Shelby Dean Frei

Nov. 16, 1921 – March 13, 2019

Shelby Dean Frei passed peacefully on  March 13, 2019, at 1:58 a.m. at the age of 97, at his home in Santa Clara, Utah. He was born Nov. 16, 1921, in Santa Clara to Vivian Jacob and Jessie Hafen Frei.

Shelby attended school in Santa Clara and St. George, Utah. He lived his entire life in the town of Santa Clara, with exception of three years and two months when he was serving in World War II.

He left behind a highly accomplished and priceless legacy of love, compassion and wisdom. He will be remembered for teaching his children and grandchildren integrity, hard work, honesty and doing things right the first time.

He loved farming, ranching and made it his lifetime work. Late in life the grandchildren knew him as the “Inspector,” checking their work that he gave to them to complete.

He married Jewell Gubler, June 13, 1942, in the St. George Temple. This coming June 13, 2019, they would have celebrated 77 years of marriage.  Together they had six children: Leon (Beva Lynn), baby boy-stillborn, DeeAnn (Jerry) Jensen, Kent (Robbin), Tresa Frei (Robert), and Kyle (Lisa). They were blessed with a prosperity of 20 grandchildren, 47 great-grandchildren and 5 great-great-grandchildren.

Shelby served in many positions in the Santa Clara Ward, including in the Bishopric. He was appointed mayor of Santa Clara in 1975 following the sudden death of Mayor Sylvin Graf.

He undertook to complete the first sewer system in Santa Clara, conceptually started by Mayor Graf. Rallying donated labor from Santa Clara residents and equipment from Washington County, the system was completed for $800,000, which was fully paid off by the sale of some city property, shortly thereafter.

As mayor, Shelby obtained the old State of Utah Checking Station to serve as the Santa Clara City Office and oversaw the extension of the city water system. At that time the mayor was paid $100 per month for his time and effort. He always returned his $100 per month back to the city as he felt the city always needed the money a lot more than he did.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Vivian Jacob and Jessie Hafen Frei; stillborn son; and brothers Landon Frei and Howard Frei. He is survived by his wife, Jewell Gubler Frei; and his siblings Victor Frei, Dorothy Lightner and Phyllis Norton.

A special thanks to Tori, Anna, Norine, Maria and Loretta for their special care.

Funeral services

  • Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 23, at 11 a.m. at the Santa Clara Stake Center, 3040 Santa Clara Drive, Santa Clara, Utah.
  • Visitations will be held at the Stake Center Friday from 6-8 p.m. and Saturday, prior to services, from 9-10:30 a.m.
  • Interment with full military honors will be at the Santa Clara City Cemetery.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Metcalf Mortuary, 435-673-4221.

For condolences, full obituary and funeral listings please visit Metcalf Mortuary online.

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