Charles Edward ‘Charlie’ Frey

Sept. 30, 1937-Jan. 19, 2021


Charles Edward “Charlie” Frey, 83, of Crawfordsville passed away Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, as the result of a traffic accident in Fort Myers, Florida.

Charlie is survived by his wife and business partner Mary; three sisters, Martha Cullifer, Paris, Missouri, Alice Minkel, Salem, Oregon, and Donna McElroy, Fernandina Beach, Florida; two sons, John (Lori) Frey and Joe (Sarah) Frey; and a daughter, Jane (Mark) Marencik.

Charlie is also survived by eight grandkids, Nick (Erin) Frey, Tori (Keith) Trusty, Niki (Austin) Berend, Shelby (Cara) Frey, Jack Frey, Abbie (Brandon) Werner, Michael (Mallory) Marencik and Matt Marencik; and six great-grandkids.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Edna Banta Frey; and his sister, Ruth Freeman.

Charlie was a retired farmer, but like most farmers, he never really retired. When he called loved ones, he would always start with “Just checking in ...” and then go into his reason for calling: how much (or how little) rain we received, how tall the corn was, or if he saw a tassel. He’d be sure to ask what crops were yielding or report on what the grain markets were doing. Charlie was also an Army veteran.

Charlie was loved by all. He was a friend’s friend — someone who could always be counted on. His positive attitude could uplift the sourest of souls. You always loved to be on Charlie Frey’s foursome on the golf course. Win or lose ... you were going to have the best time. “Booyah!”

As a father, he was a visionary; he instilled a strong moral character, taught his children to treat people with respect, the value of a strong work ethic and always led by example.

Growing up in Charlie’s home, the children were expected first and foremost to get along. “You only have one family,” he’d always say. While he was a physically strong man, those who knew him knew he had the tender compassion of a saint.

Dad will be missed by many. It will take all of us to fill his shoes. We have to remember that death is not a goodbye, but an “I’ll talk to you later, bye.”

Due to COVID-19, and with everyone’s health and safety in mind the family of Charlie Frey is canceling his visitation, which was scheduled for 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30 at the Darlington Conservation Club. The family is appreciative of the outpouring of love and prayers received.

In lieu of flowers feel free to make donations to your favorite charity.

Online condolences and memories may be shared at


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Bill Douglas

My heart breaks for all of us in the Darlington Community. This man's heart was bigger than almost any other person I have ever know. So kind, so funny and so down to earth. BooYah!!!!!! I will miss you lots Sir.

Saturday, January 23