Robert Leon Frey, age 90, of Monmouth, Illinois, passed away doing what he loved at the Spoon River Scenic Drive, on Saturday October 1, 2022. Bob, as he liked to be called, was born on October 31,1931 in Keokuk, Iowa. He is the son of Theodore Clifton and Charlotte Alberta Webber Frey. He was raised in Carthage where he attended public schools and graduated from Carthage High School. He then enlisted in the United States Army in 1949 and served stateside as Sergeant until 1952.
Robert married Elene Willner on August,11, 1957 in Jacksonville, Illinois and she currently survives him. Bob attended college two years at Western Illinois University, then married Elene and transferred to the University of Illinois where he graduated with a degree in Dairy Science in 1959. He then began work for Kraft Foods in Toulon, IL as a field man and a dairy tester.
Bob then received his education and License in Insurance and began work as a County Company’s agent in 1964 which he did for 31 years in General Insurance. During his insurance career with Country Companies Bob earned a Charter Life Underwriter, CLU degree. He was inducted in the Country Companies Hall of Fame in 1992 after earning 21 “All American” awards. Bob achieved honor roll status for 300 consecutive months during his 31 year career. He served his community with insurance needs faithfully throughout his tenure at Country Companies.
Bob started beekeeping in 1975 and established “The Hobby Honey Apiary” in 1976. He managed over 100 hives at one time in the local area. He was well-known as ” The Bee Man ” around town and sold honey, provided education to the community on honey bees and enjoyed helping new beekeepers. Bob was a staple at several community and state-wide fairs and festivals were he also earned the reputation as “The Candy Man”.
Bob was a long time member of the United Methodist Church in Monmouth, IL. His heart was identifying those in need and never hesitated to buy a meal, go get a coat for someone or drive them to where they needed to go. Bob never knew a stranger and loved chatting and getting to know people. Bob wanted people to know Christ. On the back of his business card was the following verse that he penned:
“The King of Care”
Insurance for every earthly need
Is the business of Bob Frey:
But you must call on Jesus Christ
To ensure your kingdom in the sky.
He who hesitates and waits
May tarry once to long:
So offer Christ your life today
He’ll give your heart a song.
He is survived by his wife, Elene Frey of Monmouth, IL, and children, Neal Frey of Monmouth, Karen (Keith) Stephens of Mascoutah, IL, David (Ying) Frey of Naperville, IL and Lisa (Richard) Ankle of Monmouth. There are twelve grandchildren surviving, Amber (Will) Flanagan, Lindi Roberts, Jeremy Ankle, Brie (Craig) Rainey, Bryan Munson, Lindsay (Jason) Goldsmith, Karis Stephens, Abigail (Jaelon) Albert, Dylan Ankle, Johanna Stephens, Jessica Frey, and Benjamin Frey. Sixteen great grandchildren survive and his sister, Lois Curtis of Carlinville, Illinois. A number of nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives are also surviving him. Bob is preceded in his death by his parents, his two infant sons, Leon and Allan, and his sister Jane.
A funeral service is being planned on Friday, October 7, 2022 at 10:00 am at Turnbull Funeral Home in Monmouth, Illinois. His family plans visitation and will receive their friends at Turnbull Funeral Home from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Thursday evening. Interment and a military presentation will be in the Warren County Memorial Park Cemetery. A memorial fund is being established at the First United Methodist Church for Missional Emergencies to benefit local individual needs.