Billy Joe Frieze
Billy Joe Frieze, 84, was born November 19, 1929 and passed away July 25, 2014, in Springfield, Mo. after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
Joe was the son of Noel N. Frieze and Minnie L. (Whistance) Frieze and grew up on a Cedar Creek farm in the small community of Wagoner, located about eight miles southwest of Stockton, Mo. Growing up on the heels of The Great Depression impacted his life forever.
Joe attended Cedar Bluff School through eighth grade and graduated from Stockton High School in 1947. After High School, he attended the University of Missouri-Columbia for two years. He returned to the Stockton area in 1949 due to the illness of his mother and taught at Cedar Bluff School for one year.
He enlisted in the United States Air Force and was stationed in Madison, Wisconsin from 1950-1954. He grew fond of Madison and decided to complete his schooling at the University of Wisconsin and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1957, a Master of Science Degree in 1959, and completed his course work for a PhD in 1961.
He married Ruth Ann Hembree on June 11, 1961, in Stockton and moved to Springfield, Mo. in December 1961. Joe worked for the City of Springfield for 35 years and retired in 1996. After retirement, Joe continued as a consultant for the City of Springfield until July 1, 2013.
He enjoyed gardening, sports, games, and family activities. His warm quietness and familiar humor will be missed the most.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Noel (Shorty) and Minnie Frieze; and brother-in-law, Ron Hembree.
Joe is survived by his wife, Ann, of the home; his four children: Andrea (Alan) Lyttle of Blue Springs, Mo., John (Kim) Frieze of Olathe, Kan., Beth (Kalon) Mitchell, Nixa, Mo., William (Deborah) Frieze, Seattle, Wash.; eight grandchildren: Andrew Lyttle; Patrick Mitchell; Zachary, Kathryn and Megan Frieze; Elizabeth, and twins Amelia and Grace Frieze; his sister, Jean (Tip) Box of St. Peter's, Mo.; sister-in-law, Connie Hembree of Wichita, Kan.;and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and close friends.
Joe accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at age 16 at Hopewell Baptist Church, never wavering in his faith. He was a member of Second Baptist Church in Springfield for the last 44 years.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Mohan Tummala and staff of the O'Reilly Cancer Center, and Dr. Allan Allphin for their compassionate care and dedication over the past three and a half years.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributions to Wagoner (Cedar Bluff) School Renovation Project, c/o Liberty Bank, 14 Public Square, Stockton, MO 65785.
A Celebration of Life will be held Wednesday, July 30, 11:00 a.m. in Second Baptist Church, 3111 E. Battlefield, Springfield, MO. Burial will take place at 3:00 p.m. in the Stockton City Cemetery.
Greenlawn Funeral Home East - Springfield
3540 E. Seminole
Springfield, MO 65809
Published in the News-Leader from July 28 to July 30, 2014