A longtime resident of Martha’s Vineyard, Christopher Owen Fried died on June 20, 2020. He was 73 years old.
Chris is survived by his daughter, Heather Dyas-Fried; son-in-law, Sean Roach, and two grandchildren, Everest and Opal; as well as his siblings Walter Fried and Susanne Farrington, and two ex-wives, with whom he remained friends.
Chris is finally at peace after battling Lewy body dementia/Alzheimer’s disease. He suffered from lifelong depression, and for the last few years, chronic Lyme disease. Both illnesses played a role in his dementia.
Born in Great Neck Plaza, N.Y., on July 11, 1946, Chris grew up on Long Island. He studied mechanical engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. In the mid-1970s he moved to Pennsylvania with his first wife, Melissa Dyas, where he began his career in renewable energy. In 1985 Chris and his second wife, Judy Salosky, bought land and moved to Vineyard Haven. He focused on designing, building, and renovating homes to be more energy-efficient. Some of his M.V. contributions include working as a solar engineer, an air quality consultant, and the clerk of works for Edgartown School, Island Elderly Housing, Edgartown Police Station and Town Hall, and Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School.
Environmentalism and peace activism were his life’s work. Chris was very active in his community, organizing rallies, attending town meetings, and posting signs around the Island about ending war and stopping climate change. Chris was involved in the Peace Council and Habitat for Humanity. For decades he provided affordable housing for year-round Islanders. An avid bike rider, he was passionate about the safety of bike paths on M.V. Chris was a member of the Unitarian Universalist Society of M.V. and studied “A Course in Miracles.”
People knew Chris as a gentle spirit, a good listener, an honest, hard worker, and a devoted father. Chris loved animals, and was often seen walking his dog. From the time he was born, sailing was a part of his life, and later he became a competitive windsurfer. He played the guitar and piano, and sang in the choir. He took joy in tending to his organic vegetable garden. Except for the occasional batch of homemade ice cream, eating nutritious, healthy food was his top priority. Over the years he played ice hockey, volleyball, and Ping-Pong, and practiced yoga.
Chris worked with and donated to causes too varied and plentiful to list. If you would like to make a donation in Chris’s memory, please choose your favorite environmental or peace organization.
A potluck beach party will be planned next summer to celebrate his life. We hope to see Chris there, as he often said he might return as a seagull.