Jacob Frederick Weintz, Jr. died peacefully on August 25, 2022, in Riverside, CT, surrounded by his four children, singing his favorite songs, recounting favorite stories, and reciting poignant prayers until he took his last breath. Fred was 96 years old.
Fred was born on June 27, 1926, to Jacob (“Jake”) Frederick Weintz and Grace Cortelyou Weintz in New York City. His maternal grandfather, George B. Cortelyou, was Secretary of the Treasury during President Teddy Roosevelt’s administration.
An avid reader and a bright young man, Fred skipped a grade in elementary school and excelled in academics. Upon graduating from Huntington High School in Long Island, New York, in 1943, he attended Norwich University, a military college in Vermont for one year. Fred enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps, serving as a radio operator on B-26 bombers during WWII.
After the war, Fred attended Stanford University, earning an A.B. in Economics in 1948. Following graduation, Fred worked for Vick Chemical Company as a traveling salesman, after a year, he decided to take a different career path. He applied and was accepted to Harvard Business School, receiving an MBA in 1951.
Goldman Sachs & Co. hired Fred after he graduated from Harvard Business School. He spent his entire career at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker. Fred served as a general partner from 1965 to 1984, retiring in 1985 as a limited partner until the firm went public in 1999.
In 1955, Fred married the love of his life, Elisabeth (“Betsy”) Brewer. They were married for 51 years until she died suddenly in 2007. Fred and Betsy had four children and a son who passed away in infancy. They raised their family in Riverside, Connecticut.
Despite Fred’s highly successful career at Goldman Sachs, he remained humble and down-to-earth and dedicated much of his time to causes that were important to him. He volunteered at Stanford University for over 50 years. From 1985 to 1995, he served on the University’s Board of Trustees and was a member of the Stanford-in-Washington Council. In 1992, Fred received Stanford University’s Gold Spike Award.
Additionally, Fred served on many boards, some of which included: Norwich University, Pace University, the Sierra Club, The National Lighthouse Museum, Population and International Health at Harvard School of Public Health, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, and The Forum for World Affairs. He was president of the Harvard University Business School Alumni Association and an emeritus board member of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies. Fred was also a recipient of “La Medaille de la Ville de Paris.” He served those boards with the energy and focus that he put into his career at Goldman. He was honored for his service, but he didn’t serve for the accolades. He always gave his best effort and was always positive and optimistic.
In 1995, in Fred’s final speech to the Stanford University Board of Trustees, he said he tried to be the “man in the arena.” Every one of his achievements stemmed from working inside the arena, dedicating himself to bettering society through problem-solving, questioning, thinking critically, courageously standing in the crossfire, persevering, and helping to initiate change.
When Fred was involved with the Center for International Security and Arms Control at Stanford, he assembled a group of experts who investigated Department of Defense spending in response to media stories about fraudulent price increases during the Reagan administration’s defense buildup against the Soviet threat. Ultimately this led to the creation of the Packard Commission to control overspending.
Fred treated everyone he met with dignity and respect. He made an impression on all those who crossed his path, and he had a bellowing, cackling laugh that turned heads. Fred was a connector who enjoyed getting to know people, learning from them through their different ideas and viewpoints, and fostering long-lasting relationships. He was a man with a kind heart, “glass half full” mentality, “can-do” attitude, and an eagerness to discuss any subject you ventured to bring up with intelligence and genuine curiosity.
He built an extraordinary family; he was the glue that held the family together. He loved his family above all else. For nearly 60 years, Fred wrote Christmas letters, oozing with pride and love for his family and sharing their accomplishments—big and small––with a myriad of recipients.
He was a romantic. He saw only the good characteristics in people. He loved a good flick and cried at “Hallmark” moments. He loved history, particularly WWII and had more knowledge stored in his brain than most other people.
He was a great storyteller. He had his favorite stories and never got tired of telling them and we never got tired of hearing them. He could recite the fight songs of a great many schools. He recited many off-color limericks which he shared with his grandsons. He took his grandchildren on trips that were life shaping for them.
Having been the manager of the Stanford football team as a student, he became an avid fan, a season ticket holder for decades. Fred took his family to countless Stanford games and Bowl games all over the country. Skiing was a favorite family pastime since the early 60’s. Into his 80’s, Fred enjoyed skiing with his family in Snowmass, CO.
In 2007 Fred rekindled a romantic relationship with Rosemary (“Ro”) MacKeen Ross, a woman he had been engaged to for a brief period before meeting Betsy in the early 50’s. Rosemary and Fred married in 2008. She passed away in 2021.
Fred is survived by his daughters Elizabeth (“Beppie”) Weintz Cerf and Polly Weintz Sanna, his sons Dr. Eric Cortelyou Weintz and Karl Frederick Weintz; his grandchildren Elisabeth (“Brett”) Brewer Cerf, Robert (“Rick”) Frederick Cerf, Warren (“Bart”) Barrett Cerf, Jonathan (“Jake”) Cortelyou Cerf, Lucy Hamlin Sanna, Cortney Curtis Weintz, Bryce Cortelyou Weintz, Leif Brewer Weintz and his great-grandchildren; Grady Alan Weliever, Elizabeth (“Blakely”) Weintz Weliever, Reagan Grace Weliever, Elizabeth (“Ellie”) Ann Cerf, Luca Frederick Cerf, and Marian (“Millie”) Brewer Cerf.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, October 6, at 2:30pm, at Christ Church of Greenwich, 254 E. Putnam Ave., Greenwich, CT.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Stanford University’s: J. Frederick and Elisabeth Brewer Weintz Fund for Undergraduate Education, Harvard Business School, or Americares.