I would like to nominate Dr. Roger M. Frey for a Covenant Platinum Award. Roger is very deserving as you will see from the following pages which describe his many accomplishments in all four categories. Roger is a wonderful example of someone who is making the most of his senior years. Thank you for considering Roger for one of the awards.
During World War II Roger Frey volunteered for the U.S. Air Force. After nearly four years he was discharged and returned home to complete his B.S. and M.S. degrees. After a two year teaching stint in a residential school he was awarded a Fulbright Professorship to teach Greek Boys at the Thessaloniki Agricultural and Industrial Institute. The one year grant was extended for a second year and he then returned to the States to earn his Doctoral degree.
As a professor and subsequently Department Head of Special Education and Rehabilitation he completed 27 years at the University of Tennessee, for a total of 38 years in the educational profession.
Upon retirement, he was designated as a Professor Emeritus.
Since his retirement, Roger has progressed to an advanced square dance level and continues with this activity on an at least bi-monthly schedule. Activities often include out of state trips to National Conventions such as Indianapolis, Birmingham and Charlotte.
He maintains and mows his hilly corner lot with a push mower, and since his retirement he has never hired anyone to cut his grass. He also grows a garden of tomatoes and veggies each year, plus nurturing his apple, peach and fig trees, in addition to his grape vines. The annual bumper crop of figs is made into fig jam, and this and his other fruit produce he freely shares with his neighbors.
Rog regularly walks or rides his bike in his hilly neighborhood. On very cold or rainy days he rides on his stationary exercise bike.
Home maintenance is placed on Rog’s yearly plan. He paints, lays carpet or tile as needed, and on a six year plan he paints the outside of the house. He does one side each year and the other two years are for touch-ups.
Involvement in the building and fixing up of Habitat homes is an additional opportunity for exercise.
Roger has taken photographic shots for many years which are pasted into photo albums. Two years after retirement he bought a photo-enlarger at a rummage sale and now makes 8” x 10” black and white enlargements which he develops in his bathtub. These mounted salon quality prints won a red and a white ribbon at the Tennessee Valley Fair. He continues to improve the quality of his prints and five of these enlargements now dominate the Frey living room.
Roger’s full size head of an American Indian sculpted from clay, was awarded the “Best of Show” medallion at the Fair.
Most recently, Roger has entered his wood carvings in the Fair. He has entered a hawk, a Moses, several Santas, a mockingbird, a spirit face and a monk into the novice category. Several have been awarded ribbons.
He is now a member of the TN Carving Guild and gives special attention to carvings requested by his children and six grandchildren. He also carves several sizes of dogwood earrings which he paints white, pink or natural wood color to give to his friends.
After retirement, Roger could hardly wait to learn to do things he had never had time for while he was working full-time. One of the first things that fascinated him was raising honey bees. He registered for a class in bee-keeping offered by the UT Agricultural School. When he completed this class he decided to raise bees, building a habitat for them in his back yard. For several years he tended bee colonies, harvesting their honey, straining and preserving it for his own and his neighbors’ use. After several years, the bees became “too frequent” visitors to a nearby swimming pool and this hobby was discontinued.
Roger enrolled in a clay sculpting class in Crossville, TN. After producing a life size clay bust of an Indian, he moved on to wood carving. Classes are offered in Greenville, Crossville and Knoxville, and in addition to attending these classes he gets together with a group of carvers on a bi-monthly basis in the Halls community.
To keep up with the rapidly changing world of technology, Roger joined a computer class at the O’Connor Senior Center. As his level of competence rose, he added another class, now feeling secure in this area of communication.
The Elderly Brothers singing group is an all-time favorite activity for Roger. They specialize in gospel music and humorous stories. They have averaged at least two singing dates per month for the past nine years, specializing in bringing cheer and entertainment to leisure groups, nursing home residents, hospitals, churches and even an area ministers’ meeting.
Roger continues as a faithful member of his church choir since his retirement 17 years ago. He has also served as a Sunday school class president and is a faithful member of the FISH program, delivering food to the needy on a monthly basis.
An active participant in the Habitat for Humanity program, Roger was a member of an on-site work force helping to build two homes in Knoxville and one in Wartburg. In addition, he recently participated in helping to build window frames at the Habitat Carpenter Workshop, to be used in future Habitat houses.
A week in Hinton, NC was spent working with the resident team members on building and remodeling homes.
As part of the Easter Seal program, Rogers does a “Grandfatherly” job of collecting money from the neighborhood on a yearly basis.
The local AARP organization is another area of participation and interest, and he often shares his many talents in their projects.
As an active participant and past president of the Tennessee Partners of the Americas, on two separate occasions, Roger was invited to assist them in the development of new programs in Manaus, Brazil. The organization fosters understanding and mutual assistance between South American countries and states in the USA. During his ten day schedules, Roger offered lectures at the University of Amazonas, led hands-on programs and demonstrations at schools, and seminars for medical and psychological professionals. The Freys have home-hosted numerous Brazilian Partners, including an agricultural professor, a soccer coach, a cardiologist, a physical education teacher, a veterinarian, and an educational psychologist.
Roger has been an active member of the Friendship force, for many years, elected as club president in 2001. This group travels to domestic and foreign countries, hosting and being hosted, with a mission of spreading peace and good will while accumulating new friends throughout the world. Roger assumed the responsibility of exchange director for outbound exchanges to Pau, France and for Krems, Austria. Many foreign visitors have been entertained in the Frey home, some of whom had hosted the Freys. They share their cultures and backgrounds and become knowledgeable in regard to the American way of life, as well as having the opportunity to view the exceptional beauty of East Tennessee, endorsing the “World of Friends” concept.