Services Held for ClearVision Optical Founder, Fred Friedfeld

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Hauppauge, N.Y.—Services were held in Woodbury, N.Y. last Sunday for Fred Friedfeld, founder of ClearVision Optical, who passed away on Friday, July 4 at the age of 87.

Family, friends, employees, business colleagues and customers from the U.S. and around the world were in attendance at the service on Long Island and many sent comments and notes about Friedfeld, who was very well-liked within the industry and was one of the early U.S.-based eyewear distributors and, then, direct-sellers in the frame business.

Friedfeld, who served in the U.S. Navy, obtained his optician’s license through the G.I. bill. He founded the company in 1949. In 1955, he married Mimi Forman, who joined him as a dynamic partner in the business. Their teamwork enabled them to expand the scope of the company’s importing of frames, first from Europe and then, from China, as early as 1972, when that country first opened up to international trade.

The company launched its first license, the HEAD sportswear brand, in 1981. Several years after, sons Peter and David Friedfeld joined the business, ClearVision expanded its brand portfolio with Fisher-Price, and then moved into other fashion brands. Today, those include such brands as Cole-Haan, BCBGMAXAZRIA, IZOD and a range of internally-developed brands for different sectors of the market.

Said David Friedfeld, “ My father was a friend and guide to many. He enjoyed the optical business and was proud of our company, but most of all, he loved the people he met and did business with. His employees, customers and vendors came first. My brother and I travelled the USA and the world, and Fred is our passport into any door. He will be missed."

Added Peter Friedfeld, “My dad was all about lessons, he was teaching us all the time, deliberately and by example. His life was intertwined with business, and in both areas, to family and to colleagues and customers. He was about integrity, honesty and authenticity.”

In addition to his wife, Mimi, Friedfeld is survived by his son, David and Vicki Friedfeld, and their four children— Jacob, Samuel, Faith and Lucas; by Peter Friedfeld and Patrick McLaughlin; by Dr. Doug and Cari Friedfeld and their children— Charlie and Hannah; and by daughter Elizabeth Friedfeld-Gebaide, her husband, Eric, and their three children, Sophie, Daniel and Izzy.

For anyone who wishes to pay tribute, the family is suggesting that donations be made in Fred Friedfeld’s honor in two ways. As a salute to his service in the U.S. Armed Forces, the family will be establishing a fund to assist in rehabilitative services to members of the U.S. Navy. Those interested can contact Jennifer Kearney, at jkearney@cvoptical.com.

In addition, the family is establishing a Fred Friedfeld Scholarship at the SUNY College of Optometry which can be supported by donations to the school’s Optometric Foundation. Donations and inquiries about the scholarship fund can be sent to the attention of Ann Warwick, VP of SUNY Optometry and executive director of the school’s Optometric Center of New York at awarwick@sunyopt.edu.