Gerry Brown started the new millennium married to Jerry Frick, a man she described with an infectious laugh and helped launch the sport of power soccer for much of the East Coast.
“He was one of those guys that you tell him he couldn’t do it and he would show you he could,” Brown said. “He taught a lot of kids to be a lot more independent.”
Frick was found dead in his van Jan. 21 in the Oakwood Wal-Mart parking lot. Oakwood Police said it appeared that he fell from his chair.
“It appeared Mr. Frick was attempting to get out of the van,” according to an Oakwood Police report.
Police said Brown responded and found him.
Two years after a life-changing motorcycle accident, Frick met Brown in San Diego and they started dating in 1991. The two married on New Year’s Eve 1999.
“Sometimes people think that with someone disabled, they’re lucky to have someone love them, when the reality is when it’s somebody like Jerry, I was the lucky one,” Brown said.
Frick and Brown moved to the Flowery Branch area in 2001 as Frick worked to expand power soccer, a game played with power wheelchairs. The North Georgia Screamin’ Eagles team debuted in the 2006-2007 season.
“I think he had something to do with just about every team in the state of Georgia,” said Justin Pressley, co-founder and head coach of the Screamin’ Eagles.
Frick also made the first USA National team that played in Coimbra, Portugal, in October 2005.
“Because of power soccer, I’ve seen Paris,” Brown said. “I’ve seen Portugal. I’ve seen Japan. I’ve been with him when he’s going on those trips to help power soccer become an international sport.”
Brown recalled Frick’s “larger than life” essence that remained positive throughout their lives together. Anything that could be done to help, Pressley said, was no problem for Frick.
Pressley and Frick were planning on a clinic in South Georgia to possibly start a team. Frick played in a power soccer game the Sunday before his death at the East Hall Community Center.
“We just can’t believe it,” Pressley said. “He was in good shape.”
Surveillance video from the Wal-Mart showed Frick entering and exiting the store around 2 p.m. Jan. 20, according to police. No foul play is suspected, and the cause of death is still pending, according to the Hall County Coroner’s office.
Pressley said he and other members of the Screamin’ Eagles teams planned to attend Frick’s celebration of life Saturday at the Duluth Life Church International.