John W. Frei, 94

John W. Frei
Swiss emigrant and specialist in photo retouching who loved the outdoors

John W. Frei, who lived in Hyde Park for over 60 years, died recently at 94.

He was born in Pura, Switzerland, and later moved with his family to Buochs on Lake Lucerne and Thalwil on Lake Zurich. He earned a technical degree from the School of Applied Arts in Zurich.

While working for the Swiss printing company Conzett & Huber, Frei travelled throughout Europe as a specialist in photo reproduction. He became acquainted with the R.R. Donnelley Co. in Chicago and accepted a job with them in 1955, working as an expert in photo retouching and using advanced computer imaging software to change the appearance of a photo or digital image.

Frei retired in 1991. His favorite pastimes included drawing, painting, travel and the quiet contemplation of nature, with long canoe trips in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota and hiking.

Frei is survived by his wife, Barbara, son Walter (wife Laura) and grandchildren Eva and Alex.