Aug. 22, 1951 – June 16, 2018
John Anthony Fregonese, 66, died June 16, 2018 at home in Portland, Oregon after a short illness. He had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer only a few weeks before.
John was known throughout Oregon, the United States, and even internationally as a visionary land-use planner who helped metropolitan areas develop urban plans that created livable, vibrant communities for many generations to come. He was passionate about urban planning and left his mark and positive influence on hundreds of cities and communities.
He opened his own land-use planning consulting firm, Fregonese Associates in 1997 where most recently he served as principal of the company. John was dedicated to hiring young urban planning professionals – including his son, Scott Fregonese, who is principal of the company and began working with his father in 1998; he wanted to learn from the best. Prior to opening his consulting firm, John was planning director for the city of Woodburn from 1976 to 1979; the city of Ashland, Ore., from 1979 to 1992; and for Metro regional government from 1992 to 1997.
John, known to many as “Frego,” was greatly loved and admired for his infectious laugh, self-deprecating wit, love of food and music, and ability to connect with people of all backgrounds and perspectives. He loved a good argument as long as it was delivered with flair and conviction. When John traveled to visit his clients, he enjoyed plunging into their community’s culture, food and music scene, and neighborhoods to get to know its residents. For him, helping to plan a community’s future was personal, and he became a beloved part of those communities. As a result, he had many friends far and wide.
In recent years, John loved nothing more than playing bass in a local band called Big Plans. He reveled in this love of music and bandmates, and Big Plans enjoyed local gigs in the Portland area.
But his first great love was his family. He and his wife, Janet Fregonese were married for nearly 40 years before John’s death. Together, he and Janet traveled on adventures all over the world. John and Janet loved nothing more than spending time with their kids, Scott Fregonese, Dana Fregonese, and Zoe McAnally; and their grandchildren, Sophie, Dane, and Finley. Often that meant trips to the family cabin near Mt. Hood, tucked into the forest near the Zigzag River, where they hiked, swam, picnicked, and enjoyed cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Preceding him in death were his father, Hugo Fregonese; mother, Faith Domergue; and sister Dede Fregonese.
John and his sister had a colorful childhood with parents who were in the Hollywood and international film industries. As a child, John grew up in Rome, Argentina, and Hollywood. As an adult, John often searched for and found pieces of memorabilia from his parents’ days as film stars.
A celebration of John’s life will begin at 4:00 p.m. August 16, 2018 at the Portland Yacht Club, 1241 NE Marine Drive, Portland, Oregon.
In lieu of flowers and gifts please visit the Fregonese Associates website at www.frego.com where you may contribute to the Butler-Perozzi Fountain Restoration Project.