E. Richard "Dick" Freniere, age 87, died Sunday, June 22, in Syracuse, NY. Born in Cambridge, he lived much of his adult life in Concord, MA, before moving to Syracuse in 2003.
He graduated from Cambridge High & Latin and the Massachusetts College of Art. During World War II he was a performer in the USO, and traveled New England to entertain troops with his dance and pantomime. After the war he worked as a cartoonist at the Record American newspaper and created many sports cartoons. After moving to Concord in 1954, he founded Freniere Studio, where he taught art to the community and worked as a graphic artist and illustrator. He also created many paintings, drawings in ink and in pencil, and painted many murals in the Boston area. Dick's other passion was jazz music, and his collection of 78s, LPs, CDs, tapes, books, and videos was known as one of the largest private jazz collections in New England. His illustrations of jazz artists and bands appeared on album covers and in magazines. Jam sessions at Freniere Studio, with musicians gathering to play, or friends listening to his collection, helped inspire many young people to become musicians. Dick was also active in local theater groups and participated in the Concord Players as actor, set designer, and producer. He was also known as a great storyteller and raconteur, and invited lecturer in both art and jazz.
He leaves his wife Helen, brother Henry of Franklin, MA, son Edward of Lancaster, MA, stepsons Philip Batten of Manlius, NY and Mark Batten of Cambridge, and five grandchildren.