Aug. 29, 1934 – Nov. 21, 2014
Gordon Lee Friede, of Lovell, died on Nov. 21, 2014. His wife Pat preceded him in death in 2008, after 51 years of marriage, something he was especially proud of. Gordon died peacefully in his home shortly after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Gordon was the ideal patriarch, always teaching his family, as well as everyone he knew. There were so many lessons he taught so well, including the value of hard work, caring, generosity, his highly valued gardening skills, learning to deal with and overcome physical limitations and adversity with grace, and above all, unconditional love.
His unconditional love was evident even through his final hours as he continued to care for his family with guidance and words of wisdom. As each grandchild arrived or called he reassured them of his love and offered each a valuable lesson in his parting words to them, something they will each cherish throughout their lifetime, carrying on his loving legacy.
Gordon was born Aug. 29, 1934, in Zurich, Mont., near Chinook, Mont., on the family homestead to parents Mary and Otto Friede. He had four sisters and seven brothers, all of whom have preceded him in death except two brothers, Harry Friede and Glenn Friede, both of Chinook. During his lifetime his family lived a subsistence lifestyle that taught him the value of hard work, as well as strength of family.
Gordon attended Chinook High School where he was a Chinook Sugarbeeter and an All American football player. He met his high school sweetheart, Patsy Gratton, during that time. They married on Dec. 27, 1956, and began their life together in Fargo, where Gordon continued his college education at North Dakota State University while playing football, where he was also named a football All American. He loved all sports, especially loved the sport of football, and always kept up on all of the games during the season whether they were high school, college or professional games, and he enjoyed discussing them with anyone who was interested.
Together Gordon and Pat raised five children. During their lifetime, they moved 16 times to various small towns across the Rocky Mountain States for Gordon’s career in the sugar beet industry, as the agricultural manager for Great Western Sugar. He held this same career for 43 years until he retired in 2002. Moving so often was challenging with five children, but Gordon always did his best to be involved with all of their activities, coaching many sports teams and attending countless other events to support his children as their number one fan. Through his coaching efforts, he touched the lives of many young people. He continued this support with his grandchildren by attending every event he could and always offering at least one or two pointers to work on for the next event.
In addition to supporting his children and grandchildren in all their activities, Gordon had many passions, one of which was hard work. This was evident in his beautiful yard. He was a master gardener who gladly offered advice and information to anyone who asked. He was happy to share his knowledge on how to get the best yield from any seeds sown. He grew a garden every summer to bless his family with the harvest, going so far as to freeze and can the fruits and vegetables himself to prevent any of it from going to waste. He also loved camping, four-wheeling, visiting the wild horse range and golfing. He could always calm the fussiest of babies, and kids always loved him. He enjoyed any time spent with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Gordon recently celebrated his 80th birthday with a day trip to Yellowstone Park with his children, which was one of his favorite places to spend time with his wife, Pat.
He was a no fuss kind of guy, an optimist by nature with a tender heart. He always made everyone feel welcome and comfortable in his home. He lived a simple life but felt like he had all the treasures in the world.
Gordon was preceded in death by his loving wife Pat, his parents, Otto and Mary Friede, nine brothers and sisters, and parents-in-law Chuck and Dorothy Gratton.
He is survived by his five children, 15 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren: his son Mike (Sue) and their children Jenna, Shane, Tucker and Danny; daughter Dezi (Jeff) Kappes and their children Joseph and Danny; daughter Cathy (Gran) Williams and their children Andi (Trevor) Eldredge and Matt (Kristyn); daughter Lori (Barry) Welch and their children Erin (Spencer) Hughes, Derek (Sarah), Megan, Maddie and Riley and son Kelly and children Kourtney and Colby; great-grandchildren Max, Ellie, Trigger, Mark, Scott and Shelby, and also his dear friend and neighbor Linda Borders.
Cremation has taken place. Services will be at the Community Center in Lovell on Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at 11 a.m., with a lunch to follow. In lieu of flowers the family wishes donations to be made to the American Cancer Society, the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center, P.O. Box 385, Lovell, WY or Powell Valley Hospice, 777 Avenue H, Powell, WY 82435.
To send one of our special floral arrangements, please call Valley Flowers & Gifts in Lovell, 307-548-7101