In Memoriam: Hans “Harry” Frisch

In Memoriam: Hans “Harry” Frisch
Hans “Harry” Frisch | July 5, 1923 – January 13, 2023

July 5, 1923 – January 13, 2023

Mr. Hans “Harry” Frisch, 99, passed away peacefully on Friday, January 13, 2023, at his home surrounded by his loving family. He was born on July 5, 1923 in Vienna, Austria. As a child, Hans lived in a large, four-level home with his family. His family ran their business out of the central part of their home on the ground floor. Close and extended family lived in the home and all were involved in the family business. Residing there were his parents, his older brother Alfred, maternal grandparents, aunt, uncles and cousins. Sufficed to say that family and business have always been a part of Frisch Family life. Harry’s father passed away when Harry was 9 years old. Several years later, when his mother remarried, his stepfather also joined alongside Harry’s mother in the family business.

There is much to the story of arduous travel for Hans “Harry” Frisch from Austria to the United States via Israel, which can be read in his book USE YOUR HEAD, Copyright 2018, which can be found on Amazon (he would have wanted that shameless plug). When Harry left Israel with his wife Lilo and their two young sons, Ben and Karl, he rejoined his mother upon arrival to the United States in 1953 after the unexpected 15 year separation. While in Israel, Harry learned to be an automobile repair mechanic for defense forces and eventually opened his own garage with partners. Upon arrival to the U.S., Harry again opened a repair garage but later closed-up shop since his stepfather passed away, so he could join the family business of the little fresh seafood shop called Beaver Street Fisheries with his mother and brother, Fred. Once again, the Frisch Family was together in business. Beaver Street Fisheries grew through much hard work – it was a labor of love for the family and succeeded through good and hard times.

Harry continued to come to the office of Beaver Street Fisheries, Inc. until 3 days before his passing. His work is what kept him going. This is where he engaged in the business, signed PO’s and checks and often spoke to employees about the state of the business and how they were doing. He always said, “I’m not thinking about today… I am thinking about 5 years down the road… where are we going to be and how can we make sure that we have consistent supply for our customers?” Harry knew BSF had approx. 400 employees and therefore supported hundreds of families in Duval and the surrounding counties. Harry was always a huge fan of the Jaguars and enjoyed having friends and family join in the BSF suite for the games. Being a business leader in the community for many years, Harry had the privilege of seeing several Jacksonville Mayors and Sheriffs come and go; he was always interested in what he could do to make Jacksonville better and offered his support to each one, some more receptive than others. He always made himself available for friendship and support.

Harry had an amazingly wonderful life with his loving wife, Lilo. They were married for 68 years. When she passed in 2016, a spark left his eyes, never to return. Harry always said that he was the “head of the family”, but Lilo was the “neck that turned the head”. They made a great team in the business and in the family. Even though Harry had a great support system from his sons and family, he was also cared for by Thora Rose, his house manager of 30+ years, care giver and “mother” as he affectionately called her. Her unwavering dedication and care for him and all things home related was beyond question. He was also cared for by Tammy Pate, his assistant at Beaver Street Fisheries, Inc. He lovingly referred to her as his “adopted daughter”. The feeling was mutual and reciprocated as her care went beyond that of the office to the home, hospital or wherever he was at the time. Laura Rhoden was also ever present as a caregiver at the office. Her participation was extremely valuable and made it possible for Harry to be at work daily. There was constant care for him in the later years. The family appreciates the long-term caregivers that were with him 24/7. It availed him the opportunity to remain independent for as long as possible.

Through the years, as he exercised the wisdom of “using your head”, the business grew and with his family, Harry was able to contribute to many philanthropic organizations, for many causes in our city and abroad. He was a supporter of River Garden Hebrew Home and was very fond of the work, good will and blessing of River Garden. He also contributed to The Mayo Clinic and he had full confidence in their care. He facilitated introductions to as many people as he could because he was so proud of their care for him. He was also a supporter of St. Vincent’s Hospital and Baptist Hospital. Harry received many awards and honors over the years: November 14, 2006, First Coast 50 Award by KPMG, April 2012, the Thomas S Baker SOLID AS A ROCK Award by Junior Achievement, November 2013, The Legacy Award for Harry and Lilo Frisch for National Philanthropy Day, November 2014, Induction into the First Coast Business Hall of Fame by the Florida Council on Economic Education, November 2014, the Service to Agriculture Award by the Duval County Farm Bureau, Dec 2015, Resolution Honoring Harry Frisch by the City of Jacksonville, April 2016, Humanitarian Award, Silver Medallion by OneJax, May 2016, Honorary Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration by Florida State College of Jacksonville and Nov 2017, Lifetime Achievement Award by Junior Achievement. Harry was also a lifetime honorary Board Member at Frosty Acres, Inc. and previously on the Board of Etz Chaim and River Garden Foundation.

Harry was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Lilo Frisch and his brother Alfred Frisch; He is survived by his sons, Ben Frisch and Karl Frisch (Missy); also Pat Frisch, seven grandchildren: Mark Frisch (Meredith), Adam Frisch (Sierra), Steven Frisch, Daniel Frisch (Amanda) and Erin Frisch, Britney Norton and Eddie Norton; seven great-grandchildren: Lyla, Hannah, Abby, Emmitt, Jacob, Jeremiah and Jack, also nieces and nephews in Florida and in Israel.

Graveside services were held at Arlington Park Cemetery (entrance through the Lillian Rd gate), Etz Chaim section, on Monday, January 16, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. with a meal of consolation and visitation with the family immediately following at River Garden Hebrew Home (masks required indoors) until 5:00 pm. There was also a Mincha/Maariv service at 5:20 at the same location.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to the Etz Chaim Synagogue, The River Garden Hebrew Home, Hadassah, Jacksonville Jewish Center or the charity of your choice.

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