Hail to Chief Bruce Frech, who left this world a better place

Sussex. The past chief of the Sussex Borough Fire Department exemplified what it means to be an American hero.

Sussex /
| 30 Nov 2020 | 04:28

The community lost an icon on Nov. 11, with the passing of Bruce Dennis Frech.

He was a past chief of the Sussex Borough Fire Department and a Marine Corps veteran. He was born in Sussex Borough at Alexander Linn Hospital on Dec. 18, 1930, and died peacefully at home, with his loving family by his side.

A lifelong resident of Sussex, Frech graduated from Sussex High School in 1949 and married his high school sweetheart, Betty Jayne Klaus, on Feb. 18, 1951. They met in kindergarten.

“He was thankful to have lived on Sycamore Street, in Sussex Borough, his whole life,” said Betty Jayne. “He worked in the former Lawrence Hardware Store on Main Street in high school, and also delivered newspapers when he was young to borough residents.”

Frech was proud to have served in the U.S. Marine Corp and to have been a member of American Legion Post #213 for 67 years. A past chief of the Sussex Fire Department, Frech was honored to be a Grand Marshall at the Sussex County Fireman’s Parade held in Sussex Borough on Oct. 1, 2016.

“He was a talented wood carver,” Betty Jayne said. “We spent many Saturdays with a table at craft shows in Sussex County. Many lucky people have walking sticks to remember him.”

Frech was also an excellent carpenter throughout his adult life.

“He built the house that he and his family had lived in since 1957,” Betty Jayne said.

Frech’s father, Walter Frech, was a noted photographer from Sussex. He died when Frech was seven, after which he was raised by his mother, Mildred, and his grandparents.

“He served our community and nation well during his life,” said Ed Meyer, the Mayor of Sussex Borough. “He was a well-respected member of our community. I have lowered the flags on all municipal buildings in his honor. I will be recommending Bruce for the Kathern Little life time service award we establish last year in memory of former Mayor Little. He was a true American hero.”

Betty Jayne said he was a devoted family man.

“His greatest joy was being with his great grandson, six-year old Alex,” she said.

“He was thankful to have lived on Sycamore Street, in Sussex Borough, his whole life.” Betty Jayne Frech