Richard Friedel, 95, of Stuart, FL, passed peacefully on October 7, 2023. He was a much loved husband, father, grandfather, brother and son. He was at home surrounded by loved ones and the love of his life, Erna Harmeyer Friedel, his bride of 68 years. Coincidentally, family members had taken a moment to sit by the pool and watch a video of Richard and Erna dancing, and Richard, who loved to dance, chose that time to dance his way to heaven.
Richard, the eldest of three children was born on June 25, 1928 to Frank and Margaret in Corona, New York. Upon graduation from Manhattan High School of Aviation Trades, in Long Island City, NY he enlisted in the Marines at age 17. He was honorably discharged as a World War II veteran on May, 4, 1947. Richard served his country with honor as a Marine, and continued his lifelong love of aviation beginning his working career as a mechanic at Grumman Aerospace. His rapid rise through the ranks at Grumman was almost derailed when he accidentally wielded his hammer with such force he knocked an entire wing off an airplane! While working, he simultaneously earned his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and his master’s degree in Public Administration, both from New York University. Richard was eventually promoted into human resources where he filled numerous roles doing what he did well – taking care of people. He retired after 40 years and 40 careers from Grumman as Assistant to the Vice President of Human Resources.
Richard and Erna married in 1955 and started life together in an apartment in Jamaica, Queens. After four years as a couple the blessing of children began. Jeffery in 1959, Barbara in 1961, Steven in 1963 and Elizabeth in 1964. To take care of his growing family, Richard worked hard to provide more space and opportunities for his children, moving the family to Merrick, NY and eventually settling in Huntington, NY. Richard enjoyed his summers with his family and friends spending time in Beach Haven, NJ and Newfound Lake, NH. In Huntington, Richard expanded his service to others by volunteering at hospice facilities.
In retirement, in 1995 Richard and Erna moved to their new community in Stuart, FL where Richard continued volunteering with hospice and in hospital emergency rooms, and began what became decades of volunteer work at the Redeemer Lutheran Church soup kitchen.
Richard was predeceased by his father Frank and his mother Margaret (Cass) Friedel.
Richard is survived by his wife Erna (Harmeyer) Friedel, his children: Jeffrey Friedel (Virginia), Barbara Tria (Vincent), Steven Friedel (Alison), Elizabeth Roberts (Jonathan), his eleven Grandchildren, Molly Friedel, Abigail Friedel, Liam Friedel, Noah Friedel, Andy Tria, James Tria, Halsey Friedel, Shelby Friedel, Eliot Roberts, Winston Roberts, and Elyse Roberts; and his two sisters Joan Macfarlane, Bantam, Connecticut, Carol Irwin, Smithtown, New York
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Richard’s name may be directed to Redeemer Lutheran Church Soup Kitchen, 2450 SE Ocean Blvd., Stuart, FL 34996.