Obituary. Frank Leroy Frey 1935 -2015
A light from our family is gone, a voice we loved so much is stilled, and God who has loved him best has taken him home. The Frey family is mourning the loss of Frank Leroy Frey as Heaven has called this dear precious man back home. Born in White Butte SD on December 11, 1935, delivered into this world by his paternal grandmother, midwife Barbara Frey (nee DeWald). Frank’s paternal grandparents and father all were born in Neudorf, Russia and immigrated to White Butte SD and set up a homestead in 1905. Frank’s mother was from Hungary and immigrated with her widowed father and siblings in 1907. Frank grew up at White Butte with his two older brothers and sister and one younger brother. The family attended American Lutheran Church in Lemmon SD and he was baptized on May 11th, 1951 into the Evangelical Lutheran religion. Frank attended high school in Lemmon South Dakota and exhibited interest and skill in mechanic engineering and business. He also played the clarinet in the school band, at Lemmon High School, class of 1954. On New Year’s Day 1954 he joined the Air Force with four other young men (and friends) from Lemmon. By January 5th they were on their way to San Antonio TX for basic training and he received a GED diploma in the Air Force. Frank became a career Air Force man, and served in Alaska, Korea, Morocco, Thailand (during war duty- Viet Nam), Germany, California and South Dakota, with 12 years stationed at Ellsworth AFB in Rapid City. He received AF Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service; National Defense Service Medal; Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Metal; Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon and many more. He retired December 1977 as MSgt and settled in California and met his 3rd wife, Eddy (nee Edna Mae Gilpin), a year later. His first wife was Joveta Jeffers and his second wife was Harrietta Iris Kambestad. In addition to the many career certifications he received in the USAF, he completed an AA degree in Business Management. He and Eddy lived in Woodlake CA to be of help to his father the last few years of his father’s life and then moved to Oakhurst CA where they managed the local water company until 1997. Frank was a member of Ahwahnee VFW Post 8743 near Oakhurst for many years and served as commander from 1990-1994. He was also a member of the Muskogee VWF 474 in Oklahoma. He was a member of the Oakhurst Elks Lodge 1991-1998. Frank had many hobbies- fixing and collecting classic autos, square dancing, playing pool, bowling, and fishing. In 1999 he and Eddy moved to Oklahoma to live on the banks of Lake Eufaula in McIntosh County where they remained until their deaths. The last many years of his wife’s life, he devoted his time to caring for her while her health slipped away from congestive heart failure. He joined his wife in Heaven on September 8, 2015, less than one year after she died, as he succumbed to lung cancer at the VA hospital in Muskogee Oklahoma. Friends and neighbors believed- so that he could be reunited with his beloved wife once more. They were buried together one year after Eddy’s death on September 21, 2015 at the Ft. Gibson National Cemetery in Oklahoma, with full military honors. A separate memorial was held at Checotah Baptist Church on September 15, 2015. He is preceded in death by his parents- Frederick Daniel Frey and Theresa Evelyn Frey (nee Lockner), three brothers James Harold Frey, Donald Ray Frey, Dennis Joseph Frey and a niece and nephew. He leaves behind his much loved sister, Helen M Martian of Aberdeen SD, adopted son Steven W Walker and daughter Kimberly A Frey (Don Mosegaard), all of Santa Cruz CA. and youngest Son, James D Frey of Checotah, OK. Grandchildren, Katrina Nakata of San Jose CA and grandson Taiyo Nakata of Kona-Kailua HI and great grandchildren, Lina Nakata and Mateo Rubio and many nieces and nephews, mostly all living in South Dakota.