Robert Friel, Captain
Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire
Hired: 01/11/1954
Retired Passing Member: 05/08/2017
Years In Service: 42

FRIEL ROBERT P. “JAKE” On Monday, May 8, 2017, passed following a prolonged illness. Robert was born on January 15, 1931, to Robert and Emily in Pittsburgh, PA.  With a strong call to duty he enlisted in the armed forces at the tender age of 16, and went on to serve in both the United States Army and Navy. He extended that call of duty to his civilian life by becoming a fire fighter with the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire. His distinguished 42 year career saw him rise to the rank of Captain. He passionately studied the art of Judo, attaining the rank of sandan (third degree black belt), and passed his knowledge on to Judo students of all ages, for 20 years, through his Judo school. Robert then took to the road and embarked on a second passion of running at the age of 55, competing in 25 marathons (including three Boston) and countless other races, as a member of Hot Harry’s Running Club, and his own elite group of black-sock runners. Seeking new challenges he enrolled in college at the age of 68, earning an A.S. and becoming an activities director at nursing homes. His legacy of tireless work, expanding his horizons, and serving his community stands as an inspiration to all who knew and loved him.