• If You Are Having Trouble Logging In with Your Old Username and Password, Please use this Forgot Your Password link to get re-established.
  • Hey! Be sure to login or register!

JJ Frey Passes


JJ Frey, who for decades ran EDO’s float division, passed away at age 89, according to his grandson, Julian Frey.

JJ was a good friend, and literally a font of information about all things seaplane. He was also a lot of fun to be around. As my experience on floats grew, JJ often answered questions and offered advice that was always well founded and helpful. I was always amazed at his recall of seemingly arcane developments of various float development and operations. His presentations on float operations, accidents and seaplane recoveries were always excellent.

He also had a great sense of humor and often kept his fellows in stitches with his humor. I will certainly miss our annual visits during Airventure. Rest In Peace, JJ!

What a neat guy. We used to commute back from the Airmen's show with him. He got me involved with the SPA and their website many years ago.

JJ, Rick Tinkhauser and I worked together certifying the EDO 696-3500 floats with my 185. We had a good time herding the FAA people. :evil: We had many good memories over the years.
Never met him in person, but talked to him a few times.

Always helpful, and had more float knowledge than I could believe.

Aviation will miss him. God Bless the family.
Got to be friends with JJ about 12 years ago. Don't think he ever remembered my name but when he saw me he'd bark " hey J4 from Cooperstown, what's new"

RIP buddy

Last time I talked to JJ was about the amphib floats that Tom Ford was looking to buy. Told me the whole story on why EDO built them. He was excited they were going back into service. Another icon I didn't sit down and talk enough with.

I didn’t really ever talk with him but was introduced in passing a time or two. It was apparent he was quite a guy based on how others spoke of him. Sorry to see the news of his passing, one can only imagine the stories he didn’t get around to telling or the knowledge that existed in his mind.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Sad to hear of his passing. I maintain 4 different sets of 2790’s and one set of 2700 and I have talked to him several times in the last year and a half regarding questions on these floats. Didn’t know me from a hole in the wall but after that fisrt conversation he acted like he had known me his whole life. He recalled information on them like he just built them yesterday. I had to get some oleo and hydraulic parts a couple different times and he called Kenmore before I did to expedite the process. I lost my grandfather just before he turned 90 last year; something about that generation of men... They don’t make them like that anymore.
J.J. Frey - a national asset gone west.

I live in college Point, where EDO manufactured them.

For 25-years, J and I tried to have lunch together.
Problem was; when he was driving in to work, I was driving out to work.
But we would run into each other at Oshkosh, Sun and Fun, Jack Brown's,
Alaska, and Speculator.
It was at Speculator that his presentations were always the highlight of
that event.

When I found my 1943 Army 1320's in the original crate, I called J to place a large
order for 12 cover gaskets to replace the dried and cracked originals. He said they
cost $17 each, but there's a Caterpillar dealer near me with the largest collection of
"O" rings, of which the right size costs 50 cents.

He then sent me a video of EDO testing a set of 1320's with a fixed main wheel
on a Taylorcraft in the bay where I swam as a kid. He said they're probably still
around in someone's barn. I'm still looking,
A few weeks later, he sends me a 1940 photo of a Lenape Papoose powered J3
with those floats on, in front of the Long Island Aviation country Club hangers.

Protocol will not allow our National Ensign to be lowered to half staff, but I
hope the SPA pennant will be for the next month.
I am trying to make a connection with JJ Frey’s family for any background or archives on EDP/floats that JJ may have passed on.
I am researching the history of MacDonald Brothers Aircraft (MBA) located in Winnipeg, Canada, (the heart of bush flying in Canada), from the 1920’s. This company was the exclusive distributor and manufacturer of EDO floats for Canada from 1930 until 1985 when the business/license was sold back to EDO. During the license period MBA and its successor (Bristol Aerospace) produced approximately 3,000 floats for sale in Canada and as a supplier to EDO for sales in USA and other countries around the world. I met JJ on several occasions and have been trying to make contact with his family since starting my research into MBA early in 2022. This search led me to this Super Cub forum page which noted JJ’s passing as advised by family member Julian Frey. If any of the forum members can give me contact information for Julian Frey, or others in JJ’s family, it might help me locate additional information regarding floats and MBA. Of course, if any of the forum members have any history regarding early EDO float production I’d love to hear about it. Our local museum, the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada has extensive technical records/archives on most of the EDO float models produced by MBA extending back into the late 1920’s. (please visit museum web page you can Google as I’m not allowed to post web pages. I’m sure you will enjoy the content).
I do have some early EDO publications on flying with floats etc. if any members would like a copy let me know.
Thank you for considering the above and any input you may have will be most helpful.
Cheers Keith Burrows
Keith, I’d get in touch with Kenmore Air Harbor in Bothell, WA. Ask for Erick. Erick and JJ sat together at the EDO/Kenmore booth at Oshkosh for years. Kenmore bought EDO.

I suspect Erick or someone at Kenmore is going to be the best first step in your pursuit.

JJ was a walking encyclopedia of float history that is lost forever. He lived it, worked it and enjoyed remembering and sharing it.

Last edited:
Thanks for the quick response. I have tried Kenmore, but the executives I spoke with are apparently longer service Kenmore people with no history with EDO so it is great to have a specific name for someone who knew JJ. I'll give "Erick" a try on Monday. Hopefully he is still working or I can get a trace on him via the float sales organization.
Thx again I'll keep you posted.
Cheers K
Thanks for the quick response. I have tried Kenmore, but the executives I spoke with are apparently longer service Kenmore people with no history with EDO so it is great to have a specific name for someone who knew JJ. I'll give "Erick" a try on Monday. Hopefully he is still working or I can get a trace on him via the float sales organization.
Thx again I'll keep you posted.
Cheers K

Sorry, Erick Johansson.

I have contacted Walt Stepnowski, thanks for the connection. He left EDO following the acquisition of EDO floats business by Kenmore. Likely 20+years ago. I have e mailed the Seaplane Pilots Association and will advise any response.
Two amazing aviation legends………..



  • 3218108F-702C-4E02-8E0B-7DBD545D6E48.jpeg
    185.4 KB · Views: 121
Hi Keith, I'm JJ's grandson. Very nice to read everyone's remembrances in this thread! I'll send you a PM separately with some contact info - my dad thinks he has some material that might help.