Fred Ochowitz (1907 – 1951)

My grandmother’s older brother. Most of what I know about him is from “what I read in the papers.” Fairly literally.

Fred Ochowitz was born in Manhattan on 1 June 1907, second child and first son of Abraham OCHOROWICZ and Sarah WERTEL OCHOROWICZ. To the State of New York, he was Frederick OCHOROWITZ, although I’m not aware of any other use of that given name. On the 1910 US Census, his name is listed as Efraim, and he was almost certainly named after his late paternal grandfather, who had died in Warsaw in 1900. But generally he was known as Fred or, to family, Freddie.

Fred Ochowitz c 1920

Fred Ochowitz, about age 15, Charleston, SC

Along with his parents and older sister Frances, Fred moved to Mount Pleasant, SC, in late 1910 or early 1911, and then to Charleston by 1914. By 1922, he had joined Troop 21 of the Boy Scouts of America, and quickly became patrol leader.

Like his father, Fred became the proprietor of a grocery store, with advertisements in the Charleston newspapers by 1935. At various times over the next fifteen years, he seems to have operated both his own store, and as a co-owner with his father as A. and F. Ochowitz. In 1950, Fred also opened a side business as Ochowitz Radio Repair, with personal service promised for both home and automobile radios.

Fred seems to have been a social man, and regularly participated in league bowling. As was the custom of the day, hometown newspapers printed a lot of information that we today would consider extraneous, including Fred’s team’s scores of the mid-1930s through mid-1940s. Fred was a middling, although consistent, bowler, regularly bowling in the upper 100s.

Towards the end of his life, Fred developed lung cancer, and lived at least some of the time with his sister – my grandmother – Gertrude ABRAMS, in Georgetown, SC. My mother, although very young at the time, recalls Uncle Fred as a kind, loving man.

Fred Ochowitz died in New Roper Hospital in Charleston on 23 May 1951, and was buried in Brith Sholom Congregation Cemetery. His gravestone reads: His kind deeds still live.


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