Local activist Marsha Froelich dies

She raised millions in region through charitable work.

DAYTON — Marsha Froelich, the executive director emeritus of Clothes That Work who raised millions for underserved people in the Dayton region through her charitable work, died on Saturday after a brief illness. She was 63.

Just last week, Mrs. Froelich was named Outstanding Fundraising Executive by the Greater Dayton Association of Fundraising Professionals during an event at Sinclair Community College.

She wasn’t able to attend the ceremony because she was in Miami Valley Hospital, but she was able to see her standing ovation online live as the crowd cheered for her.

“We’re very appreciative of all of the cards and support she received in the hospital,” said her husband Jeffrey Froelich, 2nd District Court of Appeals judge.

Mrs. Froelich retired from Clothes That Work, a nonprofit that provides apparel and support to job seekers. Her previous fundraising positions included service to the YWCA Dayton as vice president for development, and the United Way of the Greater Dayton area.

“She was my mentor,” said Karen Dempsey Volke, chief development officer of the Ronald McDonald House. “She was a community treasure. She spent her professional and volunteer life working on behalf of the underserved.” Volke, Cathy Ponitz of CareSource and Lindsay Ackley, executive director of Clothes That Work, nominated Froelich for the fundraising professionals award.

“She was the epitome of impact,” Ackley said. “Every project and person that she touched was definitely better off than before she was involved.”

Mrs. Froelich was a breast cancer survivor and just last month was in a Dayton Daily News article offering tips to newly diagnosed women.

“Rely on your faith, yourself and loved ones,” she said. “Stay strong.”

She privately counseled women with breast cancer and was recognized as a YWCA Woman of Influence, a Dayton Daily News Ten Top Woman, a Woman of Valor by Beth Abraham Synagogue and was a recipient of the Dayton Bar Association’s Liberty Bell Award. She was a graduate of Dayton’s Fairview High School and the University of Michigan.

Mrs. Froelich is survived by her husband, daughters Sara Froelich and Melanie Butter (Jeff), grandchildren Ryan and Nora, sister Jeri Pace, stepmother Jane Rafal and brother-in-law and sister-in-law Gary and Debbie Froelich. The funeral will be held at Temple Israel on Tuesday. A time has not yet been set.

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