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DeKalb County Indiana Obituary

Richard W. Friend

Richard W. Friend, 86 years, of Hamilton , passed away Friday, March 2, 2012 at Parkview Hospital , Fort Wayne , Indiana .  Richard was born January 5, 1926 in Corunna , Indiana the son of the late John Henry and Lottie Minerva (Boren) Friend.  He was a 1944 graduate of Hamilton High School .  Richard served in the United States Army, serving during WWII.  He married Rosann Swihart on December 22, 1947 in Auburn , Indiana .  Richard was employed by Auburn Gear for 43 years.  He also delivered the Journal Gazette newspaper around the Hamilton Lake area for 39 years.  He was a former member of the Hamilton Masonic Lodge #701.  He was a lifelong member of the Angola VFW Post 7205.  Richard was also a “Gentleman’s Farmer” managing the family farm.  He also was a Boy Scout Leader, a Little League Baseball coach.  He enjoyed serving the community.  As hobbies, he enjoyed photography, bird watching and woodworking.  In his younger years, he enjoyed hunting and fishing.

Surviving is his wife, Rosann, daughter, Linda Bireley and her companion Kevin Bireley, of Hamilton; two sons, Jim (Anna) Friend of Garrett, Indiana and Tom (Julie) Friend of Pleasant Lake, daughter-in-law, Jackie Friend of Hamilton; ten grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter.  He was preceded in death by his parents, one son, Steve Friend, one brother, John Friend and two sisters, Iolene Carrick and Myrtle Christlieb.

Memorial services for Richard W. Friend will be held at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 8, 2012 in the Oberlin-Turnbull Funeral Home & Crematory, 3985 East Church Street , Hamilton with Pastor Edward Harnish officiating.  Interment will follow in Hamilton Cemetery with Military Graveside Rites provided by the Angola VFW Post 7205.  Relatives and friends will be received in the funeral beginning at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, until the beginning of services at 11:30 a.m.

Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider contributions to the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society or to the Boy Scouts of America. 


Bob Friend’s Comments


Here are some things of interest not mentioned in the obituary:


Dick was my dad's (Jairus Milton Friend) first cousin; Dick's dad (John Henry Friend) and Jairus's dad (Emery Milton Friend) were brothers, both sons of Norris W. Friend of DeKalb County , Indiana

For many years Dick, along with wife Rosann, tirelessly drove to the eastern parts of the U.S. doing genealogical research on our Friend family -- searching county records, looking for grave markers, etc., etc.  He was a member of the Friend Family Association of America and, as far as I know, was one of the few members of our N.E. Indiana Friend family (including myself in 1982) to attend one of the organization's national conventions.

He, along with his brother John, was a survivor of the Battle of the Bulge during W.W. II; he once told me of how a French family, to show their gratitude for the U.S. war effort, hosted them at their home and treated them to a night on the town in Paris (including a visit to the famed Moulin Rouge) at the war's end -- a wonderful story.  For years and years thereafter, he and John would celebrate the anniversary of that night by sharing a bottle of red wine and a baguette.

I last saw Dick at the Richland Twp. Schools Reunion, held in Waterloo , Indiana (DeKalb Co.), in 2009.  In May of the previous year I had traveled to his home and scanned a lot of his photos and documents into my computer -- really glad I did this.  I convinced a few others in my family, especially my cousin Bonnie (Friend) Blastick, to visit Dick on occasion and gain from his great knowledge of family history.  Dick and I carried on a regular personal correspondence over a number of years, and I would occasionally give him a phone call -- as recently as February of this year.  In early March I sent him a copy of a photo about which I wanted some additional information; he never was able to respond.

Cousin Dick was quite a character, to say the least, with a wry sense of humor.  His favorite expression was, "I never met a Friend who did not have something to say."  R.I.P., Dick Friend; you will be well remembered for many, many years.


My contact info: Robert E. Friend _ 512 Greenview Dr. _ Wauconda IL 60084-2555



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