August 10, 1967 – November 1, 2018
Gregory Allan Friss, musician, respiratory therapist and cyclist.
Passed away on Thursday, November 1, 2018 at Adventist Medical Center with his beloved wife, Debra, holding his hand and singing to him one of his favorite spiritual songs.
He was 51. He had bravely battled metastatic prostate cancer for just over a year. He fought with grace and generosity, raising money for cancer research and supporting many online friends also struggling to enjoy every day despite the disease.
Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, he graduated from Classical High School and attended University of Massachusetts Amherst. He moved to California in 1993, met his future wife and married in 1995.
He was the third off our children born to the late Faith L. (Hubbard) Friss and Raymond E. Friss.
Greg worked as a respiratory therapist and supervisor at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno. He was grateful for the colleagues who reached out after his diagnosis, offering support and holding a festive lunch for his birthday in August. Greg (with his brother, Glenn) was an avid fan of Boston sports teams, especially the New England Patriots and the Boston Red Sox, celebrating with Red Sox nation when the team won the World Series this year. He and Debbie also supported and enjoyed their local team, as season ticket holders for the Fresno Grizzlies.
Greg and Debbie were members of The Quest Church in Fresno, where Greg helped set up the sound system. Greg played the drums, one of several instruments which he mastered.
Greg's generous spirit showed itself early. When his little sister, Patti, was heartbroken over a teenage breakup, he handed over his credit card and the keys to his prized Z28 Camaro so she could treat herself to some retail therapy.
Greg was a lifelong learner. He read and researched constantly, which led him to join an online worldwide cycling community and later to participate in several online groups of cancer survivors.
He was grateful to nurses and doctors who cared for him, especially Bryson Cancer Center and Sequoia Regional Cancer Center, Radiation Oncology.
Greg spoke often of his gratitude for Debbie, who was his friend, partner and the love of his life.
- Raymond E. Friss, Father
- Faith L. Friss, Mother
- Debra "Debbie" Jean Friss, Wife
- Gwendolyn Roiter, Sister
- Glenn Friss, Brother
- Patti & Christian Roy, Sister
- Tess Roiter, Niece
- Erica Mitchell, Niece
- Christina Mitchell, Niece
- Nicole Mitchell, Niece
- Davin Roy, Nephew
- Thomas Friss, Nephew
- Andrew Roiter, Nephew
- Gary & Susie Mitchell, Brother-in-law
- Mike Mitchell, Brother-in-law
- Carol & Victor Knybel, Aunt
- He also leaves behind several cousins.
- American Cancer Society
Celebration of Greg's Life
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
6500 Clinton Avenue
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November 8, 2018
Debbie, you are constantly on my mind and in my prayers. I pray for you to get through this difficult time. I feel like I have no right words at this time to heal this pain. I want you to know that we are all here for you. And like I said, you gained little sisters. Greg is a wonderful person and meant so much to me. He started as my supervisor but ended up a friend, and now I consider him family. Spending half our lives with our family and to go to work and spend the 12 plus hours, with your work family, we build a special bond. He was an exceptional leader and was a great mentor. I have so many memories of all the fun we had and there were days when life and work would be overwhelming. He was there to listen and had a huge heart. He was fair and honest. There would be times when we felt like he was being strict, but looking back, he was building us to be professionals and have strong work ethics. I credit him for so much he has taught me. He always was teaching me, literally everything. To the most simplest thing to the most difficult. Greg is so smart in all areas and in everything. His Leadership skills and being fair was main reason I ended up loving to work with him. Always looking out for us and wanting the best for us. I can go on and on. I know I told him how much he meant to me and all of us, and Im glad I did. He shared with me how much he loved you and how regardless what he was going through, he was thinking of you. He is such a beautiful person and so are you. You and him are soulmates and I know God just wanted his angel early. That is what allows me to get through this, because I know he is in good hands and in Heaven.
Greg you're a wonderful person and I am truly blessed to have known you and thank you for so much. You are always going to be in my hearts and forever in my memories. You are home now, resting and at peace. I know you are watching over Debbie. I will miss you so much my friend! Love u and Debbie always!
November 8, 2018
I have such fond memories of Greg when I worked with him at UMC for 7 years. We worked the night shift together. He was a wonderful, supportive coworker and always could make me laugh. Even when I was stressed out.
Debbie, my heart hurts for you. I know how much he loved you. You guys were a great team.
I remember one party at your house. I loved the song “Meet Virginia “ by Train. He had his band learn it so I could get up there and sing it with them. The only problem was, I can’t sing! But he didn’t care. He just wanted to make me happy and that he did.
I haven’t seen him in quite a few years, and hearing of his passing breaks my heart. It feels like it was just yesterday since I’ve seen him.
I will continue to pray for God’s comfort and a sense of peace for you.
Kim Larios Bernthold
November 6, 2018
Debbie, we are very sorry for your loss and you and Greg will remain in our prayers always. We never worried about how Greg was doing because he found such happiness and fulfillment with you and your life together. Most people spend a lifetime searching for a love they never find. Thank you for giving our cousin so much happiness and such a wonderful life he never even imagined. You have an angel watching over you now. With Much Love and Sincere Sympathy, Corrine, Michael and Rich xox