Carolyn J. Frei

Carolyn J. Frei

9/21/1937 — 1/27/2024

Carolyn Jones Frei, formerly of Lewiston, passed away on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024, at Celia’s House, a residential hospice in Medford, Ore., surrounded by family. She was 96. Carolyn was exceptionally gifted in language arts, having been an elementary and high school teacher, a debate coach, a poet, an ardent supporter of civic causes and libraries, author and editor and a wonderful grandma.

Carolyn was born in Wichita Falls, Texas, on Sept. 21, 1927, the second daughter of Walter A. Jones and Eulalee Greer Jones. Carolyn’s early life mirrored the times. She spent her early years in Texas and Oklahoma during the Great Depression.

Carolyn’s family, including little sister Ann, returned to their home in Carter County, Okla., where she received her diploma from Ardmore High School before her 16th birthday. At 17, she was a copywriter at a radio station for $12 per week. She completed two years toward a degree at Texas State College for Women by age 18, after which her family could no longer afford the cost.

On Jan. 14, 1946, Carolyn married Bert H. Morris in Ardmore, Okla. They briefly operated a service station in nearby Springer, Okla., before relocating to Twin Falls. Bert worked for a petroleum wholesaler and Carolyn at a radio station. They welcomed twin sons, Ricky and Ronnie, on March 23, 1951, followed by daughter Ellen 13 months later. While the children attended classes at St. Edward’s Catholic School, Carolyn began teaching there.

The family maintained their relationships with Oklahoma and Texas relatives by regular trips by car or by train. Among the kids’ fondest memories were those travels and the exotic stops along the way: the Grand Canyon, sunrise on the Navajo Reservation, Mesa Verde and learning to shoot water moccasins in the stock tank at Grandma’s place. Not to mention the fireworks.

On Aug. 28, 1975, Bert died in a vehicle accident, beginning a new chapter in Carolyn’s life. She met Ray C. Frei, who had taken care of his mother for years at the request of his father. They married in March 1978. She retired from teaching in 1981.

From her 20s, Carolyn was active in the League of Women Voters and routinely participated in a book club. As a retired language arts teacher, she loved literature and reading, especially Shakespeare. She was a member of a poetry group that met annually in Eureka Springs, Ark., with Ellen accompanying her. Carolyn, along with a close friend, headed the publication of Idaho County Voices, a compendium of recollections of early settlers of Idaho County published by the Idaho County Centennial Commission in 1990.

Love of travel runs in the family. She and Ray traveled with family and friends to Europe and visited his relatives. They went to Rome and the Holy Land, Hawaii, the British Isles (including Ireland and Wales), to Russia, Japan and China. Her sole travel regret was missing Australia.

Carolyn kept up with her grandkids and their children, spread from Portland to Boston. Ray’s nieces and nephews were of course “family” as well.

Ray predeceased her on Feb. 23, 2021.

The rosary will be recited at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 2, at Assumption Catholic Church, 460 Maple St., Ferdinand, followed by the funeral Mass at 11 a.m., with Rev. Fr. Paul H. Wander officiating. A graveyard service, officiated by Aaron Morris, CSC, will follow in the Frei Family Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the library of your choice or to St. Gertrude Monastery, 465 Keuterville Road, Cottonwood, ID 83522.

Service Information

Date & Time
Saturday, March 2, 11:00 AM
Assumption Catholic Church
460 Maple Street
Ferdinand, ID 83526

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Additional Details
Rosary will begin at 10:30 a.m. Burial will follow at Frei Family Cemetery.

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Sunday: Closed

Monday: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Tuesday: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Wednesday: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Thursday: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Friday: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Saturday: Closed

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920 21st Avenue
Lewiston, Idaho 83501
(208) 743-6541 or 800-584-8812