John David Friling, 77

John David Friling, 77, of Ocean View, Del., formerly of Downingtown, Pa., passed away suddenly on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017.

Friling graduated from Frenchtown High School, where he played football. He went on to Gettysburg College, where he met some of his lifelong friends. Friling was a proud member of Phi Kappa Psi, whose mayhem, he insisted, rivaled that of Delta Tau Chi from “Animal House.” Upon graduation in 1962, Friling spent a brief time in teaching before settling on a career in insurance sales, with his longest tenure at Allstate Insurance.

Friling enjoyed fishing, hunting and golfing. One thing he looked forward to more than anything was heading to “The Camp” for a week each November to hunt deer and bond with his buddies. He also took trips out to Montana simply to fly-fish. In more recent years, Friling would look forward to his daily 4 p.m. gathering in “the park” with neighborhood comrades, where they would enjoy the warm sun on their faces with a drink in their hands.

Over the years, Friling had six beloved dogs; four Westies (Cutty, Sark, Buffy and Maggie) and two Brittany spaniels (Lady and Sugar, who were both trained bird dogs). Friling loved getting his hands dirty. He grew fresh vegetables in the garden each year, enjoyed working with his tools and even planted Christmas trees in the yard, which are now more than 20 feet tall. He was a man truly rooted at home.

Friling was like an onion — he had many layers. Anyone who knew him well knew he was frugal (he bought generic brands before that was a term). He was a humble man who lived simply — no flashy cars or namebrand anything. But most importantly, at his core, Friling was loyal to his most beloved friends and family.

Friling was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Margaret Friling. He is survived by his son, Jim Friling and his wife, Alexis; daughter, Katie Hadzor, her husband, Paul, and their children, Pierce, Riley and Reese; his sister, Jane Meyers of Naples, Fla.; and his beloved Westie Maggie (who has been adopted by his son, Jim).

Per his demand (and Friling literally put in writing that he would haunt the family if they didn’t follow through), his ashes will be spread at two of his favorite locations. Those wishing to honor Friling can make a memorial donation to the ASPCA at Condolences may be sent online at