Freels, Robert (Bob)
October 9, 1922 – August 11, 2012
It is with a saddened heart that the family of Robert Freels announces his passing. He passed away from an abdominal aneurysm at his home in Merritt, B.C.
Bob was born at Enterprise, Oregon, the youngest son of Walter and Sammy K. Freels.
He attended Elk Mountain Grade School, Enterprise and Wallowa High Schools.
During the Second World War, he served as a gunner’s mate with the U.S. Coast Guard assigned to LST 24 (landing ships tanks) in the Pacific theater. When the war ended he was assigned to the Portland Armory as a marksmanship trainer for the Oregon National Guard. Bob was an excellent marksman with both a pistol and a rifle.
On June 5, 1945, Bob married his sweetheart Dorothy May Scholl in Enterprise, Oregon. Dorothy was the daughter of his former employer, Jesse and Sara Scholl.
Upon returning to Wallowa County, Bob and Dorothy began ranching, first 35 miles north of Enterprise, then back to the valley, followed by the purchase of the Indian Village/Fence Creek Ranch. In 1965 Bob and Dorothy expanded their ranching operation with the purchase of the Craig place, located just outside of Enterprise, Oregon.
Bob was a member of the Wallowa County Cattlemen’s Association. In 1967 he was elected president of the association and in that year he was honoured as Grassman of the Year.
He was always active in his children’s lives, serving as a 4H club leader both at Imnaha and Enterprise.
In 1970 Bob and Dorothy sold their ranches and moved to Peachland, B.C., Canada. They had planned to semi-retire in Peachland, but within the year they were officially un-retired.
Peachland Transfer Ltd. was their final venture in the business world, co-owning the excavation/trucking business with their two sons-in-law for the next 20-plus years.
Bob was a member of the Peachland Masons, serving as master of the Peachland Masonic Lodge #83. At the time of his death he was a member of the Merritt Masonic Lodge.
Bob loved the outdoors and spent many days exploring, hunting and fishing. He went up north on many occasions, scouting out hunting areas and travelling with family and friends.
In the 1980s Bob and Dorothy became snowbirds, travelling to Arizona for the winters. Bob enjoyed a good game of pool and became a very skilled player.
Always read to move on, in 1995, Bob and Dorothy purchased a lakefront home near Merritt. He had a beautiful yard and garden, specializing in growing large pumpkins.
Bob fished daily, hunted nearby and even gave ice skating a try while in his 70s and 80s.
Bob is survived by his wife of 67 years, Dorothy, daughter Janine (David) Caudle of Peachland, B.C., daughter Joslyn (John McCutcheon) Freels of Merritt, B.C., son Douglas (Marlene) Freels of Hermiston, Oregon, five grandchildren, Jason (Maryann) Caudle, Cortni Caudle, Karlie Hartley, Reggie Freels, Carson Freels and a great granddaughter, Kendra Caudle.
Bob was preceeded in death by his 20-month-old son, Michael, four brothers, Loren, Carl, John and Roland, and three sisters, Evelyn, Ann and Beulah.
Bob was an intelligent, fun loving man who had many friends. He always said his neighbours were the best. The funny thing is, they always said the same of him.
A celebration of life will be held on August 20 at 2 p.m. in Merritt, B.C. Bob will later be laid to rest in Enterprise, Oregon.