Memorial services set for James Freese
Memorial services will be held at 1 p.m. Nov. 13 for entrepreneur James C. Freese, who died from complications of a respiratory illness at Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George, Utah. He was 68.Services will be held at the Summit County Elks Lodge in Silverthorne.Freese was born in Wahpeton, N.D., on Dec. 22, 1935. He served in the U.S. Army in Korea from 1953 to 1955 and attended college at the Wahpeton State School of Science from 1955 to 1957. He then married and raised four children in North Dakota.In 1967, he joined Conoco Oil Co. in Denver as a sales representative. He raised two additional children in Dillon and joined Kiesling Oil Company, a wholesale petroleum distributorship that ultimately became Freese Oil Company in 1982. He also founded Freese Ice Co. later that decade.He married Judy Lash May 5, 1997.Freese lived in Dillon and Silverthorne from 1978 to late 2003, then he and his wife moved to Mesquite, Nev., for health reasons.Freese, who joined the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks in Arvada in 1977, transferred to Summit County Elks Lodge #2561 in 1980. He was the newsletter editor and served two terms as trustee starting in 1980. In 1985, he founded a golf tournament to benefit Denver’s Laradon Hall, a Denver-based facility for the developmentally challenged. He spearheaded the tournament for 11 years.Freese also served as Elks treasurer in 1996 and 1997 and became club manager in 2001, holding that post until moving from Silverthorne in September 2003. He was twice named Elk of the Year.”The Elks Lodge became our second home,” said Judy Freese. “After Jim became club manager, I became Mrs. club manager. He booked all the events, handled the bartending, ordered supplies, and served as utility infielder for anything else that cropped up.”Of course, as with any meaningful endeavor, there were perks,” she added. “We always got benefits of the weddings we booked, such as getting well fed.”Current club manager Bob Knorr said Freese “was a force around here. He was in and out all the time.”When not volunteering, Freese pursued his love of sports.”As a young man, Jim had played a lot of baseball and basketball,” Judy said. “His love of playing grew into a lifelong enjoyment of watching sports of all kinds. He also was a heck of a dancer, card player and all-around charming guy.”Freese is survived by children Danny Freese of Sioux Falls, S.D., Dawn Hastings of Grand Forks, N.D., Todd Freese of Grand Forks, N.D., Jennifer Blake of Great Falls, Mont., Jason Freese of Denver, Steve Freese of Deerwood, Minn.; brothers Darrell Freese of Santa Maria, Calif., Denny Freese of Brandon, Minn.; sisters Laura Freese of Seattle and Michelle Kubasta of Golden; and 11 grandchildren.He was preceded in death by his parents James and Edna Freese, and a sister, Lois Lusky.Memorial contributions can be made to the Summit County Elks Lodge #2561, P.O. Box 515, Silverthorne, CO 80498.
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