Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

SAUL WOLFSON: 1916-2009; 'An Unassuming Man' through His Life from a Humble Start, His Work in Many Walks Is His Legacy

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

SAUL WOLFSON: 1916-2009; 'An Unassuming Man' through His Life from a Humble Start, His Work in Many Walks Is His Legacy

Article excerpt

Byline: JESSIE-LYNNE KERR

Saul Wolfson, one of the nine children of a penniless Lithuanian immigrant who carried out the father's wish to improve health care for children by establishing the foundation that built Wolfson Children's Hospital, died Saturday morning at Baptist Medical Center of respiratory failure. He was 92.

The family will receive friends from 6:30 to 8 p.m. today at Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home, 4115 Hendricks Ave., where the funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday. Burial will follow in Oaklawn Cemetery.

The Jacksonville native who, like his brothers, had to help out at his father's scrap iron and metal yard during his junior high and high school years, managed to become one of the city's greatest high school athletes and earned nine letters at Andrew Jackson High School. In 1934, Mr. Wolfson was selected simultaneously to All-State, All-Southern and All-Big Ten gridiron teams.

He went to the University of Florida on an athletic scholarship and was on the football, basketball and track teams. However, Mr. Wolfson's athletic career was ended by a catastrophic knee injury which required major surgery. Without the scholarship, he had to drop out of college and returned to Jacksonville to help his father in the business.

'AN UNASSUMING MAN'

During World War II, Mr. Wolfson also served in the Army in the Europe.

"Dad was a very unassuming man, very down to earth," recalled one of his sons, former Atlantic Beach Mayor Donald Wolfson. "He was not one to boast of his accomplishments. He was non-materialistic and very, very family-oriented who wanted to participate in all his children's activities. Mom was the love of his life and he was very sweet and had an incredibly mild disposition, never raising his voice at us."

Donald Wolfson said that from time to time, he would meet men who had played football for Jackson's rival team at the time, Lee High School. "They would ask me if I knew what a great football player and very competitive athlete my father was. …

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