Lawrence W. Friel, Jr., age 87, of Lancaster, died Monday, July 8, 2019 at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus. Born October 21, 1931 in Princeton, New Jersey, to the late Lawrence W. Friel, Sr., and Madalena Friel. He is survived by his beloved wife, Nancy; his sons, Lawrence W. Friel, III and Peter R. Friel; his daughters by marriage, Tammy (Bryan) Haft and Leslie Murgul; grandchildren, Richard (Amy), Charlie, and Ellie; and great-grandchildren, Angelo, Sophia, Carmine, and Bradley. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Jean in 1980, and five brothers.
Mr. Friel was an outstanding athlete in three sports and earned all-state recognition. He attended The Ohio State University and participated in the varsity football program under coaches Wes Fesler and Woody Hayes. He graduated with honors in 1953, then entered military service and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. His service included the Korean War and he ended his last year of service as the Company Commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Co. Combat Command “B”, 3rd Armored Division. His decorations include the Korean War medal and the National Defense Service medal.
Following the service, he attended both the Law and graduate business colleges at Temple University while employed by the John W. Galbreath Co. at Fairless Hills, PA. He progressed in that company to become the President of Galbreath International and Senior Executive Vice President International of the Galbreath Ruffin Corp., New York City. As director of the international group, he supervised (in 1966) as project General Manager, the development of Mei Foo Sun Chuen project in Hong Kong, a joint venture with Mobil Oil Corp. and the largest and first condominium project in the Far East at that time. Other major projects in Hong Kong included a joint venture with the Caltex Company for a major high rise condo development at Tsuen Wan (Riviera Gardens). Mr. Friel led the venture’s team that negotiated the conditions and terms of lease with the Hong Kong government for the development site. Other projects of note were developed in Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Far and Middle East. He established and incorporated Friel & Associates International in 1972 which participated as a partner with the Galbreath group on various international projects. In the U.S., he was the president of Peakview Corporation and the majority owner and managing partner in major apartment, condominium, and commercial ventures located in the Columbus, Dayton, and San Francisco areas.
Mr. Friel was a major Thoroughbred breeder and owner. He was a past director of the Ohio Thoroughbred Breeder and Owners Association. He was a life member of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, The American Club of Hong Kong, and the British Hong Kong Club. In Columbus, he was a past member of the Columbus Rotary Club, The Columbus Club, The Columbus Athletic Club, and a benefactor of the Salesian Center.
Friends may visit 2-4 & 6-8 pm Thursday at the DWAYNE R. SPENCE FUNERAL HOME, 650 W. Waterloo St., Canal Winchester. Funeral Mass will be 10:30 am Friday at St. Mark’s Catholic Church, 324 Gay St., Lancaster, with Fr. Peter Gideon, Celebrant. Interment Franklin Hills Memory Gardens.
Friends who wish may contribute to the American Cancer Society or St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in his memory.