Fredric Harold Rubel was born on May 25, 1934 in San Bernardino, California to Rose and Barney Rubel. Fred attended Elsinore Military Academy from ages 9 to 18 and then went on to UC Berkeley from 1952 to 1956. While attending Cal to earn his B.S. degree in Business, Fred met his future wife, Joan.
Shortly before his graduation, Fred’s father suffered a stroke. Fred returned home to San Bernardino after receiving his degree to help his mother run the family jewelry business. Over the following 55 years, Fred transformed the family jewelry business into one of southern California’s finest luxury brand jewelers. The company that bears his name was started by his parents in 1928, and, having been in continuous operation ever since, is now employing its fourth generation of Rubels.
Fred was one of the first jewelers in California to receive the title of AGS Certified Gemologist Appraiser from the American Gem Society. He also served as president of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Gem Society. In 2012, Fred was honored by the 24 Karat Club at a formal recognition dinner for his lifelong service and contributions to its society of professional jewelers.
Fred and Joan were married in August 1957 and raised three children, David, Gary, and Ellen. After their children left to attend college, Fred and Joan moved to Laguna Beach, where they enjoyed time with their six grandchildren, attending their many school and sporting activities. Fred’s greatest joy was his family. He loved family gatherings and celebrating holidays with his wife, his children, their spouses, and his grandchildren.
Fred loved all sports and was a lifelong Los Angeles Dodgers fan.
As a child, he rode horses and loved fishing with his dad and pals off the southern California and Mexico coast. He continued fishing for much of his life and made several trips to Alaska.
A lifelong learner, Fred loved reading, following the stock market and was always curious about new technologies. He and Joan played bridge competitively and socially and traveled extensively to Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. Fred and Joan enjoyed many family trips to the Big Island of Hawaii, celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary in 2007.
Fred passed away on Sunday, January 1, 2023, after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 88 years old. His loving presence in our lives will be deeply missed. Fred is survived by his beloved wife of 65 years, Joan, their children; David (Kerry), Gary (Belinda), and Ellen (Doug) Willardson and grandchildren; Claire (Keith) Warren, Charlotte, Michael, Evan, Sam (Anna), and Daniel.
A memorial service will be held at Pacific View Mortuary in Newport Beach on Monday, Jan. 9 at 1:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association.