Dr Simon Fredricks
1926 – 2018
Dr. Simon Fredricks, a pioneer in the field of plastic surgery, passed away peacefully on May 23rd, at the age of 92.
Simon was born in The Bronx, New York and received his B.A. from New York University and attended The Chicago Medical School, where he was named a Distinguished Alumni in 1979.
During his surgical residency at Long Island’s Nassau Hospital, he was given a well-worn book on plastic surgery by a visiting professor. He read the book with great enthusiasm straight through the night. He knew immediately, with calm certainty, that surgery entwined with artistry would be his profession of choice.
He served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. He was stationed in Baltimore, MD; Rome, NY; Wiesbaden, Germany; and Bordeaux, France where he had the opportunity to work with remarkable surgeons. He completed his training and residencies at Churchill Hospital at Oxford University; Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, England; Baylor College of Medicine; and The John Hopkins Hospital.
A man of vision and business acumen, Simon was Founder and Past-President of the prestigious American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery; Past President of the Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation; Past President of The Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation; Diplomat of the American Board of Plastic Surgery; Fellow of the American College of Surgeons; and Fellow of the International College of Surgeons. He was appointed Chair of the Blue-Ribbon Committee to research the safety and efficacy of liposuction in France and develop a plan to introduce the procedure to U.S. surgeons.
A mentor to many, his teaching appointments included Clinical Professor of Plastic Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas Medical School. He was Chief of Plastic Surgery at St. Luke’s Hospital from 1980 – 1989. He was widely published, a sought-out lecturer, visiting professor and recipient of numerous awards. Just this past year, he was presented the “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
He felt rewarded by fixing cleft lips and palates, treating severe burns and performing reconstructive surgery after malignancy. He was proud that cosmetic surgery offered patients improved self-confidence, self-esteem and body image.
Upon surgical retirement in 2000, he taught at Baylor College of Medicine as a voluntary Full Clinical Professor and was sought out nationwide, as an expert medical witness in the legal community. He also served as Co-Chairman of the Editorial Advisory Board for New Beauty Magazine.
Outside of his professional life, he and his wife Rhoda were fixtures in the American Saddlebred community. Simon became a nationally-recognized breeder of Saddlebred horses and raised many world champions under the family moniker, Simbara Farms. In 2004 he was named “Breeder of the Year” by the American Saddlebred Horse Association. He was a catalyst in the creation of The American Saddlebred Museum at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington and served as Past President of the Museum.
He was a self-made man with a wonderful sense of humor and zest for life. He loved traveling the world, great cuisine, spending weekends at the family farm and attending summer horse shows in Kentucky. He was often found sitting on the sidelines and cheering at his grandchildren’s games.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Rhoda; daughter, Marta; son, Brent and his wife Michelle; grandchildren, Mia, Reed and Bess; sisters-in-law and brother-in-law, Lorraine and Dr. Melton Horwitz and Rhoda Brand, along with numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Samuel and Esther Fredricks and brother, Frank.
Giving a lecture, he reflected on his career and life. “Plastic surgery has taught me a compassion for my fellow man and has allowed me the satisfaction and gratification that flows from worthy endeavor. It has given a quiet contentment that I chose well and have been blessed by the changes and choices of my life.”
In lieu of flowers, a tribute donation honoring his memory can be made to Houston Hospice www.houstonhospice.org/donate.aspx or a charity of your choice.