April 7, 1930 - February 14, 2019

 

Memorial services will be 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at St. Benedict’s Senior Community Chapel in St. Cloud for Gerhard E. Frey, age 88 of St. Cloud and formerly of Hibbing who passed away on Thursday, February 14, 2019 at St. Benedict’s Senior Community. Chaplain Nicole Reuter will officiate. Interment will take place at the Assumption Cemetery Columbarium. Visitation will be after 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday at the St. Benedict’s Senior Community Chapel. Arrangements were made by the Daniel Funeral Home, St. Cloud.

Gerhard was born on April 7, 1930 in Saulgau, Germany. He was the youngest child of five growing up during the war when times were tough and his family had little. After high school he went to a trade school and became a journeyman electrician with plans of following his older brother to Australia, as there were few opportunities for employment in Germany after the war. Unfortunately, the quota of immigrant workers had been reached and he was denied the opportunity to join his brother. So, Gerhard applied for an immigration visa to America where he had a friend who worked in the mines on the iron range. He came here with little more than the clothes on his back and a debt owed to his friend who paid his way here. He was offered a job at the Morton Mine in Hibbing, which after a 30-day probationary period he needed to pass a test to be hired permanently. It was at this point that Gerhard had wished he had studied English a bit more diligently while a student in Germany. He studied every night after work, and he passed the test and was hired. This led to a 30-year career working for Hanna Mining which involved the oversight of the construction of the National Steel Pellet Plant in Keewatin.

When Gerhard left Germany to come to America he not only left behind his family and friends but also his fiancé, Rita. He convinced her to join him and they were married in Grand Rapids on July 21, 1956. They eventually built a home in Hibbing where they raised three children as well as the best garden in Greenhaven. After retirement they enjoyed travelling and spending time at the cabin on Harriet Lake, taking saunas and playing cribbage. When Rita started showing signs of Alzheimer’s they decided to move to St. Benedict Village in St. Cloud, which offered the care she required. Gerhard would go visit her everyday giving her the comfort that she needed. After she passed in 2010 Gerhard continued to live at St. Ben’s until his final days. It seems appropriate that he passed away on Valentine’s Day as he is now reunited with Rita.

Gerhard is survived by his three children, Roland (Tracey) of Kalispell, Montana, Roger (Annette) of Rosemount and Christine (Steve) Schueller of St. Cloud; grandchildren, Maddey Frey, Garrett and Tyler Frey, Andrew and Hope Schueller. He will always be Opa to them. Also survived by relatives in Germany and Australia.

Gerhard was preceded in death by his wife, Rita; siblings, Ruth Gaissmaier, Elisabeth Frey, Margaret Bullinger and Walter Frey.