Friends of Glenn Frick are invited to celebrate his life on Saturday June 21 at Eaglecrest Lodge beginning at 1:00pm with a friendly walk. The ceremony is at 4:00 with a potluck and music until, friends say, even Glenn, whose endurance was legendary, would call it quits. The Juneau builder, husband, father of five, grandfather of ten, runner, skier and all around mountain goat of an athlete, died March 7 at Virginia Mason hospital in Seattle shortly after being diagnosed with lung cancer. He was 75.
The slight, wiry and some would say Paul Newman’s brother look-alike with a dry sense of humor and generous heart was a familiar figure to the Juneau sporting scene for decades from coaching youth baseball to winning the Juneau marathon three times, including a 2:42:27 at 48. Glenn was the only person to run every Klondike relay from 1983-2013, was on winning teams six times and a founder of the Smokin’ Ole Geezers champion masters team. He ran his first ultra-marathon at 72.
Glenn downplayed his achievements by highlighting humorous mishaps and successes of his many protégées. He left fellow trail runners wondering if he was joking or serious, and asking themselves how can a guy twenty years older than us run so hard and still be talking?
In the years before running was popular, Glenn and his brother Keene ran after work. “They’d run to the glacier and back in jeans and Juneau boots,” wife Julie said. When a car passed they walked, so drivers wouldn’t think they were running from or after anyone.
Glenn Bruce Frick was born Oct. 27, 1938 in Colebrook NH to Keene, a Boston Marathon runner, and Eva Frick. In 1945 the family moved west, working as migrant farm workers before buying a small farm in Forest Grove OR. Glenn graduated from Forest Grove High (where he was a champion wrestler) in 1957 and joined brother Keene working in the Sitka pulp mill. He met Julianne Boskoffsky in Sitka and they were married in Las Vegas April 3, 1960. They moved to Juneau where Glenn worked for Triplette and Trucano construction companies, Don Abel, co-owned Perseverance Glass, and was a contractor.
“He worked so much when he was young that he had a second childhood with our five kids,” Julie said. He coached youth soccer and Little League, Major League and American Legion baseball. Daughter Sondra was among the first girls to play. He volunteered at cross-country meets and Nordic races and was still skiing a few weeks before he died.
Glenn hunted grouse and helped Julie garden and berry pick. They watched spring training baseball games in Florida and Arizona on annual trips south that Glenn also used to re-connect with family. In the fall, he harvested hazelnuts on the Forest Grove farm, where he made a regulation baseball field. His ashes will be scattered there and the Juneau Ridge.
Glenn gave his companions on adventures and misadventures membership in the Dumb S**t Running Club (DSRC), formed in1981 after taking son Kenny and two friends to Dawson City’s Midnight Dome Race. They arrived in time for what Glenn thought was a midnight start, turned out Midnight Dome was the name of the mountain. The four ran the trail anyway. Steve Davis was there and said, “What Glenn really wanted the DSRC to represent is the admission of our own frail and fallible humanity: We make mistakes, we suffer disappointments, and things don’t always go as planned. But we laugh about it and go on…Most importantly we should cherish all the people that come along with us for the ride.”
Glenn leaves wife Julie of Juneau, children and grandchildren Sondra (Eric) Eckhoff of Aurora Co. (Hans and Anna), Debra (Nick) Hall of Great Falls (Samantha, Allyssa), Denny Frick of Seattle (Tanner, Caleb, and Brenna), Kenny Frick in South Dakota (Kiana, Gabe, Danielle), and Jeff Frick of Juneau; siblings Keene Frick, Sue Wright, Sonja Kimmell, Audrey Griffin, and Marion Baker. Share memories at Glenfrick.com.