Obituary: Chuck Frey

July 22, 1948 - June 1, 2024
Chuck Frey
July 22, 1948 - June 1, 2024
Posted at 9:08 AM, Jun 09, 2024

Chuck Frey was born in Great Falls to Joseph L. and Eileen D. Frey on July 22, 1948, a classic World War II baby boomer. He attended grade school at St. Joseph’s Catholic School on the west side of town and barely graduated from C.M. Russell High School in 1966.

He enlisted in the US Navy (best thing that ever happened) and served aboard the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk for a tour in Vietnam. After being honorably discharged, he attended college for 2 quarters at Western Montana College in Dillon, Montana. It was there he rediscovered his interest in life and transferred to the University of Montana and majored in Geology, graduating in 1974.

He worked for the U.S. Forest Service as geologic assistant in the beautiful Bitterroot and National Forest for several years. He worked at a gold mine in western Nevada which was very exciting, and for the U.S. Geological Survey in Billings on coal projects in Scobey, Montana, and various coal projects in North Dakota. In 1979, he worked in Butte, for the Bureau of Land Management. In 1981, he returned to the Forest Service in Great Fall as a forest geologist for 9 years in the Lewis and Clark National Forest. In 1990, he answered the “call of the wild” and transferred to the vast and rugged Chugach National Forest Headquarters in Anchorage, Alaska. He headed the planning and minerals division of the forest.

Outdoor recreational activities included sea kayaking in the Price William Sound, hiking, and rafting in very remote areas of Alaska. On a birding trip to St. Lawrence Island, he met a Siberian Yup’ik Eskimo gentleman which was the beginning of a 25 year long business of buying and selling walrus ivory and whalebone carvings.

He returned to Great Falls in 2004 after retiring. He started traveling over the next 10 years and went to 46 countries. He is survived by brother, Kenneth "Kenny" Frey; sister, Joleen Frey; nephew, Jason Brown; and nieces, Tammy Frey and Michelle Frey.

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