November 18, 1927 ~ December 8, 2013
Francis T. Friel
November 18, 1927 – December 8, 2013
Resided in Hermosa Beach, CA for the last 43 years
Francis T. Friel "Frank" died peacefully at home in Hermosa Beach on December 8, 2013. Frank was born at home in Great Kills, Staten Island, New York on November 18, 1927. He was the only son to Anna Marie Thill Friel and Francis Bernard Friel. Frank was predeceased by his sisters Grace, Virginia, Anne, and is survived by his younger sibling Sister Patricia who is a Nun in the Order of Saint Francis.
Frank was a veteran of World War II, honorably discharged in 1948 and the Korean War, honorably discharged in 1952. Frank earned his pilot's license in the late 1940's and flew 43 accident free years. He piloted over 25 different varieties of aircraft, from a Piper Cub puddle jumper to global corporate jets. He was also licensed as an aircraft master A&P mechanic. He spent the last 25 years of his flying career as a corporate jet pilot, flying sales demos, production tests, training, and transporting Corporate Officers and a variety of celebrities including: Gov. Edmond G Brown, Gov. Ronald Reagan, Frank Sinatra, John Wayne and Clint Eastwood.
Frank was predeceased in 1969 by his first wife Anne "Cookie" Friel and is survived by their three children, Paul Friel, Maryann (Jim Roachelle), and Patti (Tom Gibson).
Frank cherished his time with his family and friends telling stories and jokes. He married Phyllis Jeanne Goncher in 1970. They celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary on November 20, 2013. They spent their retirement years traveling and enjoying the simple pleasures of life.
He is survived by stepson David Goncher, his wife Sheri and predeceased by stepson Gregory Goncher. He has seven grandchildren: Kristen, Kevin, Scott, Lauren, Liam, Conor, Evan and several great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
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