Gales Ferry - Walter Jacob Friess, 85, of Gales Ferry passed away the evening of Feb. 23, 2021.
A man of few words, a gentle soul, and a friend to all who knew him, he was born July 27, 1935, in Harvey, Ill., the third of four sons to Sylvester and Marie (née Bunyea). He considered Camp Verde, Ariz. his hometown.
Walter was a 20-year submarine veteran of the U.S. Navy during the Korea and Vietnam eras. Following his retirement from the Navy in 1971, he and his family lived in Ledyard and Gales Ferry for 50 years. A man who could fix anything, he was a proud member of the Shack Breakfast Club.
Walter is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Sandra (née Spaulding); his brother Floyd; his daughter Marie and children Krista and Matthew; his son Randal, wife Sandra, and children Stephanie, Nichole, and Jacob; his son Timothy, wife Ruth, and son Samuel; and son Michael, wife Amy, and children Brady and Reagan; as well as seven great-grandchildren. Walter was predeceased by his mother, father, stepfather Marvin Bennett; two older brothers, Charles and Richard; and an infant grandson Adam.
Friends and family are invited to celebrate Walter's life at a viewing from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28, at the Byles Memorial Home, 310 Thames Street, Groton. A funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Mar. 1, at Our Lady of Lourdes, 1650 Route 12, Gales Ferry. Interment will take place at the nearby Gales Ferry Cemetery. Please visit www.byles.com
to sign the guest book or share a memory with the family.
Visitors are kindly asked to abide by all COVID-19 protocols, to include wearing a mask at all times.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a tribute donation to the Veterans Support Organization of your choice.