July 26, 2023 at 8:00 a.m.
Updated July 26, 2023 at 8:00 a.m.
Gerald “Jerry” or “Fred” Friedrichs, 74, of Buffalo, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, July 19, 2023.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2, with visitation one hour prior to the Mass, all at the Church of St. Francis Xavier School, 219 19th St. NW, Buffalo. Celebrant will be the Rev. Nathaniel Meyers. Interment in the St. Francis Catholic Cemetery in Buffalo.
Jerry was born Dec. 17, 1948, to Gerard and Violet (Wallin) in Melrose and spent his childhood working and playing on the family farm in Sauk Centre. After high school, Jerry joined the U.S. Army National Guard, where he served from 1966 to 1972 and became a lifetime member of the Little Sauk Legion Post 417.
On a warm summer evening out with friends in 1970, Jerry met the love of his life, Shirley Braeger. He asked her for a dance, and the rest is history. Jerry and Shirley were married Aug. 18, 1973, making their home in St. Louis Park until their move out to Buffalo in December 1975. At their home in the country, Jerry and Shirley raised their four children and made many wonderful memories together. Jerry enjoyed playing on various teams in the Rockford men’s softball league, tending to the family’s large garden (including growing the largest tomatoes in Wright County), listening to classic country music on the deck, deer hunting with his sons, helping his buddies with construction projects and taking his kids out on the coldest winter days to ice fish.
As a 50-year member of the Laborers Local 563 Union, Jerry worked 33 hard years digging city manholes, running the jackhammer and backhoe, laying utility lines, leading many work crews and getting dirty, in general.
Upon his retirement, Jerry found the time to enjoy various hobbies he hadn’t always had the time for, including completing dozens of carpentry projects, fishing, watching NASCAR races and other sports, driving around to “supervise” local construction projects and growing even more tomatoes. He also enjoyed working on side cement and masonry projects with his best friend, attending his grandchildren’s sporting events and birthday parties and many other activities.
Jerry was a strong, humble man with a big heart, and will always be remembered for his one-liners, humor, mischievous smirk and eye twinkle, hard work ethic and great love and pride for his family.
Jerry is preceded in death by his parents, Gerard “Bud” and Violet; his brother, Earl; mother-and father-in-law Bernardine and Kenneth Braeger; and many other relatives.
He will be deeply missed by his loving wife of 50 years, Shirley; children Aaron (Debbie), Jason (Beth), Kacey (Chauncey) Neutgens and Sarah (Bryan) Trinka; 10 grandchildren Deserae (Jaden), Zachary, Austin, Jimmy, George, Hannah, Ella, Clara, Tristan and Morgan; two great-grandchildren Carter and Tommy; and many more family members and friends.
Arrangements were entrusted to The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo. P-30-1B