John David Frechette, retired labor relations director of Owens-Illinois who played professional football for the Green Bay Packers and the former Boston Patriots, died July 29 in Avow Hospice, Naples, Fla. He was 71.
His wife, Patricia Frechette, said he died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about four years ago, she said.
Mr. Frechette worked for Owens-Illinois from 1975 to 2000.
He began as labor relations representative in the company’s corporate relations department. He was director of personnel and regional sales manager for the glass manager’s Kimble Division from 1979 to 1985.
In 1985, he was promoted to vice president and director of human resources for the forest products group, where he was responsible for all personnel and labor relations programs in the division
He later added director of personnel for O-I’s plastic container and closure operations to his duties.
He held the position of vice president and director of labor relations from 1992 until he retired in 2000. He was president of the industry group Glass Container Industrial Relations Council.
Mrs. Frechette said her husband loved working in labor relations for the glass maker.
“He said every day that he was excited to go to work. He loved it. He defined it as getting ready for a football game when he was doing labor relations contracts,” she said.
The Frechettes and their family lived in Ottawa Hills, and moved to Stone Oak in Springfield Township after he retired. The couple relocated 11 years ago to Mashpee, Mass., and spent winters in Naples.
Mr. Frechette also served on the board of trustees of the Medical College of Ohio, which is now the University of Toledo Medical Center, during the late 1990s.
He was on the board of the Toledo Cultural Arts Center.
Prior to O-I, he worked for Roadway Express, Inc. for two years. He had also been assistant director of labor relations for Anchor Motor Freight in Washington and served with the food production division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
He was born on Dec. 19, 1942 in Waltham, Mass. He attended Waltham High School and Hebron Academy in Maine, and played football for both schools.
At Boston College, he played tackle on the football squad, and was picked by the Boston Patriots in the 11th round of the 1965 American Football League draft.
He was on the Patriot’s team for one year in the 1965-66 season. He went to Green Bay the next year and played behind All-Pro guard Jerry Kramer and Fuzzy Thurston, who were mainstays on the Packers best teams. His coach was the legendary Vince Lombardi.
“He loved the Packers. He loved Vince Lombardi. Our kids were raised with Vince Lombardi quotes,” Mrs. Frechette said.
Surviving are his wife, Patricia; sons, Sean and Josh Frechette; daughter, Jule Frechette; two grandsons; and brother, Terrance Frechette.
The funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 23 in St. Julia Catholic Church, Weston, Mass.
The family suggests tributes to the Alzheimer‘s Support Network, Naples; Boston College Flynn Fund, Chestnut Hill, Mass., or Hebron Academy, Hebron, Maine.
Contact Mark Reiter at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6199.
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