The following obituary was originally published on Legacy.com.
Eric Berthold Frishman, died peacefully, at the age of 41 years old, on March 5, 2023, as a result of complications from pancreatic cancer.
Eric emerged into this world on June 16, 1981, rear-end first and two weeks past his due date. Even during his own birth, he did things his way and on his own terms. Indoctrinated at an early age, Eric could never quite shake a persistent Scrabble habit and developed into an inveterate cribbage player. Eric demonstrated a special gift for problem solving, a talent for building things, and an enthusiasm for the arts. He appeared in school theatrical productions and played the clarinet in the Andover High School marching band.
While at Andover High, he was introduced to the world of technical theater and quickly grew to love collaborating behind the scenes on productions. He pursued his passion for theater at Emerson College, where he completed a BFA in Theatrical Design and Production and was a member of Phi Alpha Tau fraternity.
After graduation in 2002, Eric worked as a Technical Director and Production Manager for theater, opera, and dance, including a number of traveling productions. He began working at United Staging and Rigging in 2006, rising to become General Manager of Boston operations and played a key leadership role at the company.
Raised in Andover, Eric lived his entire life in the Greater Boston area; he enjoyed several years in the North End and South Boston. After 8 happy years living in Melrose, where he was an active volunteer helping to coordinate the annual Melrose Arts Festival, he embraced his inner “townie” and moved back to Andover in 2022.
Eric loved tackling both big and small repair projects in his homes, as well as at family cottages on Cape Cod. Eric met the love of his life, Brian, in 2005 and the two married in 2009. They shared an Emerson College connection and built a beautiful life together, much of which was spent with Maki, their dog of 13 years.
Over the years, they enjoyed traveling; Madrid, New Orleans, and Hawaii were particularly memorable trips, visiting museums and botanical gardens, taking trips to New York City to see Broadway shows, walks in the woods, dining at local restaurants, watching every Oscar film, hosting dinner parties, sometimes squeezing 20+ people into their home, and spending time with close friends and family on Cape Cod.
Early in their relationship, Eric and Brian bonded over their shared love of food, with a special fondness for sushi. They sought out the best places to dine wherever they explored. Brian, a food photographer, sometimes had Eric act as a hand model, holding plates of pastries and other culinary creations. Eric often joked about how challenging it was that he had to wait to eat until photos had been taken. In response, Eric created social media accounts that featured pictures he took of Brian taking pictures of food. His Instagram account, “@marriedtoafoodphotographer,” grew quite a following and was featured in multiple food publications.
The grill was Eric’s domain and he delighted in elaborate BBQ meat-smoking processes, perfecting his skills at preparing brisket, pulled pork, and chicken. This, paired with hammock naps, sunset gin and tonics, and swims in Lake Wequaquet, was one of Eric’s favorite ways to spend a summer’s day.
Eric is survived by his husband, Brian William Samuels (Andover, MA); mother, Kay Berthold Frishman and her partner, Ronald Hilbink (Andover, MA); Marilyn Ellis (Haverhill, MA); brother, Andrew Frishman and sister-in-law, Leigh Needleman (Cambridge, MA); mother-in-law, Margie Samuels and father-in-law, Larry Samuels; sister-in-law, Rebecca Nelson; and brother-in-law, Eric Nelson; nieces, Jordan Frishman, Ayla Nelson, and Bryn Nelson; and nephew, Lundy Frishman.
Eric’s family and friends are grateful for the loving care provided by skilled and compassionate healthcare workers at Mass General Hospital since Eric’s diagnosis in October 2022 and at the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers, MA.
As per Eric’s wishes, he bequeathed his body to the University of Massachusetts Medical School Anatomical Gift Program which will help to train future doctors and medical personnel.
A family and friends Celebration of Eric’s Life will be planned for spring or summer of 2023, the details of which will be shared at a later date. In lieu of flowers, we kindly request that donations are made in honor and celebration of Eric’s life to the following organizations that were important to him:
- Emerson College Phi Alpha Tau Scholarship Fund
- NAGLY North Shore Alliance of GLBTQ Youth
- Association to Preserve Cape Cod.