Frei, Julius A.
Julius A. Frei died at age 78 on Monday, Dec. 3, 2007, while on vacation with his family at Lake Tahoe, from complications of long-term diabetes.
Mr. Frei was born in Portland, Ore., on Sept. 14, 1929. He grew up in Milwaukie, Ore., attended Milwaukie Grade School, and graduated from Benson Technical High School in Portland with a degree in airplane mechanics.
Upon graduation, he joined the Army Air Corps and attained the rank of Technical Sergeant. Mr. Frei was a B-29 Flight Engineer with the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War. During his time of service, the Air Force was established as a distinct arm of the U.S. military.
Mr. Frei joined Pan American World Airways in 1955 as a flight engineer in New York City. He transferred to San Francisco, then to Miami, Florida, where he met his future wife, Holly, and finally returned to San Francisco. During his 34-year career with Pan Am, he flew all over the world on Boeing’s 377, 707, and 747 aircrafts. He became a check flight engineer on the 747. He loved flying and never thought of it as a job.
At the age of 3, standing in his yard and looking up at the sky seeing a plane going by, he told his family that he was going to fly planes one day. And he did. Among his many adventures, he flew the Russian Olympic team to the Melbourne Olympic Games in 1956. In 1957, he flew President Sukarno back into Jakarta after the Indonesian military attempted a coup while Sukarno was out of the country. Until they landed, they did not know if the plane would be greeted by Sukarno supporters or attacked.
After President Nixon normalized relations with China in 1972, Mr. Frei flew the first commercial flight into Beijing. Mr. Frei earned his private pilot’s license in 1973. Mr. Frei married his wife, Holly, in 1968 in Fremont, Calif., where they raised their two daughters, who were the proud delight of Mr. Frei’s life. He and his family traveled all over the world: Skiing the Swiss Alps, cruising the Nile River, touring King Tut’s Tomb in Egypt, experiencing Christmas in Hong Kong, China.
Mr. Frei was a member and trustee of the First United Methodist Church and belonged to Alameda Lodge No. 167, Masonic Lodge, in Fremont, Calif. In 1996, he moved to Minden, Nev.. Mr. Frei is survived by his wife of 39 years, Holly, his two daughters, one granddaughter, and a sister. He was predeceased by his parents and his brother. Mr. Frei’s death leaves a hole in their hearts that will never be filled. Donations may be made in Mr. Frei’s memory to the American Diabetes Association.
Arrangements are in the care of Truckee Tahoe Mortuary of Truckee, where cremation took place. A Memorial Service and Interment will take place 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008, at the Sacramento Valley Veterans Administration National Cemetery in Dixon.
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