Frederick “Fritz” W. Giesin, Jr., age 89, died peacefully at home on Sunday January 9, 2022. Born in Oceanside, New York, Fritz was the son of Frederick William Giesin, Sr. and Elizabeth (Ruh) Giesin, both of Müllheim, Germany. Fritz grew up on Long Island and received his Associates degree from the New York State Institute of Arts and Sciences in Brooklyn. Fritz joined the Navy in 1951, trained as an electronics technician, and sailed on the USS Eaton.
Fritz met his true love Alicia Rodriguez Diez de Andino while he was in the Navy and stationed in Puerto Rico. They married on Christmas Eve in Puerto Rico in 1955 and moved to New Hampshire to live with Fritz’s father and mother. Shortly thereafter, they moved Belmont, Massachusetts, for about two years, and finally moved in 1958 to their current home in Framingham.
Fritz worked his entire life for IBM. In 1957, he was called in to maintain the computing machines used to track the Soviet Sputnik satellite. But by far, his favorite project was development of the IBM PC. He loved having the children visit his lab in the early 1970s and play a simplistic moon landing game on a monochrome monitor using keys to move the cursor. Old school, indeed! Fritz retired from IBM when they closed the Cambridge Science Center.
Fritz and Alicia raised six children while he worked and traveled extensively for IBM. During this time, they traveled often with their children. One particularly memorable trip was a two-month cross-country drive with all six kids in a van pulling a tent trailer and Alicia running the handheld movie camera. In later years, Fritz and Alicia frequently drove their RV to Washington State to visit their daughter’s family, Florida to see his son, and elsewhere just to see more of the USA.
Fritz did so much to help others experience life and grow as responsible humans. He was a Boy Scout leader for Troop 78, which included his sons Karl and Bob and his daughter Linda (to the great consternation of several adults). He orchestrated a mind-blowing 10-day canoe trip down the Allagash River in Maine that included a daughter, son, and son-in-law and his father and brother. Fritz and Alicia took the family on an incredible one-month vacation to Germany in 1980 to visit relatives and attend the Passion Play in Oberamergau.
Fritz regularly took his mom to church choir practice. Eventually, they invited him to join the group and he developed many strong friendships. Singing with the choir became one of his passions for the rest of his life. His signature Ave Maria was truly inspiring.
Fritz was a passionate fan of every Boston team – even during the lean times. Although he loved every team, Fritz had a special fondness for the New England Revolution soccer team. His son Fred brought him to most home games and – if you ever attended – Fritz was the one in the stands who loudly sang the national anthem and rang his special cowbell after every goal. You can imagine his colorful reaction when they once tried to take the bell away.
Fritz was predeceased by his wife Alicia in 2013 and his daughter Linda in 2015. Fritz is survived by five children: Mary, wife of Michael Fayer of Richland, Washington, and their three children, Jarrett, Brandon, and Trevor; Fred Giesin III and his wife Rosana of Framingham; Karl Giesin, his partner Denise Urcioula and his daughter Jamie Capperes of Sharpville PA ; Robert Giesin of Framingham; Patty and her husband, Leif Ekholm, of St. John, US Virgin Islands; and numerous great grandchildren, step children, students, interns, choir members, and just darn good friends and neighbors.
Visiting hours will be held on Sunday, January 16, 2022, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm at the Slattery Funeral Home, Inc., 40 Pleasant St., Marlborough MA 01752. A funeral Mass and celebration event will be held sometime this summer.
Donations may be made to Doctors Without Borders USA, 40 Rector St., 16th Floor, New York, NY 10006 (https://donate.doctorswithoutborders.org/secure/donate).
Doctors Without Borders, USA
P.O. Box 5030, Hagerstown MD 21741