Robert  Friel

Obituary of Robert Friel


Robert P. “Jake”


On Monday, May 8, 2017, following a prolonged illness, cherished husband Robert P. Friel “Jake” of McCandless, PA, passed away peacefully in the arms of his beloved wife, Kathleen, after 23 beautiful years together. Robert was a devoted father to Shawn (Jim), John, Colleen (Thomas), Robert (Toni), Kathleen (Anthony), Martha (Ken), Susan (David), and the late Keith.  Robert loved and welcomed all his children, seamlessly blending both his families from his previous marriage to Marion with his current marriage to Kathleen. He delighted in his role as “Pap” or ”Pap Pap” to his 16 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren, bringing a spirit of whimsy into their lives. All of his many nieces and nephews were treated with this same love. Robert was born on January 15, 1931 to Robert and Emily in Pittsburgh, PA. As the youngest of five, his siblings: Stanley, Clyde, Bernadette, Anne, and Emily, preceded him in death. With a strong call to duty he enlisted in the armed forces at the tender age of 16, and went on to serve in both the United States Army and Navy. He extended that call of duty to his civilian life by becoming a fire fighter with the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire. His distinguished 42-year career saw him rise to the rank of Captain. He passionately studied the art of Judo, attaining the rank of sandan (third degree black belt), and passed his knowledge on to Judo students of all ages, for 20 years, through his Judo school. Robert then took to the road and embarked on a second passion of running at the age of 55, competing in 25 marathons (including three Boston) and countless other races, as a member of Hot Harry’s Running Club, and his own elite group of black-sock runners. Seeking new challenges he enrolled in college at the age of 68, earning an A.S. and becoming an activities director at nursing homes. His legacy of tireless work, expanding his horizons, and serving his community stands as an inspiration to all who knew and loved him.  A memorial visitation will be held at McCabe Bros., Inc. Funeral Home, 6214 Walnut Street, Shadyside on Thursday, 2-4 and 6-8 pm.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be held in St. Victor Church, 527 Bairdford Road, Bairdford, PA on Friday at 10:30 am.  THOSE WISHING TO ATTEND, PLEASE GATHER AT THE CHURCH.