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Robert Friedrich, Sr., a longtime member of NAHB leadership at the local, state and nationl level and Iowa builder who was instrumental in starting the association’s 50-year member recognition program, died on July 25 at Israel Family Hospice House in Ames, Iowa. He was 87.
Within the federation, Friedrich helped establish the Ames Home Builders Association and served as its first president in 1957. He served as the first treasurer of the Home Builders Association of Iowa and was elected its president in 1968. Friedrich also served as an NAHB National Vice President for Area 10.
Friedrich was the owner and operator of Friedrich Construction, a company founded by his father in 1925, and helped develop several of Ames’ surrounding suburbs, including Edgewood Terrace, Parkview Heights, Northridge, Somerset and Northridge Heights. As a leader in his community, he and his brother Reiny shared the title of Ames Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year as recently as 2001.
Born in Niederbobritzsch, Germany, at age 2, Friedrich and his mother immigrated to the United States through Ellis Island in New York harbor to join his father, who founded Friedrich Construction that same year. After graduating from Ames High School in 1941, Friedrich entered Iowa State University before enlisting in the U.S. Army and serving in the 402nd Combat Engineering battalion in North Africa and Italy during World War II.
He is survived by his brother, Reiny; his sons, Bob Friedrich, Jr. of Ames, and William Friedrich of Las Vegas; five grandchildren; and two great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Dorothy, and his second wife, Betty.