A gentleman and great outdoorsman who I had on my TV show many years ago has passed away. I guess I was a lucky one to be able to meet this fine person and Chicago icon. He was fun to talk with and so knowledgeable about canoeing.
Ralph Frese was best known for his expertise in canoeing. He'll be missed by the outdoor community for sure. We offer our prayers and condolences to his family.
Marc Miller of the Illinois DNR said this…
“I was saddened Monday to learn of the passing of a dear friend and river mentor, Ralph Frese of Niles, Illinois. Known throughout Illinois as ‘Mr. Canoe,’ Ralph Frese was one of our state’s leading conservationists and advocates for water trails and waterway protection. He took great pride in inspiring many of us to join his commitment to those causes. He will forever be remembered for his founding of the annual Des Plaines River Canoe Marathon, and among awards and recognitions too numerous to list was the induction of Ralph Frese into the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame in 2006,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller.