Hubert Steven Frei, longtime resident of Ferdinand, died peacefully on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, at Unique Senior Care Center in Lewiston.
Hubert was born on Nov. 1, 1918, to Clemens and Philomena Frei at their home one-half mile north of Ferdinand. He was the eighth child of a family of 15 children. Hubert attended St. Morris School in Ferdinand. Hubert and his brother, Ray, were in partnership for most of their work life. They farmed property near Ferdinand, Westlake, Craigmont and Cottonwood.
Hubert enjoyed his younger life when the family farmed with teams of horses. Hubert loved the winters and especially the sound of the sleigh bells reminiscent of the early days of winter travel by sleigh. Each Christmas, Hubert brought out the sleigh bells to share their magic with family and friends.
On Sept. 15, 1951, Hubert married his lifelong love, Clara C. Grunloh, in Effingham, Ill. In 1952, Hubert and Clara built a home in Ferdinand and resided there for 58 years. Along with farming, Hubert supported Clara in her home business, Frei Upholstery.
Life centered on their family and the Catholic faith. Hubert and Clara were active members of Assumption Parish. Together, Hubert and Clara used their respective carpentry and sewing talents to craft toys and clothes for their children and later their grandchildren.
Hubert and Clara enjoyed bowling, square dancing, and playing pinochle. Hubert’s favorite hobby was woodworking and refinishing furniture. Hubert used a lathe to build spindles for end tables, chairs and plant stands. He enjoyed trout fishing in nearby Lawyers Creek, Soldiers Meadow, and Winchester Lake, and steelhead fishing along the banks of the Salmon River near Graves Creek. Hubert appreciated opportunities to share stories at family gatherings and community events.
The Frei couple helped their son, Steve, in the first several years of Frei Cabinets and later Pacific Cabinets. They helped their children build their own homes near Ferdinand and Cottonwood.
In 2011, interest in life became more challenging with the death of Clara. Yet, Hubert remained central to the lives of his children and grandchildren.
Survivors include his children, Barbara Frei of Craigmont, Melvin and Christine Frei of Lewiston and Steve and Donna Frei of Lewiston; and siblings, Willie Frei, Ray Frei, Aggie Haener and Dorothy Hanson; grandchildren and great-grandchildren are Stephenie, Kevin, Keegan and Padraig O’Callaghan; Kelsey, Zachary, Declan and Roslynn Richter; Garrett, Ashley and Adilena Frei; Carson Frei; Lindsey and John Beacham; Brent Frei, Lindsey Crea and Kaydence; and Michael Frei.
The Rosary will begin at 10:30 a.m. with the funeral Mass celebrated at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, at Assumption Church, Ferdinand. A luncheon and reception will follow at the parish center immediately following the burial at the Ferdinand Cemetery. Vassar-Rawls Funeral Home is responsible for the funeral arrangements.
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