Obituary of Kenneth Walter “Fido” Friedell
Born 2-25-1943 and passed away on 2-6-2019
Kenneth Walter “Fido” Friedell, 75, passed away after he fell in his Bacliff home early Wednesday morning, February 6, 2019. When he could not stand on his own, and his wife Marianne could not lift him, EMS was called for help. Unbeknownst to his wife, he passed away before help could arrive. He fought a long, arduous battle with face and neck cancer that was diagnosed early in 2017. After a 15 ½ hour surgery in May of 2017, with three teams removing the cancer and reconstructing his jaw with a bone from his leg, he went to several rehab facilities before returning home in the fall. Although the teams removed his teeth and all of the cancer in the surgery, he still underwent 30 radiation treatments to catch any straggler cancer cells. After the radiation, he remained cancer free for about a year until the cancer returned in his bone in the same jaw area as before. His ENT informed him that since this was a fast growing cancer, he would never go into remission, but he could only slow the cancer down. The danger was always that the cancer would travel down to his lungs (his father-in-law, Foley Provenzano died a painful death with lung cancer in 2014). Fido elected to have 3 harsh chemotherapies to shrink his cancer. The oncologist was amazed at his progress when he completed the first chemo cycle and told him to take a much deserved break so his body could try and recover. Fido was to return to his oncologist’s office in 3 weeks to start maintenance chemotherapy to hopefully keep his cancer from multiplying any further. However, the doctor was overbooked and Fido couldn’t get an appointment until 5 weeks later.
In those 5 weeks the cancer spread at an alarming rate. His oncologist changed Fido to an immunotherapy (Opdivo) that instead of stimulating his own immune system to fight his cancer, the cancer grew and burst into a wound on the outside of his face that continued to progressively worsen until a huge hole opened up on his chin. His oncologist ordered home health for his wound care. His nurse, Gladys, has a special place in heaven waiting for her. She was absolutely amazing! Before his fight was over, he required wound care at least 3 times a day. Since home health only came one time twice a week, his wife, Marianne learned the special techniques for proper wound care and did it when Gladys wasn’t there.
Because Opdivo did not work, Fido elected to go back on harsh chemotherapies again to shrink the cancer and try and get it back under control. His body was breaking down quickly and he lost 80 lbs. He tried Opdivo again and his cancer continued to grow. A fluke blood test caused the doctor to suspend his treatment.
While waiting for results of a molecular study (2-3 weeks turned into 3 months) to try a new drug (NRTK inhibitor), he fell at home in the bath room. His two oldest daughters from Ohio (Tammy Wallace), and Austin, Tx. (Cindy Haenel) were set to visit him the next day. He was very much looking forward to their visit as well as a visit from some good friends from his home bible study group (Steve Forgus and Chad Greenough).
His children who live locally (Wayne and Sharon) visited and assisted him often either in the hospital (5 stays during the last year of his life) or at his home even though they had full-time professions and children of their own.
Fido was an only child born to Walter and Christina Friedell on February 25, 1943. He lived his entire life in Texas (mostly in Luling, Alvin, Dickinson and Bacliff). He married his first wife, Mary, at age 19, and had 4 children (Tammy, Cindy, Wayne and Sharon). He was especially proud of all of his children’s accomplishments. All of his children became lifelong learners and succeeded in their chosen professions (A nurse-RN, a chef, a pool builder among other jobs in spare time, and a middle school teacher). In the final two years of his life, all of his family came and visited often and offered assistance to their dad and their stepmother, Marianne, for the things he could no longer do on his own. His children’s voluntary assistance will be treasured forever by his wife, Marianne.
Fido was a carpenter by trade, but had a diverse background in other job fields (most notable as a milkman) until he chose carpentry as his life-long profession. He began working as a carpenter for a local carpentry union and finally settled into the maintenance departments at chemical plants. After working all day, he would shingle roofs in his spare time. When he passed by those homes and businesses in later years he would proudly point to the roofs that he installed over the years. There was nothing he could not do through trial and error and was a great “honey do” man at home. When he was 54 years old, the chemical plant (Bayer) in South Houston closed down, and he was forced to look elsewhere for a job. He settled on working for TxDot in the maintenance department (doing everything from spraying weeds to carpentry work) until he retired.
Everyone always wondered how he got his nickname of “Fido.” On one of the first days at one of his jobs, a man trying to get the new guy’s attention yelled out, “Hey Fi” (he couldn’t remember his last name) and another person replied, “dough.” His nickname was born. It became his CB handle, and everyone including Marianne’s parents referred to him as “Fido.” No one but acquaintences, except maybe his family from his younger days who referred to him as “Kenny,” called him anything but “Fido.” His wife, Marianne, also picked up the habit of referring to herself as “Fidette.” So, it was “Fido and Fidette.”
