Richard Norbert Friedel, 81, of Rock Island, died Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, at Silver Cross Health Care Center, Rock Island following a long and courageous battle with a neuro-degenerative disease.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 a.m. Friday at St. Pius X Catholic Church, Rock Island. Entombment will be at Calvary Mausoleum, Rock Island. A rosary will be recited at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the Knox Chapel of Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory, 2106 7th Ave., Rock Island. Visitation will follow from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Chapel. Memorials may be made in care of St. Pius X Catholic Church, Alleman High School or Jordan Catholic School, all of Rock Island.
Dick was born in Fond du Lac, Wis. on March 25, 1938, the eldest son of Norbert and Leone (Wood) Friedel. Following graduation from St. Mary’s Springs Academy, Fond du Lac, he served active and reserve military duty in the U.S. Army. In 1961, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis. A lifelong Green Bay Packers fan, he sold Pabst Blue Ribbon beer at Lambeau Field while in college.
He married Marlene J. Kordick on Oct. 16, 1965 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Des Moines, Iowa. After their wedding, they settled permanently in Rock Island, where they raised their two children, Jennifer and Thomas. Marlene died on Nov. 11, 2018.
Dick was employed as a pharmaceutical sales representative by SmithKline & French Laboratories, which later became GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) through a series of corporate mergers. In 2003, he retired from GSK after 38 years of service. He then worked as a part-time driver for Hot Shots Nuclear Medicine in Davenport, Iowa.
He was an active member of St. Pius X Catholic Church, where he sang in the adult and funeral choirs and was a perpetual adoration volunteer. He was a member of the Allouez Council 658 Knights of Columbus, Edward J. Bader Assembly Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus. He was recognized by his council as Knight of the Year (1967) and Senior Knight of the Year (2009).
Always ready with a smile and a funny story, Dick never forgot a name or detail about someone he met. He enjoyed hunting and watching sports -- especially football. He left behind a legacy of faith, hard work, determination and love of family.
Left to cherish his memory are his daughter, Jennifer (James) Sautter of Blue Grass, Iowa and their sons, John and William; son, Thomas (Dana) Friedel of Dubuque, Iowa and their children Monica and Joseph. He is also survived by his siblings, Ronald (Sandy) Friedel of Brown Deer, Wis., John (Jennifer) Friedel of Green Bay, Wis. and Julie (Tom) Petrie of Fond du Lac.; many nieces, nephews and extended family members.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Marlene; parents; brother, William and infant sister, Mary Therese. Richard’s family would like to extend a special thank you to his caregivers from Silver Cross, Hospice Compassus and Home Instead Health Care.
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