Fridrich & Clark chairman dies at 80

Former VU athlete founded real estate brokerage, insurance agency

Gerald D. “Jerry” Fridrich, who created insurance and real estate firms that have been Nashville successes for more than 60 years, died Sunday. He was 80.

Soon after graduating from Vanderbilt in 1955, Fridrich established the Donnelly & Fridrich Insurance Co. with his cousin, Skipper Donnelly. The company grew and became Fridrich, Pinson and Rothberg Insurance Agency, with Fridrich as chairman. He also entered the real estate business with the creation of Fridrich & Hooper Realtors in 1967. The firm is now Fridrich & Clark and is home to more than 120 agents, and also had been chaired by Fridrich.

The firms have been recognized for their innovations in technology and customer service, which have made them among the leading insurance and real estate firms in their market. Today, the two firms combined employ more than 180 individuals.

A native of Washington, Ind., Fridrich came to Nashville in 1951 to attend Vanderbilt. He earned a scholarship to play basketball for the Commodores from 1952 to 1955 and also played on the Vanderbilt baseball team. There he met his wife, Barbara White Fridrich, and they were married for 53 years prior to her death. Active in the Catholic community here, he was a parishioner of St. Henry Catholic Church and was involved in a variety of programs for the parish throughout his life there.

Fridrich is survived by his son, Steve (Phyllis) and their children Sloan, Ella and Steven; his son, Howard and his daughter Kristin (Robbie) King and his great grandson, Rowe; his daughter, Lisa (Chip) Grayson of Memphis and their children, Shelley, Virginia and John; and his son, Chip (Heather) and their children Hannah, Dowden and Lewis. He is also survived by his sister, Jackie Grannan of Washington, Ind. The family also wants to honor the friendship and love that Jerry enjoyed with Mary Virginia Williams.

Visitation with the family will take place on Wednesday, June 26 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Saint Henry Catholic Church at 6401 Harding Road. A funeral mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on June 27, also at Saint Henry.

Memorials can be made to The Room in the Inn, P.O. Box 25309, Nashville 37202 or to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee (in care of the Barbara White Fridrich Charitable Fund), 3833 Cleghorn Ave., Suite 400, Nashville 37215.