Family asking for 101 birthday cards for WWII vet’s birthday

May 10, 2019, 7:45 PM

In this Monday, May 6, 2019, photo, John R. Frey, 100 years old and a U.S. Army veteran, poses for a portrait next to cards and mementos he has been given at the Mervyn Sharp Bennion Central Utah Veterans Home in Payson, Utah. Frey will turn 101 on June 7 of this year. (Isaac Hale/The Daily Herald via AP)

(Isaac Hale/The Daily Herald via AP)


OREM, Utah (AP) — John Frey sat in his room at the Bennion Veteran’s Home in Payson, fiddling with the break mechanisms on his wheelchair. Even at 100 years old, Frey still focuses on things that need fixed — a habit from the years he spent working with mechanics and machines.

“He can fix anything,” explained Frey’s daughter, Janice Carlson, who lived next door to Frey in Manti for the 15 years prior to Frey moving into the Bennion Veteran’s home.

Though he now has some trouble remembering details, and had World War II not ended when it had, he may have been deployed overseas. After the war ended, Frey spent most of his working life in Las Vegas. Ever resourceful and independent, he lived in his own home until after his 100th birthday.

Now with 6 children, 11 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and 10 great-great grandchildren, Frey attributes his long life to “cleaning up his plate when he eats,” and seems unimpressed with how many years he’s been alive.

“I’ve had too many birthdays,” he quipped when asked about his quickly approaching birthday, June 7, when he’ll turn the big 101.

While Frey may be unimpressed, his family and the nursing home staff are hoping to make it something a little extra special, by making sure he gets at least 101 birthday cards for his big day. With the help of Janice Carlson’s daughter, Kara Carlson, a message was posted to Facebook April 22 asking people to send birthday cards to Frey in advance of June 7. That post has been shared hundreds of times, and cards have already started coming in to the home, with more than 60 having accumulated already.

With Frey’s birthday still a month out, Janice Carlson thinks the cards will continue to roll in — she’s even requested cards be sent from her congressman, senators and even President Donald Trump himself.

“I think we’ll be reading cards for a couple of days,” Janice Carlson said. “I think he’s excited.”

Once the cards are opened, Frey said he’ll put them up in his room.

“I figure I’ll look at them again sometime,” he said.

The cards, especially coming from people who don’t know Frey personally, show people’s appreciation and respect for older generations, Janice Carlson said.

“That’s just a tribute to people’s appreciation of and respect of older generations … the example they’ve set,” Janice Carlson said.
Anyone who wants to send a birthday card to Frey can address it to: Bennion’s Central Utah Veteran’s Home, ATTN: Recreation (John Frey), 1551 N. Main St., Payson, UT 84651.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


Visitors stand at the closed gates leading to the Eiffel Tower, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 in Paris....

OLEG CETINIC Associated Press

Eiffel Tower operator warns the landmark is closed as strike turns visitors away for a second day

A strike at the Eiffel Tower over poor financial management turned away visitors on Tuesday for the second consecutive day.

8 hours ago

FILE - A branch office of Capital One Bank is pictured on May 7, 2009, in New York.  Capital One Fi...

KEN SWEET AP Business Writer

Capital One to buy Discover for $35 billion in deal that combines major US credit card companies

Capital One Financial is buying Discover Financial Services for $35 billion, in a deal that would bring together two of the nation's biggest lenders and credit card issuers.

19 hours ago

An open-air double decker sightseeing bus stops on the slopes of Table Mountain, overlooking the ci...

GERALD IMRAY Associated Press

A ship carrying 19,000 cattle caused a big stink in the South African city of Cape Town

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — What stinks? Authorities in Cape Town launched an investigation Monday after a foul stench swept over the South African city. City officials inspected sewage facilities for leaks, and an environmental health team was activated before the source of the smell was discovered: a ship docked in the harbor carrying […]

23 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump holds gold Trump sneakers at Sneake...

MICHAEL R. SISAK Associated Press

Here’s a look inside Donald Trump’s $355 million civil fraud verdict as an appeals fight looms

On the witness stand last year, Donald Trump proclaimed: "I have a lot of cash." After Friday's eye-popping penalty in his New York civil fraud trial, he's going to need it.

3 days ago

The likeness of George Washington is seen on a U.S. $1 bill, March 13, 2023, in Marple Township, Pa...


Presidents Day: From George Washington’s modest birthdays to big sales and 3-day weekends

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Like the other Founding Fathers, George Washington was uneasy about the idea of publicly celebrating his life. He was the first leader of a new republic — not a tyrant. And yet the nation will once again commemorate the first U.S. president on Monday, 292 years after he was born. The […]

4 days ago

former president trump shown, his fraud case just ended...


Donald Trump fraud verdict: $364 million penalty in civil fraud case

Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers had said even before the verdict that they would appeal.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Family asking for 101 birthday cards for WWII vet’s birthday