Fido enjoyed bowling, fishing, hunting, gambling ($20.00 limit for the day) and camping. He met his second wife, Marianne, at the Alvin Bowling Alley. He had many lifelong friends that enjoyed his passions and continued them with him. In later years he especially loved to deer hunt with his father-in-law, Foley Provenzano, and his friend Richie Goodridge. Earlier in his life he hunted with many others including Rudy Sandoval. He designed and built deer stands that were so sturdy that they lasted for years. He loved going to small-group weekly bible study meetings at various homes of the members (Steve and Bev Forgus, Chad Greenough, Toni Riggin and her fiancé, Marty, Laura Skogland, and a host of other members. His dog, Nate, would also go to be with his other dog friend, Angel (Bev and Steve’s dog).
Fido also loved picking up treasures on the side of the road. He probably had 200 ball caps and about ½ of them were found. His wife of 40 years, Marianne, always worried about his safety when ventured on the highway to collect something “shiny” he saw in the middle of the road. One time Marianne lost a lid to one of their coolers and she was going to discard the cooler. He told her to keep the cooler because he would find a lid on the side of the road to fit it. And he did! He would literally back up on a road to pick up something that interested him. He also stopped to pick up what he thought was a pretty vase one night that turned out to be a bong. It was quickly discarded. He would never go and buy parts to replace broken things at home, he would use something he already had to fix it.
Kenneth Walter “Fido” Friedell was preceded in death by his parents, Christina Schutz and Walter Friedell. He is survived by his wife, Marianne, and his four children: Tammy Lynn Wallace (married to Bob), Cindy Haenel (married to Ken), Kenneth “Wayne” Friedell, and Sharon Christy Friedell. He had seven grandchildren: Brandie, Justin, Chad, Farren, Alysta, Jessa and Skylar and three great grandchildren: Jason, Chloe, and Christian.
Marianne’s family was his family. His father-in-law, Foley Provenzano, was one of his best friends. They were so much alike that everyone called Fido a Foley-clone. Foley’s wife Pat, Marianne’s brothers and sisters (Michael, Mark, Melissa, Matt, and Marci and their spouses and children) were all close. Marianne’s family offered so much support over the years. Marianne is so grateful to have such a wonderful family that is always there. They came after the flood and cleaned out the house in Dickinson, pulled up carpet, and cut out all the sheet rock. What an amazing group!
Fido made friends wherever he went: neighbors became his friends, workmates became his friends, bank employees at BBVA Compass became his friends, the Kroger pharmacy staff became his friends, etc. If he met you and interacted with you more than once, then you were his friend AND he would help you with whatever you needed—moving, putting up your fence, carpenter jobs, etc. He probably picked up stuff on the side of the road with YOU in mind. He will be greatly missed by his family and all of his friends.
Fido’s dog, Nate, is absolutely devastated and despondent since his daddy’s death. They were best buds. In his final days, Nate would sit on his daddy’s lap and keep him company. Nate barely eats and sits on the back porch and stares at the garage door waiting for his daddy to come home. The last time his daddy came home from the hospital, he came through the door he stares at all day. Nate is still hoping his daddy is coming home.
Fido was a unique God-loving man that will be missed by all that ever met him. Thankfully, he is home with his parents and Marianne’s dad, and many other family and friends. Most recently his next door neighbor, Jim, passed away on Christmas day. Fido spent a lot of time with his older next door neighbor doing odd jobs for him and sitting in his garage every evening with a cold beverage. His survivors are happy that Fido and Jim no longer suffer and they live in heaven.
A memorial walk-thru will be forthcoming in late April or May on a Saturday in Fido and Marianne’s Dickinson home. A specific date and more details will be forthcoming in future correspondence on this personal web page dedicated to Fido from Crowder Funeral Home. Please leave your condolences and messages to Fido and his family and friends on this web page to be memorialized forever. If you have any memories or pictures to share in his memorial walk-thru, send an e-mail to Marianne (firstname.lastname@example.org ) with the memory (photos, etc.) by the end of March. In the e-mail please include any Saturday that you would not be able to attend in April or May of 2019 so that the most desirable date will be chosen. Include your name and relationship to Fido in the correspondence. The memorial will be left up and photographed for those that cannot come on the date specified, but if you want to meet his family members, they will be there on that specific date. Different rooms in the home will be designated to themes of his life (i.e. hobbies, family and friends, his relationship with all of his pets, etc.). You will be given a gift bag that will include many goodies that will forever keep Fido in your heart. Many of his personal belongings will be there for you to choose from and keep.
In lieu of live flowers or potted plants, please make donations in Kenneth Walter “Fido” Friedell’s name to the American Cancer Society.
If you want to send anything to Marianne, please send her mail to:
Bacliff, Tx. 77518
Make sure to send her (1) your name and address, (2)e-mail address if you have one, and (3)phone number (let her know if you have text capabilities). Please include (4) your relationship or how you interacted with Fido. If you send something to Marianne to that address, she will send you a personal invitation for Fido’s walk-thru memorial when the date is chosen.
Here are a few pictures of Fido over the years (many thanks to his kids for finding these):