John Richard (J.R.) Froelich died Jan. 23, 2016, at the age of 69.
He was born on Nov. 24, 1946, in Nevada, Mo., to Kenneth V., and Ruth I. Froelich.
An Oakhurst resident for 23 years, Mr. Froelich spent much of his formative years in Arizona and was a 1964 graduate of Washington High School in Phoenix, also attending Glendale Community College.
He joined the United States Navy in 1967, serving two tours in Vietnam.
After an honorable discharge in 1970, he returned to Phoenix, got married, and began his career in banking. During this time, Mr. Froelich and his first wife had a daughter, Amanda.
After 17 years back in Arizona, he moved to Fresno to build the credit card department of Guarantee Savings and Loan.
In 1987, he married his second wife Jan, who also worked at Guaranteed Savings and Loan. The couple moved to Oakhurst in 1993.
Mr. Froelich spent eight years with the Sierra Star in ad sales, reporting, and authoring the column “In My Opinion.”
Before his retirement in 2010, Mr. Froelich worked for five years in the marketing department at Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino in Coarsegold.
He spent 13 years acting on the Golden Chain Theatre stage, best known for playing the villain in numerous melodramas, and served on the GCT board of directors for six years.
He loved music and was a collector of vintage albums from the 50s and 60s. He enjoyed traveling with his wife in their RV, spending time with family, fishing and being in the outdoors.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and brother-in-law Don McCann.
Mr. Froelich is survived by his wife of nearly 30 years, Jan; brother Ken Froelich and wife Barbara; sister LaDene Avana and husband Steven; and sister Judy McCann, all of Phoneix; daughter Amanda Plummer and husband Brian of Lincoln; daughter Karen Thomas of Fresno; son Gordon Sturgeon and wife Karen of Clovis; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
He was an active member of Caring Vets, Inc., and was instrumental in the dedication of a new commemorative flag pole at the Ahwahnee Regional Park.
A graveside service with a military honor guard, will be held at 1 p.m., Friday, Feb. 5, at Oakhill Cemetery in Oakhurst. Celebration of life to follow at Oakhurst Evangelical Free Church on School Road.
In lieu of flowers, donations be made in his name to Disabled Veterans of America at DAV.org.