Kaye F. Jensen Frye, age 82, peacefully left this earth to go to heaven on the evening of July 25, 2017. For 57 years she and her husband Gary had lived on the ranch north of Ashby. She had resided for the past two years at Pioneer Manor in Hay Springs.
Kaye was born in North Platte, Neb., on Feb. 9, 1935, to Lewis and Ruth Hawkins Jensen; they welcomed her brother John, a couple years later. They lived and grew up north of Arthur, Neb. Kaye lost her dad to a tragic hay sled accident when she was 8 years old. She was a console and confidante to her mother during this loss. At 12, she contracted sleeping sickness being too sick to move, the doctor flew in from Ogallala to treat her giving new meaning to ‘house call’. At 17 years of age, Kaye was awarded the 1952 Ogallala Round Up Rodeo Queen. She attended Arthur High School which was where she met the love of her life, Gary Frye. The home ec teacher had students like Kaye create a meal for the other young men. Gary realized then from her cooking skills, he didn’t want to let her ‘get away’. They were married on Dec. 27, 1957, during Gary’s US Army leave. Kaye continued her education at Kansas State in Manhattan while Gary served at Fort Riley and she acquired her teaching certification.
They purchased their home ranch 26 mi. north of Ashby in 1959. There was only a trail road going north at the time and made for quite the adventure moving large old trucks over rough trail paths. In 1960, their first child, Jecca Rene was born 5 weeks early, disrupting the hay season that year. Kaye taught school that fall while their dear neighbor Opal Neilson kept Jecca. Gary always said the house was awash in clean diapers drying every day. In 1963, their son Gregory Jay was born. After the kids had grown some, Gary and Kaye added on their house and built a lovely home doing the work themselves. Kaye was always a helpmate for Gary whether doing domestic chores or working alongside him on the ranch. She was an excellent horse woman, training and teaching the horses she rode and the horses she gave to her children. Kaye enjoyed being a part of the Extension Club “The Soapweed Susies”. She and Gary always had a large garden in the summer and the family always enjoyed the blessings of her labor in canning every winter. She became an accomplished seamstress and enjoyed making western shirts for Gary and Greg and suits and coats for Jecca. Her childhood memories of uncles playing their violins and mandolins birthed an early love of music that she passed along to her own family. She drove Jecca and Greg an hour one way for piano lessons, instilling a love of music in both of them that they would also pass down to her grandchildren.
Gary and Kaye enjoyed traveling and taking vacations. They spent summers with their kids and family friends, Tom and Barb Barlean and kids in the Black Hills. They went camping in Yellowstone and the Rocky Mountains. One of their most memorable trips was to Mazatlan, Mexico for their 25th Anniversary. They enjoyed the Black Hills Stock Show with Harold and Gail Glassgow and more recently enjoyed a trip by rail to the West Coast. They both enjoyed fishing and would camp and have fun with family and friends.
After their children had married and blessed them with grandkids, Kaye and Gary started a hay contract business which they followed for 10 years. Many of their grandchildren learned to drive tractors and spent time camping and haying with them. Kaye also was hired by the government to count grasshoppers over the western panhandle. She spent many hours driving to each township in a county, usually by a windmill road, and taking a count.
For most of her adult life, she was a diabetic and moved to Pioneer Manor in Hay Springs in the spring of 2015. The care she received and love expressed by the staff at Pioneer Manor was beyond words. The family is so grateful for the way they loved and cared for their mom. She enjoyed life there and died peacefully in their care.
Kaye was preceded in death by a grandson, Wrangler Jay Frye. She is survived by her husband, Gary of 59.5 years, daughter Jecca (Cash) of Gordon, and son Greg (Jenna) of Ashby, 24 grandchildren; Tessa Swarthout (Robert) of Atlanta Ga.; Stetson Ostrander (Courtney) of Gordon; Natosha Voss (Casey) of Cedartown, Ga.; Sterling Ostrander (Allie) of Box Elder, S.D.; Steele Ostrander of Manteo, N.C.; Wrustler Frye (Anna) of Fort Collins, Colo., Shianna Blair (Kade) of Gordon; Tashonna Ingalls (James) of Reva, S.D.; Riyatta Frye of Harrisburg, Neb., Jennaya Frye of Ashby, Neb., Wrangler Frye of Selby, S.D.; Shakeeya, Duwrango, Tiyonna, Onnikka, Javonna, and Lattigo of Ashby, Neb.; and 11 great grandchildren, Denalli, Grayette, Dallie Jo, Talla Kaye, Ryka Voss; Tyren and Laysa Ingalls; Kale and Koven Blair; Mesa Frye and Tenley Ostrander and 3 step great grandchildren.
The family suggests memorial contributions to the Gideons Foundation (https://www2.gideons.org/donate) in honor and memory of Kaye Frye.
Services were held Monday, July 31, 2017, at 10 a.m. at Pleasant Point Community Church with burial at Pleasant Point Cemetery.
Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.