Shirley Laureen (Rene) Frye LaBree passed away on March 8, 2019 at Holy Rosary Hospital in Miles City, Mont., after a hard-fought battle with cancer.
Rene was born in Baker, Mont., on Jan. 12, 1947, the second child of Glen Edward Frye and Ethel Marie Arnold Frye. She joined an older brother Richard Alan born June 14, 1945. At an early age the family moved to Canby, Calif. Glen and his brother Bert went to work in the logging industry to earn money, so that Glen could come back and buy his mother’s place. While there, another daughter Betty Jean was born July 3, 1949. In 1949 they moved back to the old place in the Opeechee area.
Rene attended the Spring Valley school for a year and a half, and then the family moved to Ekalaka to Ethel’s parents place in 1954. Rene’s first teacher was Ruby Rowley.
Rene finished her schooling in Ekalaka graduating in 1965. She was very strong and tough from milking cows and other farm work all her life and could throw a ball farther then most of the boys. She was always upset that girls couldn’t play basketball like the boys.
Two more brothers were added to the family, William Charles (Bill) was born June 30, 1954, and John Michael (Jack) was born June 27, 1956.
On January 4, 1966, she married Jordan Lee LaBree. While on their honeymoon, they toured the southwest including the Grand Canyon and looked for job opportunities. Their first job was at the Meyer Land and Cattle Company in Arthur, Neb. In the fall of 1966, they moved to Plevna and worked for Glenn Rugg. John Edward (Buddy) was born Dec. 7, 1966 in Ekalaka, Mont. Their next job was working for the Horse Creek Grazing Association in North Dakota. After the death of Jordan’s brother Harold in December of 1968 they moved back to the ranch to help Linda and ended up taking over. Lee Tat was born Nov. 25, 1969 in Miles City, Mont.
Rene enjoyed cooking, gardening, canning and leatherwork. She loved to take lots of her produce and projects to the county fairs. We can only imagine how many cow hides were cut to make all of the leatherwork projects that she tooled over the years. Rene’s pies and jellies were always a hit at any gathering.
Photography, picture framing, playing cards and throwing horse shoes were some of her favorite hobbies. She had a love for horses and Border Collie dogs. She traveled to many states and Canada to compete in dog trials. She qualified and competed in the National Sheep Dog trials. Rene had many dogs from her first (Max) to her last (Gabe).
Being active was the norm for Rene. She was a member of The Cowbelles, Homemakers and Cattlewomen and was president of the Wyoming Sheep Dog Association.
Rene loved and supported all of her family in their activities. There was not a bigger fan of her nieces, nephews and granddaughters in their sports careers. If she couldn’t be at the games she listened on the radio, watched on the computer or waited impatiently for a phone call or text to get the score or a rundown of the game.
Rene was preceded in death by her parents, brother Rick and brother Jack.
She is survived by her husband Jordan of 53 years, son Buddy (Amy), Brandee (Derek) Maier and Tyann (Kory) Gausen, son Lee (Cam), granddaughters Hannah, Heather, and Heidi, sister Betty (Jerry) Cline, brother Bill (Cathy) Frye, sisters-in-law Jane and Leanne, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Family will receive friends on March 14, 2019 from 4-6 p.m. at Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home in Miles City. Visitation in Ekalaka will be held on Friday, March 15, 2019, beginning at 12p.m. at the Ekalaka Elementary Gymnasium followed by the funeral service at 2 p.m. Interment will follow in the Beaver Lodge Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.stevensonandsons.com.
Should friends desire, memorials may be made to the Carter County Museum in Ekalaka or to the Frye Memorial Scholarship Fund.