Richard Frey '53 May 6, 2020 11:13 AM updated: May 6, 2020 11:15 AM
Richard "Dick" Frey
December 17, 1929 – April 25, 2020
Richard “Dick” Frey was an amazing man – a one-of-a-kind original – who lived an impactful life that can only be explained by the presence of Christ in his life. Dad or “Papa” to his grandchildren, went home to be with the Lord at 2:45pm on Saturday, April
25th, in the presence of his family who loved him greatly. Dick was the oldest of four children born to Ernest Martin and Elizabeth Hershey Frey in Englewood, New Jersey, while his dad was working on his PhD. in Education at Columbia University in New York
City. He grew up in San Gabriel, California in the greater Los Angeles area, and graduated from Mark Koeppel High School in Alhambra. Dick leaves behind three children and their spouses, eleven grandchildren, and five great-grandsons and still counting. Dick
is also survived by his brother Dr. Bill Frey and wife Carry of Dickinson, Texas; sister Julia Taylor and husband Dr. Terry Taylor of Atlanta, Georgia; and the famiy of his late brother John Raymond “Jack” Frey and wife Shirley of Tomball, Texas.
The biggest game-changing decision of Dick’s life outside of his relationship with Christ was marrying Shirley Ann Sizemore. You cannot think of him without thinking of her. They met on a blind date, courted for a grand total of three months, married on June 7, 1960, and were inseparable for the next 49 years of marriage! Dick fleshed out his love for his bride Shirley Ann, a vow they promised to fulfill in sickness and in health, till death do us part. Shirley Ann whom he affectionately called “Lady Bug” or “Shirl” was the pride of his life. They partnered together as parents in raising their children as well as serving together in various ministries at Tomball Bible Church.
Dick was a family man and with Shirley Ann raised three children who love the Lord: Ramonda, Ernie, and Jack. Ramonda and son-in-love Tom Lunsford are missionaries with SIM and are currently serving in Lusaka, Zambia in southern Africa. The Lunsfords have three children who are married: Luke and Emily Lunsford, missionaries in Africa, and their sons Caleb, Eli, and Noah; Abby and Tyler Rosas and their son Titus, serving in pastoral ministry and live in Kansas City, Kansas; and Tyler and Lucy Lunsford and their son Jonah, missionaries in Africa. Ernie and daughter-in-love Anne have pastored churches in the US and are missionaries with SIM working in Africa as well. They currently live in The Woodlands, Texas. They have three daughters: Morgan, a teacher in Fort Worth, Texas; Meredith, a sophomore at Wheaton College, and Madison, a sophomore in high school. Jack and daughter-in-love Jennifer have served in the military after graduating from West Point, led in the business world, and coached football. They currently live in Tomball, Texas. As of January, 2020, all of their children are married: Logan and Alyssa Frey, a strength and conditioning coach and nurse in Alpine, Texas; Lauren and Reid Petty, a nurse and accountant in Fort Worth, Texas; Austin and Maddie Frey, a strength and conditioning coach and seminary student in Denver, Colorado; and Alli and Garrett Harlan, newlyweds having just moved to San Antonio, Texas; and Andrew and Sara Thomas, both teaching and completing their PhD’s in English at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin. Praise God for generations of godliness and for a man whose quiver was full!
Professionally, Dick’s working life was in the area of sales, whether that be cookware, the cleaning agent Swipe, or real estate. During his entire career he never worked for a corporation. His father gave him a sales foundation and taught him the lesson that if you know how to sell you will never have to work for anyone else. One of the joys of his life was working in partnership for over four decades with his best friend and brother Jack Frey. They were partners together in Frey Real Estate in various ventures and developments in the Tomball and Houston area. Dick sold the properties that Jack developed including Timbergreen, Rosewood Hill, Holly Creek, Estates of Holly Lakes, and High Meadow. Dick’s philosophy of sales was to find out what was important to the other person and then try to help them meet that need. Rather than high-pressuring someone into buying something they did not want, he had a friendly way of asking questions to surface what was best for their life situation. While selling real estate, Dick had the privilege of working closely with nephews Paul and David Frey, and Ron Sizemore along with his brother-in-law the late Don Sizemore.
Football was an extremely important aspect of his development as a person both as a player and as a coach, and he was able to stay involved in the sport throughout his entire life. The lessons gained on the football field were woven into the fabric of his life, profession, and family. In his senior year of high school, the coach came to him and said, “Frey, you can play on the varsity and earn a letter but you will never see the field. Or you can actually play and be on the junior varsity.” This decision was an easy one for Dick, as he wanted to “be in the game” and played on the junior varsity without earning a varsity letter in his senior year of high school. This same coach made a statement that influenced him the rest of his life, “If you keep trying and never give up, you’ll make somebody’s team someday.” After high school, Dick still wanted to play football and played for two years at Pasadena Junior College whose home field was the Rose Bowl. His football career went to another level when he transferred to Texas A&M where he was a three-year letterman for the Aggies from 1950-52 as a defensive end and tackle. His 1950 Aggie team played in the post-season Presidential Bowl. Gig Em Aggies! After college, Dick went into the Air Force (1953-1954) and was stationed in Germany where he continued to play football winning the European Air Force Championship at the much-heralded Wembley Stadium in London, England.
