Famous Tom Frei chose to meet his maker on March 31, 2021. Born a Halloween Spook in 1951 to Shorty and Pauline (Nuxoll) Frei, Tom never failed to brighten up the lives of those around him. He had a gift of gab, was super hilarious, remembered events as if it happened yesterday, and given the birth rite as a spook, his demeanor was sometimes frightening.
The 1st Grandson to John & Clara Frei, he was admired by his cousins and treasured his Uncles Delbert & Donnie, spending countless hours by their sides, learning the Uncles’ orneriness, and enjoying their teachings.
As a young lad he tortured his older sister, Linda, by destroying her toys, and teased his younger sister, Sarah, by convincing her (and cousins) to ride in a wagon down his Uncle Delbert’s driveway…sitting on chairs. Of course he would get hell from his Aunt Laura for teasing the girls, but most likely humored his uncles.
Upon graduating from Prairie High School in 1970, he worked for the Grangeville Mill, pulling green chain, and then joined the Stromberg logging crew bucking the landing. He worked short sprints for MacGregors in Kennewick, odd jobs in Reno, drove the Lewiston-Tri-Cities Fed-Ex Route, and always returned to logging, as his passion was in the woods. He traveled to Oregon with Gerald Lindsey’s LT&L crew and sawed locally for Darrell Adams. In the early 90’s he began his employment with Ron Norland of Norstrand, assisting Ron with excavating roads, logging property, building bridges, and anything and everything large machinery was designed to do. He retired in 2013, after managing BigFoot Firewood in Fenn for 5 years.
While first employed by Lester Stromberg, he met, what he did not know at the time, his lifelong family of friends. With this family, he built “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” with a perfect view of the meadow and Asbestos Peak. This was the true beginning of “Uncle Tom” because it was at this paradise in the woods where friends and family gathered.
Hundreds of pages could be written about the gatherings, taco feeds, 4-wheeler excursions, hunting parties, spring rides, fireworks’ displays, love, laughter, and definitely tasty spirits and whimsical conversations. But, most importantly, what “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” brought was an undeniably good time.
While owning your own paradise in the woods is pretty darn awesome, it also comes with sacrifices. Tired of the upkeep and wanting to explore more of the forests of Idaho, Tom sold his cabin and purchased a new love, Gertrude, his 1000 orange & black Razor. Gertrude was replaced by Turbo Trudy, and between the two, Tom ventured off with his brother Dave to wherever their hearts desired. Some trips included up to 35+ machines, while others were just the two of them. They covered hundreds of miles on weekend trips.
Tom will be missed greatly by his son Casey and Aeryn Russell, Xia, Taren, and Kade, of Cridersville, Ohio; his sisters, Linda (Larry) Cooper of Kooskia, Sarah (Danny) Wright of Kennewick, Wa, Tammy (Roy) Baldus of Lewiston, and Pat Alfrey of Ferdinand; and his Lil’ Bro Dave (Kathy) Frei of Cottonwood. He was truly loved and never will be forgotten by his nieces and nephews, Joe (Jemmye) Green, Jenifer (Greg) May, Ryan Wright, Angela Baldus, Brendon (Erica) Baldus, Amber (Keith) Schultz, Tim Frei, and Lauren and Travis Alfrey; nine great nieces and nephews; and the abundance of friends who always called him “Uncle Tom”.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers-in-law, James Green, Jr. and Lonnie Alfrey.
A Celebration of Life and Taco Feed will be held on Saturday, May 8, 2021 at the Cottonwood Community Hall beginning at Noon. Memorials can be made to the VFW Post #4902, P.O. Box 371, Cottonwood, ID. 83522. Arrangements are under the direction of the Blackmer Funeral Home, Grangeville. Send condolences to the family to blackmerfuneralhome.com.
THANK YOU to everyone for your calls, texts, cards, food, and support during this time of our lives. Our Hearts are crushed; and your thoughts and prayers are a blessing and truly appreciated.