Michael “Mike” Arthur Fries age 65, passed away peacefully Sunday, March 15, 2020 in his home in Cape Coral, Florida after a courageous battle with cancer. He was born December 17, 1954 in Norwalk, Ohio to Donald Edward and Ida M. (Phillips) Fries. He graduated from Norwalk St. Paul High School in 1973.
Mike lived in Denver, Colorado for 33 years. He owned and operated Cleaning by Mike’s for many years before retiring to Cape Coral, Florida in 2017. Mike was a hardworking, dedicated, fun loving, happy gentleman with many hobbies. Mike lived life to the absolute fullest. Mike’s love for people and sense of adventure took his travels all over the US, Mexico, Bahamas, Caribbean and Europe. His favorite spots were St. Thomas, Key West, Haceta Lighthouse and his beloved trip to Germany. Mike’s great interest for music took him to venues around the US to see artists from all genres. Watching the Ohio State Band and his nephew Alex perform music were some of his favorites. He was passionate about sports and sporting events, he especially loved catching an event that his nieces or nephews were participating in. He enjoyed hiking, rafting, mountain biking and skiing in the Rockies. His favorite place to be was the beach. He was an avid sports fan and was a loyal Ohio State Buckeye and St. Paul Flyer. He enjoyed watching his Colorado sports teams as well as the Florida Gators. A favorite pastime was to gather friends or family for a sports outing at stadiums across the country. In retirement, Mike was introduced to gardening and birding by his dear neighbor, Vera. He had a garden with numerous tropical plants, however, his orchids blooming brought him the most pride.
Mike’s contagious laugh and bright smile brought great joy to so many. He never met a stranger. He was caring, giving and most of all loving of his family and friends. Attending the many events of his family over the years brought him great joy and pride.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Donald (2007) and Ida (2006), his brother Joseph (2019), a niece Penny (Fries) Baker (2014) and several aunts and uncles.
Mike is survived by his partner in life of 28 years, Brian A. Johnson. His niece and Goddaughter, Molly (Robert) Galbraith, with whom he shared a special bond, along with her children Ryan, Lauren and Emily (Goddaughter) of Cranberry Township, Pa. Siblings, Bernard (Karen) of Huron, Ohio; Thomas (Linda) and Kenneth (Carol) both of Norwalk, Ohio and sister Mary Niedzwiecki of Delray Beach, Florida. A maternal uncle, Norbert (Gail) Phillips and Paternal aunt, Dolores Phillips. Nieces: Sheri Glenamen, Megan (Matt) Meisler, Sarah Fries, Bethany (David) Reiber, Abigail (Timothy) Wise, Emily (Kyle) Sommer, Lisa (Gary) Meosky, Nicole Bond, Amy (Greg) Smith and Dallas (Jeffrey) Walsh. Nephews: Jeffrey (Lisa), Joel (Stacie), Aaron (Sarah), Eric and Alex (Luyang) Fries and Michael and Daniel Niedzwiecki. 30 great nieces/nephews and 2 great-great nephews and 1 great-great niece. Mike had many friends that he considered family and loved dearly.
Per his wishes, A Celebration of Life ceremony will be held at a future date in his hometown, Norwalk, Ohio and a scattering of ashes will be conducted in his favorite places that he visited through the years.
During Mike’s treatment he befriended his nurses, doctors and staff at the Cancer Center in Fort Myers and was forever grateful for their compassion and care. Please consider sending memorial contributions in Mike’s memory to The Hope Hospice Center at Hope Hospice Development Department, 9470 HealthPark Circle Cape Coral, Florida 33908 or Denver Health & Hospital Authority/Center For Positive Health at 605 Bannock St Denver, CO 80204.
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