Frederick Richard Pausch, an insurance executive who founded a nonprofit organization to help immigrant children learn English and led an educational program in Thailand, died of complications from leukemia at his home Monday. The Columbia resident was 83.
Born in Baltimore, Mr. Pausch graduated from Forest Park High School in 1941. He attended the University of Baltimore and Rollins College in Florida before entering the military.
During World War II, he served as a medic in the Battle of the Bulge and was honorably discharged in 1946, having attained the rank of private first class.
He earned a law degree from the University of Maryland in 1948.
He worked for a short time with the Henry Rose Co., an insurance firm, said his wife, the former Victoria Dorey, whom he married in 1955.
For 25 years, he was manager and vice president of Paramount Insurance Co., from which he retired during the 1980s.
A former high school football player, Mr. Pausch spent many years as a football coach and referee, as well as a baseball umpire, with the Howard County Youth Program, his wife said. He was also commissioner of the program's football and baseball leagues.
In 1979, Mr. Pausch began working with children of single-parent families, his wife said.
A few years later, he and his wife founded a nonprofit organization called Up With Kids Inc., a Columbia-based group that tutored students with limited English proficiency. The couple ran the program until this year, she said.
The couple created the group after sponsoring an Indonesian student and learning of the struggles of students with limited English skills, according to a Sun article published in 1994.
"It's no wonder they have a hard time. They can't talk to the teachers. They can't talk to the students. They just sit there," Mr. Pausch said in the article, which was critical at the time of the Howard County school system's program teaching English to immigrant children. "We're giving them a bad image of our society and our culture. I think we owe it to them and to ourselves to do something about it."
In addition to helping the students with their homework and English skills, the Pauschs would make dinner for the children and play educational games.
Under their direction, the Up With Kids program built a 50-student dormitory in 1998 to house girls from the lowlands of northern Thailand, near the city of Chiang Mai, said Mrs. Pausch, who taught English for 34 years and retired from the Howard County schools in 1992.
The Thailand program was designed to teach girls beyond elementary school and to steer them away from prostitution, she said.
"Knowing he was going to die, he [recently] sent enough money to run the program for six more years," Mrs. Pausch said. The goal was to help about 130 girls by 2012, she said.
Mr. Pausch's interest in the welfare of children fueled years of volunteer service that included his efforts with U.S.-China Educational Ventures Inc., a Columbia-based program through which American teachers spend a month each summer training educators in China to teach English to Chinese children.
The Pauschs joined the group in 1989 during the Tiananmen Square protests. The next year, Mr. Pausch led the program, which he and wife worked with until 1995.
"That was a major part of his life," Mrs. Pausch said. "It was very important to him ... to be able to help people figure out how to help themselves."
Carol Steil, who teaches seventh grade at the Waldorf School of Baltimore, said she joined the Pauschs in China during the summers of 1994 and 1995 and recalls those years as "the highlights of my life."
"He gave us nice instructions about being [in China] and not laughing at their culture," Ms. Steil said. "He was very sensitive to their culture and so respectful."
Kyle Brooks, a retired associate director of international admissions at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, described the summers she spent in China with the Pauschs in 1991 and 1992 as "a great adventure."
"It was a life-changing experience," said Ms. Brooks, who met Mr. Pausch when he came into her office with an application for Ruby Lu, a Chinese student who now lives in Palo Alto, Calif., and whom the Pauschs considered a surrogate daughter.
Mr. Pausch donated his body to medical science, and the family has no plans for a funeral or memorial service. Relatives and friends are invited to the family home to pay their respects.
In addition to his wife and Ms. Lu, Mr. Pausch is survived by a son, Randolph Frederick Pausch of Pittsburgh, Pa.; a daughter, Tamara Pausch Mason of Lynchburg, Va.; and six grandchildren.