Half Staff – Donald H. Fryklund

April 18, 2017
Donald H. Fryklund, 95, of Rockport, passed away at home on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Born on July 8, 1921 in Prentice, Wisconsin, he was the son of the late Arthur and Signa Fryklund, both from Prentice.Mr. Fryklund grew up in Prentice and when World War II broke out he joined the U.S. Coast Guard and was eventually transferred to the Navy. He was a radio officer stationed at Gallops Island in Boston Harbor. While at Boston he was introduced to the Cape Ann area and immediately decided that was the place to raise a family. After the war he entered MIT and received a B.S.degree in Electrical Engineering and some post grad studies. Later he worked at the Radio Research Labs at Harvard in Cambridge.

In 1957 he joined RCA in Princeton, N.J. to work on the Tiros satellite program contracted by NASA, which led to the first weather satellite. Mr. Fryklund’s team was responsible for the outside configuration, which consisted of many solar panels forming a hatbox shape. This shape allowed maximum solar exposure and produced sufficient power for over 60 days. This work was done in the late 1950’s to 1961. The satellite performed so well the program still exists today. Since the original Tiros 14 successive satellites have been launched with Tiros 15 now in service and collecting weather data for North America. It was during this time he moved to Rockport and his dream home in 1958.

Later he decided to break out on his own and joined a small team of engineers and formed Accumetrics Corp. in Cambridge MA. The company was contracted by the U.S. Air Force to perform a 10 year study to profile the atmospheric air density over the entire globe. This task would require launching over 50 single orbit satellites in various global locations. The results helped many programs where air resistance was critical in fuel consumption as well as reentry heating on vehicles like the space shuttle.

After retiring he spent a lot of time with his oldest son Don’s construction company making fixtures for building custom windows in several condo units. His love for animals and nature was profound. He always had dogs and cats throughout his life. Recently on April 13, 2017 while riding with his son David he mentioned how happy he was living in Rockport. They drove along the shore in Gloucester and Rockport and chatted about the beauty of the bright day as it contrasted with the ocean. He said to Dave that when he was aware that Route 128 was going to be completed in the late 1940’s, he told his wife to start looking for land opportunities on Cape Ann. He smiled with pride and satisfaction.

Mr. Fryklund is survived by his son David and his wife, Linda and son, Donald’s wife, Pamela; grandchildren, Kylee and her husband, Harry Lindsay, Christian Chase and his wife, Kristin, and Carrie Fryklund; great-grandchildren, Harrison Lindsay and Benjamin Chase. He was predeceased by his former wife, M. Louise Fryklund and son, Donald L. Fryklund.

His funeral service will be held on Monday, April 24th at 3 p.m. in the Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington Street, Gloucester. Extended family and friends are cordially invited to attend. Visiting hours will precede the service on Monday from 1 to 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his name to the Cape Ann Animal Aid Association, 4 Paws Lane, Gloucester, MA 01930.