Obituary of George L Fricke
George was born on August 14, 1928 in West Orange, NJ to George and Anna Marie Dury Fricke. He attended West Orange High School where he met his wife, D. Carol Basse, in chemistry class. They were married for 62 years. George remained close to his West Orange High School friends throughout his life. He and Carol loved a cabin her parents owned on the Delaware River. They also enjoyed beach holidays with family at the Jersey Shore. He was accepted into the U.S. Navy V-5 program and was sent to Champlain College in Plattsburg, NY. After two years at Champlain, he received orders to report to the Naval Air Station at Pensacola, Florida for flight training but his eyesight wasn’t good enough to become a pilot, so he joined the Naval Reserve. He then applied to and was accepted at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ in September of 1948. In 1949, he and Carol were married at the First Congregational Church in Monclair, NJ and a reception was held on the roof of the Suburban Hotel in East Orange. In June 1950, he graduated from Rutgers with a BS in Business Administration. His first job was with Suburban Gas Company in Whippany, NJ but he was recalled to active service, serving in the US Navy during the Korean War . In June of 1950 and sent to Lakehurst, NJ where he was assigned to a blimp squadron. He flew in blimps but in 1951 was sent to Officer Candidate School at Newport, Rhode Island from which he was graduated in January 1952. He received orders to report to the USS Moale stationed in Norfolk, VA. As a new ensign, he and Carol lived in Virginia Beach until George was sent to Boston on the Moale. The ship stopped off in New York City, George was given leave and Debbie was born while he was home in October 1952. George then was ordered to Guantanamo Bay where for six weeks he learned ship handling in preparation to ship out for Korea. At the last minute, George received orders to report to Washington, DC to the Navy Bureau of Personnel. Carol and Debbie joined him in Alexandria, Virginia. On December 28, 1954 George began working at NJ Bell. George had a 33-year rewarding career in the Bell system in various management positions in the Traffic, Operator Services, Engineering, Switching, Network, Personnel and Training and Development Departments. When he retired in 1988 he was Director of National Training. Mr. Fricke served on the Board of Trustees of Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, NJ for many years, and was Chairman for three years. He was honored in 2011 by being named Trustee Emeritus of the College. He was Chairman of the NJ Association of State Colleges and Universities. He was a member of the New Jersey State Department of Education Grade 11 High School Proficiency Test (HSPT11) Math Development Committee. He was past Chairperson of the Commission on Technology Education (COTE) for the State of New Jersey. He was listed in the 1996 edition of Who’s Who in American Education. In 1955, he, Carol and Debbie moved in Whippany, NJ. In May of 1956, Steve was born. In 1965, the family took a cross country trip covering 8, 600 miles. This was the beginning of a love of travel for George and Carol. They traveled together around the world and on their 50th wedding anniversary had a party on the Queen Elizabeth II before sailing to England. Friends and family saw them off on this memorable day. In 1966, the family moved to Basking Ridge, NJ. George enjoyed watching Debbie in the school plays and Steve on the football field. George received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Thomas Edison State College on October 10, 2009 after serving for many years on the board of the college. Carol and both his children attended this ceremony and George gave a moving speech about what education had meant to him. George cared for his beloved wife, Carol, at home until her death in April 2012. A year later George moved to Fellowship Village in Basking Ridge where he served on the board and was an active community member. He was a long time Elder at the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church, served as Clerk of Session for 10 years, was the Church Historian, and chair of the Cemetery Heritage Committee, which was responsible for restoring the Church’s historic old cemetery. He carried out extensive research on the Church cemetery, led efforts to restore headstones and developed a plot plan to help people find relatives burial sites. He also conducted historical tours of the Church cemetery. For many years, George enthusiastically led the annual carol sing on Christmas Eve. George was a member of the Basking Ridge Country Club where he recorded a hole-in-one. He was also a life member of the Historical Society of Somerset Hills. Mr. Fricke was active in Republican politics in Bernards Township where he served as Chair of the Board of Adjustment in the 1970’s. At Fellowship Senior Living, he was Resident member of the Board of Directors. He was also involved in many other activities, including Chair of the Operations Committee, secretary of the Communications Committee and a member of the Residents and Members Council. George met Hallie Stewart at Fellowship Village and they became close friends. They shared happy years. George accomplished many things in his long life and was profoundly loved by his family. Visits with him were a treasured time for all. George gave so much to his family and set a wonderful example of unselfish love and caring for all. He was predeceased by his brother, Robert A. Fricke. He is survived by his sister, Joan Shortall of Nazareth, PA, his daughter and son-in-law, Deborah and Todd Burger of Lexington MA, his son, Stephen Fricke of Greensboro, NC, five granddaughters and their spouses, Jessica and Nathan Kaufman of Reading MA, Emily and Gordon Barnes of Danvers, MA, Meredith and Dave Doucette of Wilmington, MA, Erin and Grant Rhine of Pfafftown, NC and Olivia and Mitchell Spring of Quechee, Vermont and seven great-grandchildren, Chloe and Zach Kaufman, Leah, Aubrey, and Isabel Doucette, Chip and Hadley Barnes, Mia and Millie Rhine and his friend, Hallie Stewart, of Basking Ridge, NJ. A Memorial service will be held to celebrate George’s life on what would have been his 93rd birthday, August 14, at the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church at 11 am. Donations in George’s memory can be made to the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church, 1 East Oak Street, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920.