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Dear John,

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of Concern America co-founder, Paul Fairbrook, on October 2, 2023. Paul and his wife Peig, together with Sean and Una O’Farrell, started Concern America at their kitchen table in Stockton, CA in 1972.

Founding Concern America is just one of Paul’s many successes in life, and we have included, below, his obituary so that you can get a sense of his rich life. Paul lived every one of his 100 years with a passion for making the world a better place, and always with a smile.


In 2020, as we celebrated Concern America’s 50th anniversary, we had the joy of communicating frequently with Paul, as he and Peig shared stories of the early years of Concern. We are thankful that they sat down for an extended interview, with key parts of it included in our 50th anniversary documentary short, “50 Years of Concern America.” We invite you to watch again to hear from Paul and remember his incredible spirit and love for Concern America and for a better world for all.

Thank you, Paul. And, much love and support to you Peig, and your family, as you mourn and celebrate the life of an amazing human.


With gratitude and in peace,

John Straw,

Executive Director

Paul Fairbrook

August 21, 1923 – October 2, 2023

Paul Fairbrook died peacefully at 100 years old on October 2, 2023. Predeceased by his son Colman and daughter Susan, Paul leaves his wife Peig, daughter Carolyn, son John, son Bob and brother George as well as 9 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and numerous nephews and nieces.


Born on August 21, 1923, in Berlin, Germany, Paul and his family left Germany in 1933 to escape Nazi persecution, and after a brief time in Palestine settled in New York City. At 18, Paul joined the US Army. He served in Military Intelligence and was one of “The Ritchie Boys”. With information these intelligence officers gathered from interrogating German prisoners, he helped write the “Order of Battle Book” which outlined for the US Army the structure and plans of the German Army.


Paul was Directory of Auxiliary Services at the University of the Pacific for more than 20 years after a varied career in food service including serving as Dean of the Culinary Institute of America and as an international food service consultant. He wrote and published several books about the food service industry.


Paul was very active in the Stockton community – serving on the Port Commission, active in the Temple Israel community, and raising money for a variety of causes. His special interest was Stockton’s St. Mary’s Dining Room which offers services to Stockton residents who are homeless or living in poverty. He designed St. Mary’s modern kitchen which was later named after him to honor his contributions.


Paul will be remembered for his generous spirit, his boundless energy, and his enthusiasm. He was always interested in others and their lives, and in finding ways to help people who needed support.


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.


Posted online on October 06, 2023

Published in The Stockton Record


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