Ronald L. Friess
RONALD L. FRIESS, 81
EAST LIVERPOOL – Ronald L. Friess, of St. Clair Avenue, passed away suddenly Sunday evening, May 20, 2018 at East Liverpool City Hospital. He was 81.
Born in East Liverpool, October 20, 1936, he was a son of the late Eynon and Ruth Anderson Friess. He was a graduating member of the Wellsville High School Class of 1954.
A U.S. Army veteran, Ron served stateside and overseas and was recognized as an expert rifleman.
Ron eventually was employed and retired from J&L Specialty Steel. He previously worked at the former Crucible Steel Company. Ron was active in the United Steelworkers Union Local 1212 for many years and had served in several positions including president for over 20 years. During Ron’s presidency he oversaw the community economic devastation caused by the closing of Crucible Steel in 1982. He played a vital role in the opening of the local food bank and the local branch of Institute of Career Development (ICD) for laid off steelworkers. He was also instrumental in re-opening of the Midland Plant in 1983. Although considerably smaller than the prior operation, the “New” steel company, which first became LTV Specialty Steel and later J&L Specialty Steel, thrived and prospered due to new manning agreements and labor-management cooperative efforts championed by Ron.
In June of 1985, USW Local Union 1212, LTV Specialty Steel Company, Center for Career Development and the Beaver Medical Center were instrumental in the opening of the Midland Health Center to provide accessible and much needed health care to the local community. Ron presented a donation of $25,000.00 from USW Local Union 1212 to the health center. Also established during Ron’s tenure as union president were USW sponsored academic scholarships awarded to several area high schools in Ohio and Pennsylvania that continue to this day.
He spoke on Capitol Hill multiple times lobbying for fair trade, environmental protection, and steelworkers rights driving change within the steel industry. He was awarded the Pennsylvania Governors Award for Labor-Management Cooperation 1991. Due to his expertise, experience and foresight Ron was often invited to speak at many labor-management seminars and conventions throughout his career
Ron’s interests included bowling and golfing. He was an avid fan of local high sports, especially enjoyed watching basketball and football sporting events. Ron also was a “die hard” Pittsburgh Steelers Fan.
In 1984, Ron purchased Italos Pizza in Glenmoor and continued to operate the business to this day. He was a member of the East Liverpool Elks Lodge 258 and the S.O.I. #657 in Wellsville and was active in the Columbiana County Democratic Party.
Known for his generous heart and giving nature, Ron went out of his way to help those in need. He served as a father figure and mentor to many over the years inspiring them to reach their potential.
Surviving is a daughter, Deborah Long and her husband, Joseph, of Circleville, Ohio, and a son, Randall Friess, of East Liverpool. There are three granddaughters, Theresa Friess, Rosalia Friess, and Alexa Long, and a grandson, David McGuire and his partner, Chelsea Shaeffer. He also will be sadly missed by his dog Venus.
Also surviving are two sisters, Jean Noland of Hopewell, Virginia, and Marceline Patterson of Wellsville, and one brother, Eynon Friess, Jr. and his wife, Helen, of Northville, Michigan.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Denise Ann Friess.
Friends may visit Thursday afternoon and evening at the Dawson Funeral Home where the family will be present from 4 to 8 p.m. Pastor Mark Blakeley will conduct a funeral service Friday at 11:00 a.m. at the funeral home where friends may also visit one hour prior to the service.
Burial will be at Spring Hill Cemetery where the Tri-State Veterans Burial Group will conduct military honors.