Arthur H. Fredston died at home in Larchmont, NY on September 26, 2019 with his family and dog by his side. Proclaiming 90 years “a hell of a long time” at his birthday celebration in July, Art recalled in his classic articulate way that when he was born in Chicago in 1929, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 300 points, the New York Times cost three cents, and ice was still delivered by horse-drawn wagons.
Art was the rare individual who combined a constantly engaged intellect, relentless curiosity, and outstanding professional accomplishment with caring, generosity, and integrity. At ten, he decided to become an attorney. He had just turned sixteen when he matriculated at the University of Michigan, class of 1949, where he majored in accounting and finance. More importantly, he almost immediately met another precocious freshman, Elinor Abrahamson, with whom he would share the rest of his life. Art continued on to Yale Law School, financing his education in part by teaching accounting to Yale undergraduates. The Korean War necessitated a two-year break in his education to serve as a U.S. Naval Reserve contracting officer for the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and the 4th Naval District. Art returned to Yale to graduate with honors in 1954.
Art joined the law firm of Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam & Roberts (now Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP) in 1954, becoming a partner in six years, while working nights as an Adjunct Professor in Business Law at Pace College. Over his 48 years with the firm, he became known as a consummate negotiator, innovative problem solver, insightful leader, and influential mentor. Representing both U.S. and foreign multinational corporations, his specialties included joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, and public offerings. He delighted in working globally. Art served for many years on the firm’s management committee, including a period as Chairman. He was on the Board of Directors of The Singer Company, the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, and numerous other organizations. A committed supporter of public education, he was also a member of the Town of Rye School Board.
Always holding himself to the highest standard, Art was a role model for many. He was an avid traveler, keenly followed world affairs, took pleasure in wine, dogs, gardening, and investing, and tried to never miss a televised Michigan football game. Above all, he was devoted to and took great pride in his family.
Art is survived by Ellie Fredston, his wife of more than 68 years, daughters Dale Fredston (Westport, CT), Susan Fredston-Hermann (Park City, UT), and Jill Fredston (Anchorage, AK); their spouses Jonathan Bullard, Eric Hermann, and Doug Fesler; grandchildren David Fredston, Lauren Schonberger, Jessica, Kelsey, and Alexa Fredston-Hermann, Allison Bullard Ignatius, and Scott Bullard; and five great-grandchildren Colette, Claire, and Colton Gores Fredston, Caleb Ignatius, and Mia Schonberger.
In memory of Art, please consider contributions to the Arthur and Elinor Fredston Scholarship Fund at the Mamaroneck-Larchmont Student Aid Fund. A memorial celebration will be held at 11 am on Saturday, November 2, at the Beach Point Club in Mamaroneck, NY.