wood products pioneer, philanthropist, husband, father, and
grandfather Ted F. Freres, passed away on Sunday, June 3rd following a year-long battle against pancreatic cancer. Although
the last year brought unique suffering, Ted battled the disease
without compromising his finest qualities: kindness,
determination, and humility. He was practical to the end and
didn’t give up the fight or hope until he decided there was no
end-game to it. The strength, comradery, and devotion Ted and
Diane built during their 45 years of marriage sustained them
both through the difficult trials of the last year, which those
caring for Ted stated was nothing short of miraculous.
generously balanced all his roles in life: husband, father,
boss, and friend. The things he enjoyed most were gathering
friends for almost any occasion such as fishing, shooting,
clamming or any other social event. No matter how many revelries
Ted and Diane hosted, Ted always looked forward to the next, and
there were never enough. One of his favorite party traditions
began at Oregon State University in 1971 when they hosted an
annual quesadilla party complete with homemade tortillas and
imported dry Monterey Jack
cheese. In later years, it became tradition for Ted to gather
his sons before the party to make tortillas, drink margaritas,
and catch up on life.
the last few years, Ted and Diane made a point of traveling
extensively with in-laws and lifelong friends. Some of his
favorite trips were road trips to visit unique places in the US.
To Ted, to experience a good road trip you had to be in a
convertible, a sunroof didn’t cut it. Fishing trips to Mexico
and Alaska were an annual requirement so he could not only catch
up with industry friends, but also keep a well-stocked freezer.
had a big heart and as a life-long Stayton resident, was an
ardent supporter of local schools and children’s services. Ted
helped bring Family Building Blocks services into the Santiam
Canyon by championing Doris’ Place. Local causes were
numerous, including Regis St. Mary’s Catholic Schools, Stayton
Public Library, and the City of Stayton Police Department. He
lived by Albert Einstein’s philanthropic belief that, “It is
every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the
equivalent of what he has taken out.”
and his brother, Robert T. “Bob” Freres, were the guiding
forces behind Freres Lumber Company after their father died in
1979. Ted had a penchant for projects and a love for innovation,
especially at the production facilities. His love for progress
led to continuous improvement throughout Freres Lumber and the
state-of-the-art processes in place today. Ted was elected the
4th President of Freres Lumber Co., Inc. in 1992, and held the
position until his final days. During the 40 years of his career
Ted, along with his brother Bob and later, his nephew, Rob
Freres, expanded the company from two green veneer production
facilities into a multi-faceted wood products company producing
green veneer, dry veneer, studs, residuals, electricity,
plywood, and now the Mass Plywood Panel, a unique engineered
wood product developed by Freres Lumber.
was founded nearly one hundred years ago in 1922 with humble
beginnings on the North Fork of the Santiam River by Ted’s
father, T.G. Freres. It is now one of the largest privately
owned, independent wood products manufacturers on the West
Coast. Ted held to his strong belief that you must be able to
visit all of your production facilities on the same day, which
firmly established the Company’s roots in the Santiam Canyon.
Ted ensured Freres Lumber’s commitment to providing family
wage jobs and bringing prosperity to the Santiam Canyon.
was born to T. G. Freres and Frances Freres (Silbernagel) on May
30th, 1950, the only son among their six children.
Ted was pre-deceased by his siblings Larry Freres, Harold
“Bud” Freres, and Phyllis Goodman.
is survived by wife Diane, Sons: Cameron (Pamela), Kyle
(Trisha), & Tyler (Deana); Grandsons: Hap, Rand, Asher,
Theo, Sawyer, & Cassius; Brother, Robert T. Freres; Sisters:
Maryann Meredith, Patty Nopp, Joyce Merrell, Carol Moll, &
Teresa McDougall; and many beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for Friday, June 15th at
1:30 pm at Immaculate Conception in Stayton. There will be no
graveside service. Serving the family, North Santiam Funeral
lieu of flowers, please consider donations to:
Building Blocks Doris’ Place
N 3rd Street
Public Library Foundation