OBITUARY: Robert Freels

Obituary photo - Freels

Oct. 9, 1922 – Aug. 11, 2012

Robert “Bob” Freels, 89, a native of Wallowa County, died Aug. 11, 2012, at his home in Merritt, B.C., Canada, of an abdominal aneurysm.

Bob was born at Enterprise, the youngest son of Walter and Sammy K. Freels.

He attended Elk Mountain grade school and Enterprise and Wallowa high schools.

After graduating from Wallowa High School in 1940 he worked for local ranchers, including the Craig Brothers and Jess Scholl, and Wallowa County Grain Growers.

During WWII he served as a gunner’s mate with the U.S. Coast Guard, assigned to LST 24 (Landing Ships Tanks) in the Pacific Theater. After WWII, he was assigned to the Portland Armory as a marksmanship trainer for the Oregon National Guard.

Bob married his sweetheart Dorothy May Scholl in Enterprise on June 5, 1945.

Upon returning to Wallowa County, Bob and Dorothy began ranching, first 35 miles north of town, then back to the valley, followed by the purchase of the Indian Village/Fence Creek ranch. In 1965 they expanded their operation with the purchase of the Craig ranch outside of Enterprise.

Bob was president of the Wallowa County Stockgrowers Association, honored as Grassman of the year, and served as chairman of the association’s annual Labor Day Sale.

He was a school board member at Imnaha, and a 4-H club leader both at Imnaha and Enterprise.

In 1970 the couple sold their ranch in Oregon and moved to Peachland, B.C., Canada. Here they owned and operated a construction/trucking business for many years. He was a past master of the Peachland Masonic Lodge #83 and a member of the Merritt Masonic Lodge at the time of his death. They moved to Merritt, B.C., in 1995.

Bob loved the outdoors and spent many days exploring, hunting, and fishing. He was also a very good pool player.

In the 1980s the couple became snowbirds travelling to Arizona for the winters.

Bob is survived by Dorothy, his wife of 67 years; daughters and sons-in-law, Janine and David Caudle of Peachland, B.C., and Joslyn Freels and John McCutcheon of Merritt B.C.; son and daughter-in-law, Douglas and Marlene Freels of Hermiston; five grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

Bob was preceded in death by a 20-month-old son, Michael; four brothers, Loren, Carl, John, Roland; and three sisters, Evelyn, Ann, and Beulah.

Interment will be at the Enterprise Cemetery at 11 a.m. Oct. 6, 2012.There will be a gathering for family and friends following the service at the Enterprise VFW hall.

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