PFL Director Dick Lohrer Remembers Fred Mackenbach

The Friends of the Library are deeply grateful for the kindness and generosity of Fred Mackenbach, and mourn his passing in August of this year. In addition to serving on the city council and as Mayor of Palos Verdes Estates, Fred was a devoted patron of the Palos Verdes libraries and was tireless in his support of the library. We will miss his great enthusiasm. Dick Lohrer, a member of the PFL Board of Directors who was his close friend, shares the following in honor of his memory.

Remembering Frederick W. Mackenbach

Fred was a former member of the Board of Peninsula Friends of the Library (PFL). He donated significant funds to PFL and was the initial donor to PFL’s Endowment Fund. He served the community in many ways--including terms on the Palos Verdes Estates City Council and as Mayor of PVE. Fred passed away on August 15, 2017, after a three-year struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease. Fred and I were best friends. I met Fred 20 years ago when a member of our Saturday golf group at PV Golf Club brought him to play with our foursome. Fred was an enthusiastic golfer and played a respectable game. He would get very excited when he made a birdie.

One time Fred and I were playing the 7th hole at PVGC when he noticed a hawk sitting on the edge of a pond trying to decide which duck would make a good lunch. Fred left our cart with his 5 iron and went after the hawk. As soon as the hawk took flight, the 15 or so ducks on the pond went under water to safety immediately.

Fred used to pop in for visits at our house. One time when our grandchildren were with us, they asked how to greet Fred. Should they shake hands or give him a hug? When Fred arrived they shook his hand but very quickly they were giving him hugs.

I would like to give you a couple of examples of the kind of friend he was. One time when we were playing golf I mentioned that there was a crack in a beam that ran across our garage. I was barely home from the golf course when Fred and his carpenter were at my front door. Soon Fred was in the garage, up on a step ladder, prosthesis and all, addressing the problem and helping to fix the cracked beam. A few years ago I bought an electric scooter for my wife that could be transported on the back on my car with a lift. I told Fred that the lift had been improperly installed and wasn’t working properly. Fred went on the internet and learned that the manufacturer was located in Sylmar, CA about 70 miles from here. Then Fred drove with me to Sylmar where the problem was fixed and the lift has worked perfectly ever since.

Fred invited me to join the Board of PFL to chair the investment committee. He said that none of the currently serving board members had experience in that area. I joined the Board and have enjoyed working with PFL all these years. I have lost a very special friend and we have lost a true friend of the library.

- Dick Lohrer


Fred Mackenbach and Library Director Kathy Gould at the Friends' annual gala in March, 2012

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“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”
Elizabeth Andrew