John Frecka, 83
John A. Frecka, 83, died on July 12, 2012, in Milford, Ohio at the home of his daughter surrounded by his family. He was born in Ironton, Ohio on Jan. 12, 1929, to Margaret (Fowler) and J. Harold Frecka. Raised in Sciotoville, he was a graduate of Portsmouth East High School, Marshall University, and Wayne State University Law School where he was awarded a juris doctor degree. John had a long and memorable career in the steel industry.
After he graduated from Marshall University in 1952, he started working immediately as a crane follower at Detroit Steel Corporation in Portsmouth, Ohio and later worked in the employment office. He transferred to Detroit, Mich. to pursue opportunities in employee relations at the headquarters of Detroit Steel Corporation. John continued to excel at the company, at the same time attending law school in the evenings at Wayne State University while raising 4 children with his loving, supportive wife. He was later promoted to general manager of the Detroit plant.
Two years later, he was named vice-president of the division of Empire-Detroit Steel in Mansfield, Ohio, which had beenrecently acquired by Cyclops Corp. Seizing the opportunity, he relocated his family to Mansfield, Ohio. Shortly after, he was named president of Empire-Detroit Steel. Throughout his many years working in the steel industry, John spent most of his time with mill workers. “They worked hard, they were tough, and I liked them,” he was once quoted as saying.
John was a community leader. He served on the boards of the RichlandCounty Foundation and the Chamber of Commerce as well as boards of numerous local businesses. John was also instrumental in the starting, funding, and management philosophy of Ultra-Tech Plastics, a fledgling manufacturer of flexible packaging products. With his guidance, thecompany quickly became successful and at its peak employed over 100 people.
John had a great sense of humor and was overwhelmingly optimistic about life. He was a kind-hearted philanthropist and helped guide many people to success. John enjoyed spending time at his cottage in Pentwater, Mich. fishing and teaching his grandchildren to fish. Thehighlight of John’s day was usually grilling dinner for the family and sipping fine wine.
John is survived by his beloved wife, Lois Joann (Williams) who he married on September 23, 1950; his children, Deborah (Gary) Allan, David (Brenda) Frecka, John “Drew” (Barbara) Frecka, and Mary Anne (Christopher) Myers; his grandchildren, Andrew, Jeffrey, Jason, Jennifer, Kathryn, Jordan, Natalie, John “Jack”, Olivia, and Brent. He was also the great-grandfather of 6.
A memorial ceremony will be held at Kingwood Center, 900 Park Ave W,
Mansfield, Ohio on Saturday, July 28, 2012, from 2:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. with a service and eulogy at 4 p.m. Parking fee will be waived for attendees.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a charitable donation to the American Diabetes Association.