Elfrida Marie Free, 82, of North Powder passed away on Wednesday, January 29, 2014, at her residence with her family by her side. She was a breast cancer survivor, had knee replacement surgery, and suffered from dementia. A Graveside service for Elfrida was held on Monday, February 3, 2014.
Elfrida was born on May 11, 1931 in Barlow, North Dakota. Her father was Albert Moline an emigrant from Sweden (who passed away when she was 12 years of age) her mother was Rose (Herringer) Moline. Elfrida attended Grade School and Middle School in Brantford, North Dakota and graduated from High School in New Rockford, North Dakota. She attended Northwest Nazarene (College) University in Nampa Idaho for 1 year studying Elementary Education.
During her year at Northwest Nazarene (College) University her and Delmar Ed Free-her husband of nearly 63 years met. They were married on August 26, 1951. Elfrida served alongside Delmar as Lay-Pastors' Wife. They served several years in Seneca, North Powder and Union Nazarene Churches. She continued her involvement in church ministries in the Union Nazarene Church for over 35 years in various areas such as: Sunday School Teacher, Missionary President, Church Treasurer and Secretary, Quiz Leader. She was an especially talented musician playing both piano and accordion and had a special ability to sing various vocal parts.
During the last fifty plus years, she has been involved in working on the Family Ranch and with Delmar has raised 6 children.
For a brief time, was a substitute cook for the Powder Valley School, Head Cook for "Fire-Up Camp" a teen retreat held at the Family Ranch/Homestead. She loved to cook huge meals and bake homemade bread and pies, which people raved about.
She enjoyed raising chickens, geese, and other animals. She grew a VERY large garden, raised beautiful flowers and thoroughly enjoyed them even until her last days. She was an accomplished seamstress, sewing many western shirts and other garments for family and friends. During the last few years, she enjoyed had embroidery.
Elfrida loved her family trips to the mountains to pick Huckleberries, Mushrooms and get firewood. The tradition for her family on those trips was her locally famous homemade root beer, tuna sandwiches and butter finger candy bars. She was "one of a kind fisher-woman" who loved to reel in the trout or catfish but because of her extreme dislike of worms and snakes, her children and grandchildren usually baited her hooks.
Having given her heart to Christ during her teen years, she was a huge example of how a Christian Woman should live. Those closest to her, knew her as a true "peacemaker". Her family ALWAYS felt "special" and cared for, even to the point of her going without what she needed, to provide for those she loved. One of her favorite sayings was put your "mind over matter".
She would be up extra early to get the wood/coal stove going to warm the house; spending time in her personal daily devotions; before the rest of the family were up. She often was the determining factor of being sure the entire family had "family devotions" together each day. The children recall many times where they would find her kneeling next to her bed praying for them or others she loved. She was throughout her re-born life in Christ a consistent "Prayer Warrior", loving and giving wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother.
Elfrida is survived by: her husband of nearly 63 years, Delmar Ed Free; daughters, Kathy Mudd and husband Ted of High Valley, Oregon, Karen Mudd of High Valley, Oregon, Nancy Free-Klein of North Powder, Oregon, Rosemary Free of North Powder, Oregon, sons: Randal Free and wife Margaret of Lexington, Oregon, Jonathan Free and wife Diane of Jimmy Creek Ranch, North Powder, Oregon, Sister Lillian Mehlhoff of Twin Bridges Montana, Brother Gust Moline of Minnesota, 19 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren, various nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father, Albert Moline, mother, Rose Herringer, an infant son, sister Dorothy Moline and Esther Loberg, brother Edwin Moline, and son-in-law Terry Mudd.