Jack J. Frey obituary

contact: Jeanne Baron
| WMU News
Photo of Jack J. .


Jack J. Frey, a retired Western Michigan University faculty member, died unexpectedly Wednesday, May 8. He was 91.

Frey came to WMU in 1951 as a vocal music teacher and retired in 1987 as assistant professor emeritus of music after more than 36 years of service to the University. Music was his profession, his passion and his life.

He initially taught choral music for several years as a member of the University's Campus School faculty, in addition to serving on the WMU faculty. He was a longtime director of WMU's Campus Choir and Men's Glee Club, directed several other campus choral groups, and gave private voice lessons.

Frey served as director of music for the First Methodist Church in Kalamazoo for nearly all of his adult life and also directed many community choral groups, including the South Haven Men's Glee Club and the Kalamazoo Oratorio Society, which annually stages Handel's "Messiah."

Before coming to WMU, Frey was choral director at Grand Rapids (Mich.) Central High School from 1946 to 1951. He was a member of numerous state and national professional organizations, such as the Michigan Music Education Association, National Association of Teachers of Singing, Intercollegiate Music Council and National Association of Methodist Musicians.

Frey served in the army during World War II as a chaplain's assistant. He earned a bachelor's degree from WMU in 1943 and a master's degree from the University of Michigan in 1951 as well as did additional study at both Michigan State and Northwestern universities.


A memorial service is planned at 3 p.m. Monday, May 13, in the First United Methodist Church, 212 S. Park St. A mass choir will perform, and the service will close with the "Hallelujah Chorus" in tribute to Frey's many years as director of the Kalamazoo Oratorio Society.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Choir Fund of the First United Methodist Church in Kalamazoo or a charity of choice.

To make a memorial guestbook entry, visit langelands.com.