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College Pt. historian Robert Friedrich dies

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Robert Conrad Friedrich, 71, was born and raised in College Point in the same house on 123rd Street where he spent the last few years of his life, according to a cousin, Carol Lagrasse.Friends and family remembered him as a kind and humble man whose lucid memory was awe- inspiring."He was so dear to us, a wonderful friend and a delight to be with," Lagrasse said. "We always said he should write a book on College Point, but he would always help everybody else fill their books with facts."Friedrich was born on Sept. 9, 1934 and received his bachelor's of arts from Queens College. He received his master's in library science from Syracuse University. After graduation, he worked at the central branch of the Queens Borough Public Library as a Long Island historian where he was employed until his retirement.Lagrasse said he would often be found rummaging through the attics of old houses about to be torn down. Through such actions, she said, he came across a wealth of information on College Point."He was very important to the history of the College Point archives here at the institute," said Executive Director of the Poppenhusen Institute Susan Brustman. "It would be half empty if it weren't for him."Some of his collaborations include a short history of the architecture of the First Reformed Church of College Point and a brief monograph on early developers of College Point. "He was a real historian. He was a bit cynical about things and saw through the B.S.," said Queens Historical Society President James Driscoll. "But he was very good, a very nice man and he will be missed." A memorial service will be held at the Poppenhusen Institute on March 4.Contributions may be made in his name to the Poppenhusen Institute.Reach reporter Scott Sieber by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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