John Frerich retires after three decades

Following a notable career in civil engineering that spanned over three decades, Professional Engineer John Frerich is retiring from Fehr Graham.

The Aurora native joined Deuchler Engineering in 1991 as an intern. He rose quickly through the ranks, and in 2006 he became a principal of the firm, eventually rising to President in 2016. Frerich spent his entire 31-year career in the firm's Aurora office. Deuchler and Fehr Graham merged Nov. 1, 2021.

Joining forces with Fehr Graham was important to Frerich because it expanded engineering and environmental services in the Aurora area. Frerich has been the office's Branch Manager since the merger. His last day is Oct. 28.

"I'm honored to have served clients and communities for so many years," Frerich said. "I've been fortunate to have a fulfilling career helping improve communities. I'm proud of all the firm has accomplished and how it's poised for the future."

During his tenure, Frerich focused on municipal water and wastewater collection and treatment engineering and played a significant role in Deuchler's long-term success. He worked alongside his wife, Cathie, who was the firm's bookkeeper until her retirement in 2021.

Frerich said one of the reasons he chose civil engineering as a career was because of the variety in the work, which is one of the things he'll miss. He looks forward to spending more time with Cathie and enjoying a slower pace.

"John has charted a path to success for the Aurora office, and we are truly grateful for that," said Mick Gronewold, Fehr Graham's Board Chairman and one of the firm's owners. "He's a great example of all that can be achieved through intelligence, hard work and a commitment to one's values. His leadership, insight and compassion will be missed."

Frerich earned his bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana. He was part of several professional organizations, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, American Public Works Association, Water Environment Federation, Illinois Society of Professional Engineers (ISPE) and Illinois Water Environment Association. Throughout his professional career, he served on several ISPE technical committees and filled various leadership roles within the organization when called upon.