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Janet L. Frey

August 15, 2009|By MARLO BARNHART

Editor's note: Each Sunday, The Herald-Mail publishes "A Life Remembered." This continuing series takes a look back -- through the eyes of family, friends, co-workers and others -- at a member of the community who died recently. Today's "A Life Remembered" is about Janet L. Frey, who died Aug. 3 at the age of 85. Her obituary was published in the Aug. 5 edition of The Herald-Mail.

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- A fall at her home in 1989 might have changed Janet Frey's life forever.

But as her daughter, Linda Horst, pointed out at Janet's Aug. 7 funeral, there still were moments of great joy mirroring the past, when Janet was raising her six children and helping her husband of 62 years run the family farm and Frey's Farm Dairy on Falling Spring Road in Franklin County, Pa.

Carrying on the tradition of farming at the Horst family dairy farm on Big Pool Road near Clear Spring, Janet's grandson, Brent Horst, said his grandmother left quite a legacy.

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"Grandpa was the dreamer and my grandmother made it come true," Brent said. "In everything, they worked together."

As a youngster, Brent said he remembers his grandmother was a great cook who had a wonderful sense of humor.

"She laughed a lot and was always happy," he said.

Another fond childhood memory for Brent was eating quantities of grapenut ice cream at Frey's Farm Dairy.

Linda, one of Janet's five surviving children, said she and her siblings grew up in the country in Chambersburg.

"I was the third child and the first daughter," Linda said.

Chores were a big part of life for the Frey children. Linda and one of her sisters had the responsibility for feeding the calves.

"We took turns getting up at 4 a.m. to do that every day," Linda said.

Sometimes, they used bottles, but mostly the calves were fed from buckets, Linda recalled.

In 1960, when Linda was 11, her parents started up Frey's Farm Dairy.

"We processed our own milk and sold it and ice cream in our store," she said. "It was very successful for many years."

The dairy and the store are closed, and Linda said that mainly is because people have gotten used to the convenience of getting dairy products and ice cream at the same store where they shop for everything else.

There even was a brief foray into the bed-and-breakfast arena, with Adin in charge of making breakfast and Janet doing the laundry. Her health further deteriorated and the establishment was closed after a few years.

On a recent summer day, some of Janet's great-grandchildren darted in and out of the Horst family kitchen.

Faith Horst, 9, stopped long enough to talk lovingly about "Grandma Frey," as she called her great-grandmother. Faith proudly showed off some of her equine artwork, reflecting a love of horses she shared with Janet.

Wade Horst, who will turn 6 on Aug. 27, said he also loved his "Grandma Frey."

Three-year-old Hope was too shy to share her feelings that day.

While the last 20 years of Janet's life were markedly changed because of the fall, Linda said there were blessings that she tries to dwell on rather than just the losses.

Until his death in 2006, Janet's husband, Adin, continued to take her for car rides and day trips.

"She was happy to ride ... it was enough that they were together," Linda said.

Family members often sang hymns to Janet on Sunday mornings at her home in an effort to keep her connected to her church, Chambersburg Mennonite Church.

During those visits, grandchildren and great-grandchildren would kiss her cheek and stroke her arms, Linda said.

Janet was able to stay in her Chambersburg home, Linda said with great contentment.

That was achieved because of a unique relationship between Janet's family and a couple who live on the other side of the house and cared for her needs when family members weren't there.

In her prepared words at the funeral, Linda's last wish for her mother depended heavily on the family's strong Mennonite religious faith that Janet now is living in a glorious place with a sound mind and body -- her contagious laughter again ringing true.

"What more can we ask for," Linda said.

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