Friday, October 1, 2021
Assembly Area # (Pending)
Ft. Snelling National Cemetery
7601 34th Ave. So., Minneapolis, MN 55450
Eleanore "Ellie" Mae Frey
June 23, 1930 - July 29, 2021
(Obituary for Eleanore "Ellie" Mae Frey, written by daughter, Deborah Davis)
Eleanore (Ellie) passed away on July 29, 2021, at the age of 91 at her home in Roseville, Minnesota. She was born to John and Mary Rapko, June 23, 1930 in Chisholm, Minnesota. Eleanore, often called by “Ellie” was the fifth of five children. She was preceded in death by her husband, Oscar “Red” Frey and her one brother and three sisters.
Her early growing up years she lived the city of Chisholm in northern Minnesota on the Iron Range. She always shared memories of living in this small town area as a joy for the simplicities of life. She loved running around outdoors, visiting people on their front porches, hiding in the underground cellars and just living in a time where you could romp freely around the neighborhood and lake safely. She enjoyed going into Main Street Chisholm to watch a movie for ten cents. In the summer picking fresh blueberries in the fields was one of her happiest things to do.
Even growing up during the days of World War II and the depression she always said she didn’t feel like they lacked anything. She often talked about walking home from school and going into the house to the smell of her mother’s freshly baked bread and goodies and one of her favorite dinners, “cabbage rolls.” After school one of her favorite things to do was listen to radio programs. This was way back before television. The radio then became her “go to” in the last years of life as her eyesight was not good and it was something she enjoyed again.
Eleanore, after graduating from Chisholm High School went off to Denver, Colorado to study nursing and eventually became a Registered Nurse, (R.N). She started her education at Children’s Hospital in Denver and also went to Chicago and the University of Minnesota.
On March 10, 1956, she married Oscar G. Frey, known as “Red” for his red hair. They lived in St. Paul, Minnesota. She was actually his nurse while he was in the hospital. He liked how she gave back rubs in the hospital which was a known part of nursing care back in the day. Their marriage resulted in 2 daughters, Deborah “Frey” Davis and Linda Frey. She said her favorite things in life were being a wife and mother. She also deeply loved her son in “love, law”, Leland. To her, Leland was her son. For twenty years in Minnesota, Leland would drive to her home
weekends when she was alone due to the loss of her husband. Leland and her spent many hours shopping, eating, browsing thrift stores and hanging out. He always answered to calls from her for help around her home in fixing things or offering advice. They were best buddies and both equally shared a sweet tooth and were often out eating desserts, malts and Dairy Queen’s.
She loved hospitality and was often the life of the party. Her husband being a part time musician, a drummer opened a whole new world for her of meeting other musicians and the night life. She loved baking and always had something sweet baking most days of the week. At the holiday season she was known for making candy and her well known “bourbon balls”! They were requested on many holidays. Ellie never knew a stranger and welcomed anyone into her space. She was the most giving person, always trying to help out. If you needed someone to listen to you, she wouldn’t judge and offered advice when asked for.
During her past 10 years she made several trips a year to San Diego to visit her eldest daughter and son in law. Her son in law made sure she was driven to every tourist spot, ocean drives, mountain adventures or out to happy hour or dinner. He cooked her breakfast and delivered it to her in bed. That was something she cherished. As a result of the trips to San Diego and her perky personality she developed a whole new group of friends of all ages in San Diego that considered her “family.” She met one of her most favorite friends, Dorothy at the Roseville Minnesota Nature Center where they both volunteered. They became best of friends and could talk each other’s ears off trying to solve all the world’s problems.
In her final few years her youngest daughter Linda and niece Laurie and her family helped her immensely and she will be ever grateful for their help and companionship. In the past year, she had caregivers come daily for a few hours. She always spoke about how much she loved her helpers they considered her more than just a client, she was very special to them. At 91 years of age Ellie had the memory of a 20 year old. You could ask her to remember things from way back in her childhood and she could tell you the exact moment and where they happened.
Eleanore “Ellie” is survived by her two daughters, Deborah Davis and Linda Frey, son in “love” law, Leland Davis. Her companion kitty, Joey. Also, sister in law, cousins, numerous nieces, nephews, two great grand nephews and friends too numerous to count.
In her final years she prayed numerous times of the day for her family, friends, and the country she loved. She now has been welcomed by the Lord into her new home in heaven and has gained the crown of eternal life.
There will be a brief committal service at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery on Friday, October 1 at 11:00 AM (Assembly Area # Pending). Please proceed past the main entrance into the cemetery to the second entrance labeled "Funeral Assembly Areas" and proceed to the above mentioned Assembly Area.