Remembering Allan Fainbarg z''l


Allan Fainbarg (2/21/1919 – 3/2/2015)

We are heartbroken to share with you that Allan Fainbarg, a patriarch of the Orange County Jewish community, has passed away. He was 96.

Allan Fainbarg was born in Detroit, Michigan and moved to Santa Ana in 1919 when he was 10 months old. Allan attended Santa Ana High School and graduated from Santa Ana College in 1940. After serving in the U. S. Navy during World War II, Allan returned to California, graduating from University of Southern California in 1947. Shortly thereafter, he opened a Navy surplus store which quickly grew into a four-store operation. It eventually evolved into the retail clothing chain known as Wild West Stores. Allan sold the franchise to General Mills in 1981 and became involved with commercial real estate, which included developing strip shopping malls in Southern California.


Allan is considered among the pioneers of the Jewish community in Orange County. His parents, Nathan and Rose Fainbarg, were amongst the founders of Temple Beth Sholom in Santa Ana, and he was a founder of the Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County. Thanks to a pacesetting donation of land and building, he and his wife Sandy, alongside lifelong friends Arnold and Ruth Feuerstein, enabled the opening of the Baker Street Jewish Community Campus in Costa Mesa in 1991. Proceeds from the sale of that campus made the Jewish Federation’s gift the second largest to the campaign for the Samueli Jewish Campus, established in 2004 and home to Jewish Federation & Family Services, the Merage JCC, the Bureau of Jewish Education, the Jewish Community Foundation of Orange County, OC Jewish Life, and Tarbut V’Torah. Allan was an original funder and major supporter of SKILLSETnpo®, a program of Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS) designed to engage and develop leaders for our community, and the Orange County Jewish Historical Society, befitting his family’s extraordinary contributions to the community. Indeed, Allan was a partner and leader in every significant JFFS initiative since our founding 50 years ago, in 1965.

Allan was also a strong supporter of many other local organizations and causes including the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Ana, the Santa Ana Police Department’s Equestrian Unit, Saint Joseph Ballet, Santa Ana College, and many others.

He is survived by his beloved wife of nearly 60 years, Sandy, their children Nancy (Irv) Chase and Steven Fainbarg, grandchildren Ryan (Brooke) and Catie, and great-granddaughter Sadie.

May Allan's family be comforted among all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem, and may his memory be a blessing.






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