Contributions to the ALS Association of Wisconsin or to the cause that speaks to your heart.
John passed away peacefully in his home on Friday, April 8 at the age of 71.
He was born on April 7, 1951 in West Point, NY to Ladislaw and Ida Marie (Smith) Fried. Most of his childhood was spent in Louisville, Kentucky although there was a brief interlude in Oklahoma. As an army brat, and being positioned in the middle of a family of ten children, he developed resilience and negotiation skills throughout his childhood.
Those qualities, along with a keen curiosity and leadership potential, led him to a career in the ophthalmic manufacturing industry beginning in the early 1970s. Who knew that a job making contact lenses in a small lab in Louisville would lead to positions with several companies and relocations to Memphis, then Dallas and finally Wauwatosa, Wisconsin in 1991? Those moves, and working for international companies, led to the best of friends and incredible travel all over the United States and Europe.
He shared those adventures with his wife of nearly forty-seven years, Denise Winston Fried. Together they participated in raising Trent, his son from his first marriage, and their daughters Marie and Lizzie. The kids were blessed with a dad who certainly wanted them to do well in school, but he also wanted them to have friends, learn to play music, play outside and go on adventures, and he was right there with them especially for playing outside and going on adventures. Camping trip stories are legendary.
As the kids took flight, John took to the road. Actually it was road-racing tracks. He fulfilled a lifelong ambition to drive really fast without getting ticketed or hurt (mostly). His interest in racing led him to make videos of the races for study and rainy days. Learning the technology to make racing videos opened the door to create story-telling videos. He covered the usual family events, but he also did family biographies, especially where those stories intersected with world history. But, eventually racing and creating videos were not an option. That’s when his need to create was expressed in writing a book, an allegorical tale of his struggle with ALS. He loved telling stories.
John is survived by his three children and their spouses: Trent and Julie, Marie and Brandon, and Lizzie and Paul. He leaves eight of the aforementioned brothers and sisters and their spouses, two sisters-in-law and spouses, and many, many nieces and nephews. He has two granddaughters, a brand new grandson, a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter on the way. And friends, he is survived by so many friends – in the neighborhood, across the United States and into Europe. He was blessed.
Flowers are lovely, but John and the family would appreciate contributions to the ALS Association of Wisconsin or to the cause that speaks to your heart. Did we mention that John loved fine bourbon? A little toast to his memory would be appreciated.
Visitation to be held on Saturday, May 7, 2022 from 10:00 AM – 12:45 PM at Krause Funeral Home in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Service to be held at 1:00 PM. Interment to follow at Wauwatosa Cemetery in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.