BOARDMAN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – On Thursday morning, April 22, 2021, John Frech, 86, passed away quietly in his sleep at his home. His journey with Alzheimer’s had ended. He was totally at peace and was with his beloved Donna once again.

John was born October 19, 1934 in Lowellville, son of the late John L. and Mary (Peterson) Frech, Sr.

His wife and best friend of 63 years, Donna Jean Capehart, whom he married August 27, 1955, passed away September 17, 2018. He missed her so very much.

Jack, as he was known as by all his family and while growing up, graduated from Lowellville High School in 1952. He was the senior class president and was on the basketball team.

He would share many times that his first job at age 14 was a paper route and the newspaper only cost 34 cents a week! He often talked about the over 25 different places he had worked in his lifetime. He was a hard-working man with excellent work ethic. John was a produce manager for 30 years (often known as “Big John” at work since he was 6’5” tall). He said he worked for almost every grocery chain in the area except ‘never at a Kroger’s.’ He was 3rd vice president of the Retail Clerks Union, Local 298 for eight years beginning in 1976 while working at Fazio’s. After 30 years of dedication, he retired at the age of 55 from Giant Eagle on 224 in Boardman.

During many of those working years, he enjoyed bowling on the Struthers United Methodist Church Sunday School League at Boardman Lanes.

John was a very kind, gentle and appreciative man. He said ‘thank you’ many, many times a day. His family was of utmost importance to him. He enjoyed yearly summer vacations with his wife and his daughters as they were growing up. As time passed, he enjoyed spending time with and watching his grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow up and loved being their papa.

After his retirement, he and Donna began spending winters in Florida. They eventually became permanent residents there for over ten years, moving back to Ohio in 2015. While in Florida, John loved metal detecting and walking the Gulf Coast beaches with Donna. They enjoyed watching the magnificent sunsets every night together always waiting to see if the ‘green flash’ appeared when the ocean ‘swallowed up’ the sun. He loved sharing all these moments and so much more with his family when they came to visit. 

In the past couple years, prior to the pandemic, he attended the monthly UFCW Local 880 retiree gatherings. Every morning, he looked forward to reading his daily Vindicator (always reading the obituaries first!) and doing the Jumble, Sudoku, Word Search and Crossword puzzles. He truly enjoyed eating and loved having dessert! He also liked playing Othello, Scrabble, chess, checkers and card games.

John will be forever missed by his daughters, Barbara (Joe) Kukla of Boardman, Lora Miller of Toronto, Canada and Jeanne. He also leaves behind to hold onto his memories his grandchildren, Jennifer (Eric) Wilder of Plain City, Angela Kukla (Shawn Sweeney) of Akron, Alison Kukla (Preston Reilly) of Norfolk, Virginia and Joshua Day of Boardman, as well as great-grandchildren, Sadie and Hudson Wilder and Julia and Jacob Kukla.

Besides his parents and wife, preceding Jack in death was his sister, Sharon Andersson of California.

Per his wishes, there were no services.

    …”Let us labor for the Master from the dawn ‘til setting sun

         Let us talk of all His wondrous love and care,

        Then when all of life is over, and our work on earth is done,

        And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there…”   

(When the roll was called up yonder that morning, he was there. He heard God call his name and off he went!)    

“You were such a good Dad and a really fun Papa Jack. We will all miss you and love you forever. Thank you for everything!”

Arrangements were entrusted to the professional care of the Thompson-Filicky Funeral Home, 4221 Market Street, Boardman.  

Family and friends may visit to sign the guest book or send condolences to John’s family.

A television tribute will air Sunday, May 9, at the following approximate times: 8:58 a.m. on WKBN and 7:58 p.m. on FOX.