Julius Maxson “J.M.” Frey
The family of Julius Maxson, "J.M." Frey, a longtime resident of Abilene, Kansas is saddened to announce his passing at Salina Reginal Health Center Hospital’s Comfort Care unit on Tuesday November 16, 2021 surrounded by his loving family. He was 91 years old.
J.M., the son of Otto and Lettie Jeffrey Frey was born in Wichita, Kansas on May 4, 1930. He grew up on a farm near Elmdale, Kansas, attended the local schools and graduated from Elmdale Rural High School in 1949.
J.M. will be remembered for his warm smile, welcoming nature, immense kindness, profound love for his family, and relentless passion for teaching. He will be missed by all who knew him.
After farming for a year he went to Kansas State College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences in Manhattan, KS. On Aug 16, 1953 he was united in marriage to his childhood friend/high school sweetheart, Louise Noonen of Hymer, Kansas. While Louise was a teacher in Alta Vista, J.M. graduated in 1954 with a B.S. in Animal Husbandry. He participated in ROTC all four years.
Upon graduation, J.M. joined the U.S. Army as a troop information education officer where he discovered his love for teaching. After spending time in Ft. Benning, Georgia and Ft. Ord, California they returned to Kansas State University where he earned a Master’s Degree in Agriscience. He remained in the active reserves and served an additional 18 years, retiring in 1974 as a Lieutenant Colonel.
In 1958 they both took teaching jobs at Abilene High School and made it their permanent residence, raising their family there and fully serving the community.
J.M. taught Vocational Agriculture, Animal Science and welding full time for 38 years and as a substitute teacher in the Ag shop for an additional 10 years. He also taught adult welding class one night a week and worked the scorer’s table at home football and basketball games.
J.M.’s greatest contribution to service was as a teacher. During his teaching career he served on numerous boards including holding offices in several organizations.
For over 20 years, in association with his alma mater Kansas State University, J.M. created a student teacher training site for future Vocational Agriculture teachers providing them a classroom environment to do their student teaching.
He was a past president of the National Vocational Teacher's Association and was awarded a lifetime membership. He was an officer in the National FFA Association as secretary, honored and merited as a National Lifetime FFA Officer.
J.M. served on the board and was a past President of the National Vocational Agricultural Teachers Association.
After retirement he was also honored as a Lifetime Achievement member to the National Association of Agriculture Educators.
After 38 years on the Central Kansas Free Fair Board, J.M. was inducted into the Central Kansas Free Fair Board Hall of Fame in 1995 and served as the Fair Parade Marshall.
Serving as a long-term board member of the Dickinson County Historical Society. J.M. could be seen running the C.W. Parker carousel at the museum, sharing his enthusiasm with those who came to ride.
He taught the young and old alike, serving as an adult leader for the local Sand Springs Rustlers 4-H Club, and a board member of North Central Area Agency on Aging where he was President of the board for two years, as well as volunteered as a tax preparer for the elderly for many years following. He also served on the board of trustees for the First United Methodist Church of Abilene and was one of the teachers for the Crusaders Sunday School Class.
J.M. could also be spotted in the community volunteering at local events. J.M.’s smile and warm personality were a welcome addition to the Great Plains Theatre where he and Louise did whatever was needed, starting with the very first live show and continuing to volunteer for many years.
A lifetime educator, J.M. continues to be a teacher even today. According to J.M., "We both spent our lifetime teaching and we decided to continue by donating our bodies to the Kansas University School of Medicine.” This is J.M.'s final classroom, impacting medical students who will become tomorrow’s health care professionals.
J.M. was preceded in death by his parents, Otto and Lettie, brother Royce Frey, sister Beulah Haver, one niece, two nephews and two great nephews.
He is survived by his loving wife Louise, son Jay Michael (Stephanie), Wichita KS and daughter Nancy Louise Jarecki (Andrew) of New York City. Six grandchildren; Julie (Tim), Tom (Grace) and Ellen Louise Frey, Maxson, Jasper and Jeremy Louise Jarecki. He is also survived by his sister Alice Frey, brother-in-law Burton (Mary) Buchman and many nieces, nephews, cousins in addition to a host of friends.
There will be a family visitation memorial holiday open house December 23rd from 4-7 p.m. at Shockey and Landis, 324 Broadway, Abilene KS.
In lieu of flowers, donations in J.M.’s name can be made to the Community Foundation of Dickinson County, Inc, P.O. Box 735, Abilene KS 67410 or the First United Methodist Church, 601 North Cedar, Abilene KS 67410.