Mary Follstad Frey, 100, of Denver, Colorado died peacefully of natural causes on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 at an assisted living facility in Florence, Montana. She was born at home in Elcho, Wisconsin along with her twin sister on April 6, 1919, the daughter of two pioneer families in Langlade County. Her father was John Follstad of Elcho and her mother was Florence Moss of Kempster.
She grew up on a farm near Elcho, and graduated from Elcho High School in 1937, where she was class valedictorian. She often mentioned her schooling where she was required to memorize poems by 19th century English poets. Spelling, punctuation and correct grammar were emphasized in school. In later years, she often brought out her favorite book, the dictionary, to look up the correct spelling of words and their proper usage.
She attended opportunity school in Antigo, trained to be a secretary, and worked for the school board. While working in the Langlade County Courthouse, she met Jack Frey who was a deputy sheriff. His father, Elmer Frey, was Sheriff of Langlade County from 1936 to 1940. In 1947, she married Jack Frey, and they moved west. He received a degree in geology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and was hired by The Texas Company (Texaco) to work as a petroleum geologist. Their first home was in Montana, where their three children were born. Five years later, the family moved to Denver, where she continued applying her extraordinary homemaking skills. Her meals were always "colorful, tasty, and hot," essential attributes she learned from her mother. She lived in Denver for more than 60 years, where she raised her family. Over the years, she acquired many dear friends in her neighborhood, through church groups, and by volunteering.
She was an active member of Wellshire Presbyterian Church in Denver for more than 45 years. After the death of her husband, she volunteered with The Denver Hospice for many years. Mary will be remembered for her gentle, patient, and unassuming nature. Her nurturing ways and love for her family were a blessing to all who knew her.
She is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, John E. (Jack) Frey; twin sister, Marge (Norm) Stone; sister, Jane (George) Chovanec; and brother, Maurice (Marie Young) Follstad. She is survived by three children, Mary Jo (Brad) Collins of Stevensville, Montana; Donald Frey of Boulder, Colorado; and Barbara (Nat) Leonard of Flagstaff, Arizona; by nine grandchildren; and by seven great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her younger sister, Mildred (Ray) Lambert of Cudahy, Wisconsin.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, September 12th at 11 a.m. the Bradley Funeral Home in Antigo. Burial will take place at the Queen of Peace Cemetery. Visitation will Thursday, September 12 from 10 to 11 a.m. at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to The Denver Hospice (www.thedenverhospice.org
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