Jacob (Jack, Jake) G. Froehlich, Jr., 87, a long time resident of Winchester and formerly of North Massapequa, Long Island, NY, died on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at Westwood Care Center in Keene. He passed peacefully with his loving family at his side after a period of declining health.
Jack was born on December 19, 1927, the son of the late Frances (Neder) and Jacob G. Froehlich, Sr. on the farm of his grandmother, Mary Neder, in Bethpage, Long Island, NY. He attended St. Ignatius Catholic School, Hicksville, Long Island, NY and Hicksville High School. He lived and worked on the family farm until 1940 when the farm was sold to make way for the expansion of Grumman Aircraft Eng. Corp. for the war effort. The family moved to Plainview, Long Island, NY where he lived until he married.
On September 24, 1950 Jack exchanged vows with the love of his life, Theresa Sodomora. They were married at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Hicksville, Long Island, NY with family and friends in attendance. Sadly, she passed on January 22, 2014 after sixty three years of marriage.
He loved music and Benny Goodman was his idol. At 13, he began clarinet lessons at St Ignatius Catholic School and played in their first band. At 17, he continued with lessons in New York City, taking the train on Saturday mornings and forming his first band “The Ambassadors” with high school friends. Later as an adult, he formed a trio calling themselves “Jack Frolic and Chips and Charlie.” In the early ’70s he joined the Long Island Mummers String Band and marched in NYC for the Polish Day Parade.
He worked at Grumman Aircraft Eng. Corp. (later Grumman Aerospace Corp.) in Bethpage at the age of 16 as a stock chaser. During this time he began saxophone lessons. Nearing his 18th birthday, he enlisted in the US Marines Corps. and was called up in January of 1946. He was at Parris Island, SC, and was assigned to the Marine Corps Band as a clarinetist. He was transferred to Washington, DC and attended the United States Navy School of Music in Anacostia and then transferred to El Toro Marine Corps Base near Irvine, CA in the Marine Air West Coast Band, 1st Marine Air Wing Band. While at El Toro he played at ceremonies honoring Marines returning home from the South Pacific. He was honorably discharged Nov. 14, 1947 at the Naval Shipyard, Brooklyn, NY with the rank of PFC.
He continued his employment at Grumman heading up the raw material stock room. In early 1960, he joined the Material Management Dept. responsible for expediting and scheduling raw materials to the LEM (Lunar Excursion Module) of the Apollo space program and the F-14 Tomcat program. He played and managed company softball teams and continued playing music in the company cafeteria during lunchtime.
After 33 years at Grumman, in 1978 he retired with his wife, Terry, to Winchester, New Hampshire. After settling in, he worked at the Homestead Woolen Mill in West Swanzey, Hinsdale Race Track, Winchester Elementary School as the head custodian, and the Winchester Landfill (Transfer Station.) While at the Winchester Elementary School he would bring his saxophone to school and play for the students and teachers during lunchtime and at school programs. He always said that was a highlight of his time at the school. He was a member of Allen Kendall’s band and gave music lessons at his home. Jack had a special bond with his granddaughter, Rayann, because of their love of music; they would play duets together with Rayann at the piano. He loved baseball and football. He was an avid New York Jets fan which always caused fun family rivalry, and he continued his loyalty to the Mets and also the New York Giants.
Mr. Froehlich is survived by his daughter, Barbara Duquette, and her husband, Robin of North Swanzey. His precious granddaughter, Rayann Hagstrom and her husband, Scott, of Fitzwilliam. His brother, Ray, of Bethpage, Long Island, NY. He is predeceased by his sister, Adeline Noto, who died in 2014.
Calling hours will be held on Saturday, November 14, 2015 from 11 a.m. until 12 noon. A celebration of life service will follow at noon in the Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel, 44 Maple Ave. Keene, NH 03431. Burial will take place on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 10 a.m. with military honors at St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Lower Main St. Keene, NH 03431.
Flowers will gladly be accepted. However, the family would prefer donations be made in memory of Jacob G. Froehlich Jr. to: Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belfort Rd. Suite 300, Jacksonville, FL 32256. All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave. Keene, NH 03431, www.cheshirefamilyfuneralhome.com.