishments that bettered our city and beyond.
Paul was just 15 years old when he and his family slipped out of Nazi Germany, arriving in America in 1938.
He was a Holocaust survivor, who, during WWII became one of the famous Ritchie Boys (named for Camp Ritchie, Maryland) who helped the Allied War effort by decoding and analyzing German documents as well as interrogating Nazi prisoners of war. He helped write a compact manual known as the “Red Book,” which outlined in detail the makeup of every Nazi unit. Ritchie Boys became an important weapon for the Allies and they helped break German resistance by demoralizing them in both open and covert operations.
Paul was a dedicated advocate and supporter of St. Mary’s Dining Room for years and redesigned it completely in the 1990s.
Paul was a Port of Stockton Commissioner as well as a Distinguished University of the Pacific alumnus who wrote the College and University Food Service Manual.
He created the “Gifts for Poor Children Drive” with the Weber Point Coffee Club, the organization he took over from other illustrious past Stocktonians as well as an annual holiday dinner for less fortunate children in the community.
Paul Fairbrook in animated conversation with Mell Corren. Photo by Cyndy Green.
Also, according to this Stockton Record article:
“Record Breaking Donations for the Bus Pass Project for the poor. Longtime Stockton resident Paul Fairbrook began 2019 in a generous way. On January 3, he purchased 850 RTD bus passes to provide transportation for clients at St. Mary’s Dining Room, the Women’s Center–Youth & Family Services, Community Partnership for Families, Family Resource & Referral Center, Stockton 209 Cares, and the Gospel Center Rescue Mission.”
Paul was also the “Main Man” of our French Club which went on for many years at various restaurants.
All the above, plus being the recipient of the “Hineini” (Here I am) award, the highest award presented by Stockton’s Temple Israel indicating the recipient is a “doer.”
Author, Mel Corren. Photo by Cyndy Green.
Paul Fairbrook died peacefully at 100 years old on October 2, 2023. A memorial service will be held at Temple Israel on Sunday, October 15 at 2:00. Donations in Paul’s memory can be given to St. Mary’s Dining Room or to Temple Israel in Stockton.
Editor’s note:  In August, 2023, Paul Fairbrook and Mel Corren discussed their shared WWII experiences in a conversation filmed by Cyndy Green and available for viewing here.  

Leave a Reply


Leave a Reply

To continue reading for free just click the ‘X’ in the upper right corner. Before you do though, if you like what we are doing and have the means, please consider becoming a supporter by clicking the blue bar below.
Soundings is free to enjoy but not free to produce.