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Obituary: John A. Frey

John A. Frey, “Aaron”, 98, of North Branford, formerly of Orange, beloved husband of the late Mildred Frey, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on July 13, 2019.  Born on December 21, 1920 in Hagerstown, MD, he was the son of the late John E. and Effie Frey.

As a young child Aaron and his family moved to Abbottstown Pennsylvania, where he grew up on a farm and attended elementary and high school.  After graduating high school, he moved to Connecticut to work for his Uncle Paul Hershey’s manufacturing business and attend University of New Haven junior college.  Aaron served in the US Army from 1944-1946 as a member of the 3rd Armored Division.  He was a part of the “spearhead in the west” allied movement through Europe in the later stages of the war.

After the war, Aaron attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) where he graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.  Aaron held various positions of increasing responsibility with Hershey Metal Products, eventually taking over ownership and presidency of the company until his retirement in 1993.  He was a co-owner or shareholder of several other local companies as well.  He was president of the Precision Metal Products Association (PMPA), a national industry trade association.  Among other association involvements, he was a board member at Griffin Hospital and Housatonic Bank, as well as a Trustee of The University of New Haven.

Aaron and his wife Mildred were generous supporters of a variety of local charities.  An active philanthropist, he established The Frey-Hershey foundation, presently a part of the Valley Community foundation.  He also established a scholarship fund for the benefit of University of New Haven engineering students from the Valley.  In 2010 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree from the University of New Haven.

Aaron was a resident of Orange, Connecticut for nearly 60 years, before moving to Evergreen Woods in North Branford in his later years.  A devoted Husband, Father, and Grandfather, he loved spending time with his family and friends.  Aaron was an avid golfer, a longtime member of New Haven Country Club, and a co-founder of Diamondback Country Club in Haines City Florida.  When not on the golf course, you could find him tending to his vegetable garden or on the sidelines cheering for his Grandson’s sports teams.

Aaron is lovingly remembered by his daughter, Jane Frey-Gudjohnsen; son-in-law, Einar Gudjohnsen; grandsons, Joshua and Jonathan; and many nieces and nephews.  Aaron is predeceased by his siblings, Ethel Klunk, Catherine Bartholomew, Effie Dolan, Lee, Horace, Clark, Warren, William, and Philip Frey.

Aaron’s family would like to extend a special thank-you to the nurses and care givers who provided loving care and support for him.

A Funeral Service was celebrated on July 19 at the Cody-White Funeral Home, 107 Broad Street, Milford.  Interment with military honors followed at Orange Center Cemetery, Orange Center Road, Orange.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to:  The First Tee (, Morris Animal Foundation (, or The Alzheimer’s Association (  To leave condolences, please visit our website at

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