John J. Frese

April 15, 1945 ~ October 31, 2019 (age 74)


John Joseph Frese, Jr., 74, of Ridley Park, PA , passed away on October 31, 2019, after a valiant battle with cholangiocarcinoma.

John was born on April 15, 1945, in Philadelphia to Regina “Jean” (née Devlin) Frese and John “Jack” Frese. He grew up in Clifton Heights, PA, and attended Holy Cross School and Monsignor Bonner High School. After graduating from Bonner in 1964, he served in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War.

In 1975, he married the love of his life, Elaine Hayes, and went on to have three daughters, Kristy, Trista, and Erinn. 

John worked as a substation maintenance specialist for SEPTA, retiring in 2011 after 34 years with the company. 

John was an athlete, an avid sports enthusiast, and had a lifelong love of football. He was a second team All-Catholic runningback at Bonner in 1963, and won two State Championships in 1960 and 1963. He coached his daughters’ sports teams, and when his children were grown, he coached youth football for the Prospect Park Termites. Upon retirement, John became a member of the Suburban Philadelphia Football Officials, working as a referee at local high school football games. He also enjoyed rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles, working out at the Springfield Healthplex, driving his red convertible, and spending time with his family. He was still refereeing football games within weeks of his passing, as his inner athlete could never give up on the game.

John is predeceased by his parents, Jean and Jack Frese.

He is survived by his loving wife, Elaine Hayes Frese; his brother Joseph Frese of Colorado; his daughters, Kristy (Sam) Friedman, Trista (Toni) Frese, Erinn (John) Logan; and nine grandchildren, Ben, Will, Rilyn, Colton, Johnny, Brendan, Michael, Christopher and Matthew. 

Family and friends are invited to his Viewing, Wednesday, November 6, 2019 from 6:00-9:00 PM at The Donohue Funeral Home, 3300 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, PA, 610-353-6300. Burial will be private. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John J. Frese, please visit our floral store.


November 6, 2019

6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
The Donohue Funeral Home - Newtown Square
3300 West Chester Pike
Newtown Square, PA 19073

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