When I moved to Kauai five and a half years ago, one of the first people to reach out, say hello and welcome me, was Joe Frisinger. He and his wife, Jane, invited me and my wife Marianne out to their home for lunch and to meet their neighbors. We were fortunate enough to spend more time with Joe and Jane at their beautiful Princeville home.
When we met them, Jane’s health was failing. She had Alzheimer’s disease and they had an in-home caregiver. She would subsequently succumb to the disease.
Despite the loss of his wife, Joe was and continues to be one of the most gracious, kindest, thoughtful men I have ever known. As my wife was planning a trip to Ireland with her sister, Joe told of his and Jane’s travels there (they loved to travel) and shared many humorous and touching stories of their adventures together with friends and family.
One thing that was clear to us, on our visits, was how much Joe cared for his wife of 54 years. He treated her with love and respect, always. He would tell us, in all those years of marriage, they never had a argument, not one harsh word. Such was their love and admiration for each other.
When Jane passed away on June 19, 2014, Joe was heart-broken. It was a difficult time for him and life without Jane has been without the joy they always shared.
In what is a tribute to his Jane, Joe writes of their life together in his book, “A Perfect Love And a Blessed Life,” as told by Joe Frisinger and written by Lynn Thompson, a fine writer and friend to Joe.
Joe explains it best as to why he wanted to write this book: “I wanted to tell others — especially relatives and other friends that she knew her — more about her life, how very talented and special she was, and also about our life together.”
Joe himself has led an amazing life, did extraordinary things. You would not know this, but he is a humble man who never boasts of himself or his successes. Instead, he points to the successes or achievements of others. And he always did his best to put the spotlight on his wife.
This book is a touching tribute not just to Jane Frisinger, but to Joe Frisinger as well, as we are introduced to the life of a man who, unlike most of us, genuinely cared about others and reached out to them, as he did with me when we moved here.
He closes his book with a note to “Dear Friends.” It reads, in part:
“I wish I could provide you with a formula for achieving a ‘perfect marriage,’ but I cannot. There is no simple formula. It is something that both husband and wife have to work out together as equals and try to make the other’s needs their own.
“In the case of Jane and me, our love for the other and our need for the other increased in intensity throughout our entire marriage — even to the last day of Jane’s life. We each realized the great need we had for the other and we could not imagine life without the other. We both knew that we wanted to be with the other forever.”
“A Perfect Love and a Blessed Life” shares the story of two rare people who knew the meaning of true love. Such people don’t come along often in life.
Joe Frisinger recognizes that, despite the loss of his beloved wife, he is inded a blessed man, and wants to bless others, too.
Bill Buley, editor-in-chief, can be reached at 245-0457 or firstname.lastname@example.org.