[ The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: 02/26/03]

Dave Friedkin, 41, loved mountain biking

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Family photo

Dave Friedkin indulged his passion for mountain biking across the South and even in Colorado (above).


No matter the weather, a typical weekend would find Dave Friedkin on his bicycle, testing himself against the hilly terrain of North Georgia or Tennessee or North Carolina and loving every minute of it.

So it was Sunday.

He and a couple of friends were pedaling toward Dahlonega when he stopped, complaining of what he thought was indigestion. Shortly thereafter, he was dead of a heart attack.

The memorial service for Mr. Friedkin, 41, of Atlanta is 1 p.m. today at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. The body was cremated. Jewish Funeral Care is in charge of arrangements.

"Dave took up serious cycling nine years ago," said a friend, Roy Moranz of San Diego. "He competed at the expert level in mountain bike races of 20 to 35 miles in length in Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia.

"In Georgia, Dave raced at Moutaintown and Bull Mountain, but his favorite ride was Rich Mountain, the toughest course in Georgia," Mr. Moranz said.

"Mostly, though, Dave was into group cycling -- he had so much fun at it. He kept all his cycling buddies laughing -- like when he would kid cyclists who shaved their legs."

Born and reared in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Mr. Friedkin came to Atlanta after graduation from Florida State University. Here he worked for Johnson & Johnson, then GE Medical Systems, selling equipment, especially cardiac monitoring apparatus, to hospitals and doctors' groups.

"Dave was a top performer as a salesman and was highly respected in the field for his integrity," said his manager, Kaye Merritt of Atlanta. "GE Medical Systems made him a national sales trainer."

His friends remember him as having a childlike spirit.

"Dave was full of humor and ideas and curiosity and creativity," said Stephanie Oswald of Decatur. "He could take over a room and provoke laughter and thought."

His other outdoors passion was hiking, said his wife, Leslie Friedkin, "especially since it gave us a chance to take our golden retrievers, Colt and Aspen, along."

Survivors include his parents, Bernard and Marilyn Friedkin of Waynesville, N.C.; and a sister, Roberta Vaes of Gainesville, Fla.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to Second Chance Animal Rescue and Adoption, P.O. Box 1515, Roswell, GA 30077.