After completing his military service, he returned to Texas and was a teacher and football coach at Kaufman High School where he was a pioneer in introducing weight training for athletes. He even started a small business making and selling training weights. At the age of thirty, Dick still wanted to play football. After repeated efforts of attempting to obtain a tryout, the Dallas Texans (who became the Kansas City Chiefs), offered him a tryout and he made the team in 1960 as a 6’2” 235 pound defensive end. The following year he played for the Houston Oilers who won the 1961 AFC Championship with George Blanda at quarterback. During that year, he was paid the league minimum wage with a handsome salary of $6,500. His final year of playing professional football and winning the AFC Championship typified his dogged determination to never give up and gave him a life-long interest championing the underdog. Though he never earned a high school letter, his coach’s prophecy came true: Dick never gave up and made somebody’s team, even winning a professional championship ring!
After his playing career was over, Dick continued to stay close to the sport he loved. In 1976, he left the business world temporarily when he was invited to coach the defensive line for TCU in Fort Worth, Texas for a year. Although coaching at the college level was exciting, his most memorable coaching seasons were the years that he coached with his son Jack Frey and the Tomball Christian Warriors. Dick had the privilege of coaching two of his grandsons, Logan and Austin Frey. Austin followed in his grandfather’s footsteps at Texas A&M where he walked-on as a long snapper and earned a scholarship for his final two seasons as an Aggie. The legacy of football runs deep in the Freys through the impact and influence of Dick Frey.
Dick Frey made a transformational impact throughout his life. Larry Hipp is an example of a young man who was rapidly heading to a future in the criminal justice system. Larry was just ten years old and living in the projects in West Dallas when their lives intersected for the first time. Both of Larry’s older brothers were already behind bars. Dick was Larry’s coach in football and baseball and realized very quickly that Larry’s life was in need of salvaging. Dick contacted his own Mother and Dad and shared with them Larry’s story and asked them if they would allow Larry to come and live with them in Houston. They agreed to the opportunity and Larry lived with E.M and Betty Frey for four years. Larry graduated from school, married a godly girl, became a manager in a business, and raised his family in a Baptist church in Mobile, Alabama where he is currently retired. Larry is one example of Dick’s heart for outreach and compassion for those that need love the most.
Dick took his faith seriously and truly had to fight for what he believed. During one season while serving as an elder in a church, he began wrestling with his faith and questioning God. Looking for answers, he and Shirley Ann moved their young family to Switzerland for three-months to study at L’Abri with the influential theologian Francis Shaeffer. This experience of intensive searching and questioning was foundational to his belief system as he came to the conclusion that you build your faith on what you believe rather than on your doubts. His personal journey of faith and the challenges that experienced gave him a real interest in others who had questions about their own faith.
Dick was actively involved at Tomball Bible Church for forty years and served on the elder board for many years. Along with his wife and ministry partner Shirley Ann, the dynamic duo had a passion for marriages and young families and committed their lives to helping parents raise godly children. They also served together as the high school youth directors for several years and many of those former students are now in full-time Christian ministry as a result of their investment. On Valentine’s Day, Dick and Shirley Ann would have a special dinner for women who were divorced, single, or widowed.
Dick was a faithful husband, father, grandfather (“Papa”), brother, uncle and friend to all. He loved challenges and was passionate about making a difference in people’s lives. His life was built around his faith in God and in Jesus his Savior, his investment in his family, and the impact of football in every area of his life. Like the Apostle Paul said, Dick has “fought the good fight, he has finished the race, he has kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). His notebooks are filled with poems, stories, dreams, and statements to never give up!
A private viewing will be held and followed by a memorial service at Klein’s Funeral Home in Tomball. Due to the coronavirus, only family members will be attending with plans for a public celebration service later in the summer. In lieu of flowers, the family’s desire is to further the legacy of disciple-making in the US and Africa.
Donations can be made to Global Outreach International for the Richard and Shirley Ann Frey Discipleship Fund at www.globaloutreach.org/giving/project-details/samuel-l-simpson-fellowship
Samuel L Simpson Fellowship - Global Outreach International
You can make a donation to Samuel L. Simpson Fellowship by entering the amount you wish to donate in the gift field.
or send to Global Outreach International, P.O. Box One, Tupelo, MS 38802.
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