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Jeffery Frohlich

At the Food Bank, we live by the mantra “what you do matters.” It matters to us and to our neighbors in need throughout Northern Illinois. Each and every person helps us work toward solving hunger, and has an impact on our community. Sometimes the impact goes far beyond what we might see.

Recently, Marianne—a valued member of our Food Bank family for more than ten years and trusted CDL driver—shared an inspiring story about her late brother-in-law, Jeffery Frohlich. Today, we’d like to share Jeffery’s story with you, in honor of the legacy he left behind and the impact he had on so many lives.

By all accounts, Jeffery was a man of many interests. He loved sports and was a huge fan of the Chicago Cubs. He enjoyed going to all the newest restaurants, watching cooking shows, and attending performances at the Paramount Theatre (where he was also a board member). He traveled extensively, visiting places like Ireland, Mexico, Greece, Italy, and—his ultimate favorite—the Dominican Republic.

He was passionate about his job working at Wells Fargo as Associate Vice President of Investments, where his role was steeped in helping improve the financial futures of many people. Perhaps more than anything else, he loved his family. He spent countless hours with his mother, Dolores, his four brothers and their families, and his beloved pug Trixie, who he referred to as “Sweetie.”

From personal to professional life, work to play and everywhere in between, Jeffery gave himself wholeheartedly to all aspects of his life.

The Food Bank first crossed paths with this remarkable man thanks to Marianne.

“The last few months when he was in the nursing home, I’d go there every day after work,” Marianne shares. “And he’d say, ‘So, where’d you go today, Mares?’ That was always our first discussion. He was curious about what I did on a daily basis, what the Food Bank was up to—even before he got sick.”

After Jeffery passed away at age 64 in December 2017 following a courageous years-long battle with cancer, it wasn’t long after that his will revealed he’d chosen to leave behind a gift in memoriam to the Food Bank.

Dolores, Jeffery’s mother, shares that their family had no idea he planned to leave a gift to the Food Bank. And that gift wasn’t the extent of his generosity—several other organizations benefited as well, including St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Brookfield Zoo, WTTW Channel 11 News, and Hesed House in Aurora.

“[I was] surprised, yes, maybe a little,” Marianne says, referring to Jeffery’s decision to remember the Food Bank in particular. “But humbled, more—that he felt enough to leave us that [gift].”

“He was very special,” his mother reminisced when we spoke with her, “and we miss him terribly.”

Jeffery left behind a legacy not only for his family and friends, but also for the many organizations he gave to—of which the Food Bank is honored to be included among. His compassion and generosity will have a powerful impact on the lives of the more than half a million people we serve each year.

We’re so grateful to Jeffery, and humbled by his contribution to help us solve hunger in Northern Illinois.

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