Walter Jacob Friess
1935 - 2021
{ "" }
Share Walter's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
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 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.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Day on Feb. 25, 2021.
Funeral Mass
11:00 AM
Funeral services provided by
Order by phone: (866) 764-7853
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Byles-Groton Memorial Home - Groton
Not sure what to say?
8 entries
March 2, 2021
To the Friess Family: My family and I send our condolences on your loss. We send our prayers to you all during this difficult time.
Philip Staten
February 27, 2021
Walter was a gentle man: great in all respects, a loving husband and a great father. I was always happy to see him at parish events: he was always there if he could help out. My sincerest sympathy to Sandy and the family. I am with you in prayer at this time as you grieve for the loss of such a good man.
Sr. Muriel Audette, SSA
February 27, 2021
The Spathiphyllum Plant
Send Flowers and Gifts
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
Patty, Amy, Tom, and Chris
February 26, 2021
My adopted dad.... what a great man. Always made me laugh. Always made to wear his “Obsession “ cologne when he came to have me cut his hair. Great husband, father, and grandfather. You will always be loved!
Mary (Butler) Taylor
February 26, 2021
As former neighbors of the Freiss family, we can’t disagree with “ A man of few words, a gentle soul, and a friend to all who knew him”. Our condolences to you all.
Marty & Anne Glavan
February 26, 2021
Mr Friess was a great man, loved by all. We spent many times talking about sports, in particular, his love for the Red Sox. His love for his family and our country was unparalleled. I could always tell how proud he was of his family and his grand children. He was a true Patriot who is greatly missed.

Our thoughts and prayers our with the Friess family.


The Martin’s
The Martins
February 25, 2021
Sorry to hear about your loss. Thoughts and prayers to the Friess family.
Michelle Green
February 25, 2021
So very sorry for your family’s loss.
Elaine Rafferty
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences