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Councilman Frauenholz, 63, dies following heart attack

Tawnya Panizzi
| Thursday, Oct. 10, 2002

O'HARA: Councilman Joe Frauenholz, sometimes obstinate and always outspoken, died Monday at the age of 63 after suffering a heart attack.

Frauenholz, who served briefly on council in 1992 and was reelected in Nov. 2001, died doing what he loved most, hunting on his Saxonburg Boulevard property.

"That was one of his favorite pastimes," said his son, Joe, Jr. "Even after his stroke we couldn't keep him from it."

Active not only in local government but also in the community, Frauenholz was a member of the O'Hara AARP, St. Joseph Seniors and the Sheet Metal Workers Local 12.

He will perhaps be best remembered as a watchdog for the citizens of the community.

"He did what was right, no matter if it meant stepping on someone's toes," said long-time friend Al Abramovic. "He didn't do it for himself, he wanted things done right here. If you said to him that someone was burning garbage or something else illegal, he'd always look it up in his book and make sure what the laws were."

Even before his brief stint on council, Frauenholz kept abreast of neighborhood issues and tried to right the wrongs where he could, according to his son. For example, Frauenholz and his wife, Mary Ann, spearheaded a project to construct a traffic light at the heavily-traveled and often dangerous intersection of Powers Run and Freeport roads.

"He took up a petition and worked with (state Sen. Leonard) Bodack to get that thing passed," Joe, Jr. said.

That diligence only built more momentum once he was elected in November to a four-year term. Going against the grain didn't bother Frauenholz, a retired structural steel engineer. In fact, many said it may have been what most motivated his political career.

"He was the opposite vote most of the time," Joe, Jr. said. "Even so, I found that a lot of people agreed with him. I don't mean to diminish the others on council because they have a common goal of bettering the township. But he really was a champion of the people.

"If I had to say one thing about him, it was what a difference he made."

Volunteerism was a trait that he inspired in both his wife, a member of the township's auxiliary police and his son, a member of the parks commission.

"I wouldn't be involved in these things if not for him," Joe, Jr. said.

Outside of his stern political demeanor, friends remembered Frauenholz as a good-natured helper, one who was always willing to lend a hand.

"He was always pitching in, anything you needed help with," said Norma Iasella, a neighbor for 40 years. "He's been a good friend."

Abramovic reiterated that description.

"If you needed a lawnmower fixed, he'd sharpen the blades," Abramovic said. "He helped at the church (St. Joe) and at the AARPs. Any affair we had here, he was always working doing any little thing.

"He was down to earth. He went hunting and fishing and rode in a canoe with his wife. He didn't put on airs."

True to form, Joe, Jr. said his father's latest hobby was trailing about his property on a new ATV.

"He believed in good. He had stern beliefs on how to accomplish things, but I'm sure he will be missed by everyone," Joe, Jr. said.

"Even the people he didn't see eye to eye with."

At Tuesday's council meeting, Frauenholz's place at the council table was marked by a flower adorned with a black ribbon. His son attended the meeting and thanked council for that gesture and also for allowing his father to be part of township government. The younger Frauenholz referred to politics and government as his father's "greatest passion" along with hunting.

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