W. John Friedlander ’54, who received the Distinguished Bowdoin Educator award in 1988, died on September 17, 2013, at his home in Lake Placid, New York.
He was born on May 22, 1931, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and prepared for college at the Hotchkiss School and Berkshire School. Earning the nickname “Moose” at Bowdoin, he lettered in football, basketball, and tennis and was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He studied at the Citadel while in the Navy and did graduate work at the University of Cincinnati, University of Vermont, and Oxford University in England. After two years in the Navy, where he served to petty officer third class, and a stint on the taxi squad of the Green Bay Packers, he found his niche in teaching, coaching, and administration of private education. Starting with the former Viewpoint School in Amenia, N.Y., he moved to his alma mater of Berskshire School, then the Peddie School, and St. George’s School. He brought his English teaching and coaching experience to the Northwood School in 1965, was appointed headmaster the following year, and remained until his retirement in 1996. He was given the 1988 Distinguished Bowdoin Educator Award and was cited by a New York State Legislative Resolution in 1991 for his achievements in the field of education. He also was a member of the National and New York State Associations of Independent Schools, New York State Athletic Commission, Secondary School Admissions Testing Board, the Clarkson University Advisory Council, and the Governor’s Advisory Council on the Aging. He was a member of the Lake Placid Education Foundation, Lake Placid Sinfonietta, and North Country Community College, which he chaired for eight years. He is survived by his wife of forty-nine years, Linda Ogilvy Friedlander; daughters Patricia and Diana Friedlander and Catherine Schilling; son John Walter Friedlander; sister Joan Fox; and six grandchildren.