David Ross

President Ross Funeral Directors Inc.


Marie Therese (Marite) Frieri, (1931) entered into rest Tuesday, July 20th at age 90.

Born in Attine, Lebanon; Marite Frieri was a dedicated mother, activist and academic having earned degrees St. Joseph’s College and Paris-Sorbonne University prior to pursuing doctoral studies and teaching at the University at Buffalo. Marite capped off her academic career as Professor Emeritus of Humanities at Erie Community College. While teaching French and Cultural Anthropology at ECC, Marite developed an international program that attracted students from all over the globe to pursue education and career training at ECC.

Marite began teaching in Tripoli, Lebanon, and later in the Suez Canal zone at a small Catholic school. Fluent in several languages, she later worked with the French Embassy in Beirut, as a translator; moving on to help consummate a number of global business transactions for Brown Boveri, a Swiss multinational corporation.

Arriving in America in 1958, Marite worked briefly at the United Nations, then returned to her passion for teaching at Fox Hollow Women’s School in Lennox, Massachusetts where she

met C. Anthony (Tony) Frieri, her loving and devoted husband of 62 years. She took great pride in being the first female instructor at Williams College, teaching briefly prior to becoming a mother.

Daughters Micheline and Annette are two exceptional women living independently through InTandem (formerly Opportunities Unlimited). Their life inspired Marite’s legacy of more than thirty years of service as a board member and president. No elected official from Niagara County to Albany or even the US Congress was spared Marite’s dogged advocacy on behalf of the staff and administration serving our community of developmentally disabled adults. As a result, she was recipient of several significant awards, primarily from Opportunities Unlimited including: a 2017 Heroes of Niagara Volunteer Award, the Family Caregiver Award (2013), and the Family Recognition Award (2005) all for substantial contributions toward enhancing services for people with disabilities.

In 2006 Marite and Tony were awarded a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition in recognition to their outstanding and invaluable service to the community, and in 2011 Marite received the Town of Niagara Citizen of the Year Award for outstanding leadership and advocacy of program development and services for Opportunities Unlimited. In addition to her board service, she also represented the organization at the state level as a member of the NYSARC Board of Governors, the parent organization of what is now InTandem. She has personally spearheaded every aspect of organizational engagement from strategic planning to organizing golf tournaments, inspiring an untold number of people along the way with her tenacity and kindness.

She is survived by her husband C. Anthony (Tony) Frieri, daughters Micheline and Annette Frieri as well as her nephew Alain and family (Lebanon) and cousin Alfreda (Orlando). She was predeceased by her brother Namdella and sister Johaina Hobeiche. Her many friends, colleagues and students will miss her dearly.

Calling hours are Monday, July 26th from 7-9pm at Hamilton and Clark Funeral Home, 270 Young Street in Wilson, with a memorial service at Noon on Tuesday followed by a graveside burial at North Ridge Cemetery. Memorials will be gratefully accepted by the Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara Foundation, 2393 Niagara Falls Boulevard Niagara Falls, NY 14304-0360 in lieu of flowers.