Albert John DeFrees, 91, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, died July 22, 2014 at 10:15 pm in his home surrounded by his family in Bartlesville, OK.
Albert John DeFrees, known by the nickname "Frosty" since high school, was born January 25, 1923 to Maude Watson DeFrees and John A. DeFrees on the DeFrees family farm, in Leavenworth County Kansas.
Frosty grew up in Jarbalo, KS on the family farm with his 2 older siblings. He attended Star School, a one room school house 1st through 8th grade. He then attended Jarbalo High School riding his horse "Ginger" four miles to and from daily. He loved sports and during High School, he played baseball and basketball.
After graduating in 1941 from Jarbalo High School, he continued to help with the family farm, built homes and worked in the construction industry. During this time period, he also excelled as the star center forward for the New Way basketball team.
Frosty played the guitar and loved big band and jazz music. He met Margaret Augusta Hein on Saturday, May 15, 1943, while both were attending a big band concert in Leavenworth, Kansas. They continued dating and especially loved attending live music concerts/dancing events at the Pla-Mor Ballroom in Kansas City. They saw many big bands and jazz concert artists/music such as Harry James, Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Django Rhinehardt, and others.
He married Margaret on December 14, 1946 and they moved to Kansas City. He attended Burrough's School of Business and was employed at Columbia National Bank (1947), Benson Manufacturing Company in 1948 and Farmland Industries from 1948 to 1950. While living and working in Kansas City, he attended the University of Kansas City (now known as the University of Missouri-Kansas City) with major study in rail and pipeline commodities transportation.
Frosty and Margaret relocated to Bartlesville, OK, in 1950, when his employment began with Phillips 66 Petroleum Company. Frosty was the Manager of Distribution of Refined Products in the Transportation Division of Phillips 66 Petroleum Company until his retirement in 1985. His profession took him on many travels outside of Bartlesville, OK, including commodities transportation negotiations with railroad, trucking and other transport entities and testifying before the Interstate Commerce Commission on commodity transportation.
Frosty retired in 1985 and spent his retirement time with Margaret enjoying extensive travel throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. He excelled at wood working, was an avid gin rummy card player and loved to play golf. He was a faithful member of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Bartlesville, OK.
He was preceded in death by his father, John DeFrees; mother, Maude DeFrees; brother, Joseph DeFrees; and his sister Evelyn DeFrees Weaver. He is survived by his wife, Margaret; son, Stephen DeFrees; daughter-in-law, Virginia DeFrees, daughter, Pamela Tilly; grandchildren, Matt Tilly and his wife Megan Tilly, Kara Tilly, Samuel DeFrees; many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be at the Arnold Moore & Neekamp Funeral Home, 710 S. Dewey, Bartlesville, OK on Thursday, July 24, 2014, from 5pm – 7 pm. The funeral service will be held 10:30 am Friday, July 25, 2014, at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 3700 Woodland Road, Bartlesville, OK, with Pastor Mark Carter officiating. A graveside service and final internment will be held 10:30 am Saturday, July 26, 2014, at Mount Muncie Cemetery, Leavenworth, Kansas.
In lieu of flowers, Memorial contributions are welcome at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 3700 Woodland Road, Bartlesville, OK, 74006.
The family would like to give special thanks to the Rivercross Hospice staff for their excellent care and support.