Robert “Bob” D. Freije, 78, of Edmore, N.D., died unexpectedly on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 due to complications from pulmonary fibrosis at First Care Health Center in Park River, N.D.

Robert “Bob” D. Freije, 78,  of Edmore, N.D., died unexpectedly on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 due to complications from pulmonary fibrosis at First Care Health Center in Park River, N.D.

Bob’s funeral service will be held at Concordia Lutheran Church of Edmore on Monday, May 12 at 10:30 a.m.  Officiating will be the Reverend Don Reynolds.  The organist will be John Martinson with special music provided by the High Plains Trio.  Interment will be in the Edmore Cemetery.  

Serving as casketbearers will be Bryce Hoime, David Schneider, Larry Ivesdal, Don Viger, Mark Brekke, Arne Berg, Brandy George, and Larry Knoke.  The honorary casketbearers will be Lloyd Stromme and David Lorenz.  Visitation will be held at the church on Sunday, beginning at 5 p.m. with a prayer service at 7 p.m.  Visitation will continue on Monday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service.

Robert Duane Freije was born June 2, 1935 to Shabel and Martha (Munyer) Freije at Lawton, N.D.  He attended school in Lawton until his family moved to Edmore.  Bob graduated from Edmore High School in 1954.  Since his father was an implement dealer, he spent hours around machinery  setting up, repairing, and delivering.  As a young child he spent nine summers on his grandparents farm at Rugby, N.D.  Here began his 57 year love of the land.  This “city kid” married a “farmer’s daughter”, Pat Sobak, on November 10, 1957, and they began farming the next spring.  With not many acres to farm, Bob also baled hay and worked jobs with a caterpillar.  His jobs took him to many farms, and he loved to remember all the people he worked for and meals he was invited in to enjoy. As years went by acres increased and he gave up working with the caterpillar, but at one time took care of 180 head of cattle - half of which were his registered Red Angus.  Again years went by and more acres to farm, so no more cattle.  In the past years of countless doctor visits, he was continually asked if he was retired.  His reply, “No, I just do what I am told now!”  Those who knew him understood the directions came with a lot of his input.  He had every intention of being in one of the tractors this spring. One of Bob’s fiercest loves was his family.  He always wanted everyone around his table and in his house.  Christmas was his favorite.  Who now will don the red Christmas shirt to set the festivities in motion?  Each of his children’s accomplishments brought him bragging rights, and having his only son farm alongside him assured him his legacy would be passed on.  The accomplishments of his first set of grandchildren brought him great joy, and having his only grandson come to farm was momentous - now a third generation on the farm. The last few years his winter love has been watching his youngest set of granddaughters play basketball. He was so proud, and an ardent fan of the Raiders.  As with all small communities, Bob served on many local and county boards.  Representing the people of Ramsey County as a County Commissioner for 16 years was a source of great pride.  He served as the President of the North Dakota County Commissioner Association in 2004.

Bob is survived by his wife, Pat, of 56 years; children, Robin Aanstad of West Fargo, N.D., Doug (Bonnie) of Edmore, and Brenda Freije of Laurel, MD; grandchildren, Deidre Aanstad of Fridley, Minn., Bobby Aanstad (Heather) of Edmore, Laura Aanstad of Moorhead, Minn., Ashtin, Fallyn, and Morgan Freije of Edmore; great grandsons, Tanner Aanstad and Austin Jenniges of Edmore; sisters, Evelyn Kosobud of Tempe, Ariz., Devona Gray of Temple City, Calif., and Delores McCown of Dallas, Tex.; brothers, Shabel Jr. of Steele, N.D., John of Mayville, ND, Howard Dean (Mary Ann) of Grand Forks, and Arnie (Jeannie) of Warroad, Minn.; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; three sisters, Gloria Anderson, Sadie Freije and Yvonne Freije; and four brothers, George, Raymond, Alfred, and Bud.

As one niece stated, Bob was considered the family icon.  His place at the head of the family table will never be filled.  Our hearts are overcome with loss, but our memories are filled with love and laughter.

 Aaker Funeral Home, Lakota, N.D., is in charge of arrangements.