Mary Beekman Frey, 58, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, passed away at her home on Saturday, July 8, after a brief illness.
Mary taught in the Coeur d’Alene School District for 32 years, starting a Winton Elementary School in 1983. When Lakes Middle School was created, she taught 6th grade. Her classroom provided inclusion for special needs students. During this period, she coached girls’ volley ball, participated in the “Natural Helpers” programs, and became a science and math specialist. Mary, along with Harry Selby and Principal Roger Hansen, were instrumental in the formation of the Alternative Middle School at Project CDA, where she spent many years helping struggling students find a brighter future. Mary finished her career in 2015 as a classroom teacher and math specialist at Woodland Middle School, spending many long hours tutoring students, helping them overcome the hurdles of the modern math curriculum. Mary loved working with children. When she retired from teaching in 2015, the one thing she missed most were the kids. For years she would run into former students and was always happy to see them and learn what they were doing.
Mary was born in Syracuse, New York. She was a graduate of Wells College, in Aurora, NY. She is survived by her sisters, Elizabeth G. Frey of Rochester, N.Y. and Martha H. Frey and brother-in-law Andrew Baugnet of Chittenango, N.Y. She was predeceased by her parents Elizabeth (nee Hanbidge) and Daniel G. Frey.
Mary was a former board member of the Sage Passage, North Idaho's primary provider of services to victims of domestic violence and rape/sexual assault. Mary was known for her generous spirit, wonderful parties, and warm hospitality. She loved to downhill ski, garden, attend professional bull riding events with her sister Elizabeth, and boat on Lake Coeur d’Alene. She was blessed to have many friends who became her Idaho family. Mary’s family is thankful to her friends for their outpouring of support and many acts of kindness during this difficult time.
A private family service will be held at the family cemetery in Chittenango, New York. In lieu of flowers, the family would be grateful if people made donations in Mary’s name to Safe Passage of Coeur d’Alene, Hospice of North Idaho, or the charity of your choice.
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