What a difference 50 years of goodness makes...


Over the last 50 years many lives and situations have been blessed because of the lives of Joe & Isabel Free. They will tell you it is the Lord that has blessed them, and that is true. However, they have lived their lives for others and that results in great blessings because they are doing His work. How appropriate that on this 50th anniversary they find themselves on the other side of the world and equator in South Africa on their 3rd mission.

Help us show them how much of a difference the Lord has helped them make in so many lives. Please click on "add new comment" once or twice or as many times as you want to record memories of a difference you are aware of. (if you don't see "add new comment" please choose "register")

We also need your help to spread the news far and wide so that on the 9th of September it will take all day for them to try to read the impact they have had.

Come back often and read of what others have shared, it might prompt some more memories to share.

Please include who you are and how you came to know them as you share your memories.


ps-Some have asked if they could give something. It is not necessary, but if you feel that you would like to give a gift, beyond your memories, we have set up a fund where you can donate. This fund will be used by Joe & Isabel to "make a difference" in the lives of some wonderful friends in South Africa. Just click on the "donate" button to the right.

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I love you guys!

I don't think I'll be able to express all my feelings toward you guys. You've done so much for me. I remember when I was young that you guys had built the tree house in your yard. I also remember the rope brige between two of the trees. And of course, the worm in the dirt pile. I loveed it there and thought it wasn't fair that you guys moved from there. But when I went to Paragonah, I'm so glad you moved. Grandpa, I love how you explain everything even when I don't understand them. I love how you let us do things even when it'll go faster when you do it. Grandma, it's so amazing how you know what will make us feel better. I remember when Andrew was really sick and you gave him some of those fruit bars that were like popsicles, and he felt and got better. I love your cooking and everything you do for me. I love both of your laughs, and everything seems to brighten up when you come. You show us things that we would never see by ourselfs. I almost feel jealous of the people in South Africa. They are so lucky they get to be with you guys. I remember that big carrot you had before my family left. IT tasted really good because you made it. I'm so lucky to great and fun Grandparents like you.

Daniel Free

I love you

I like being with grandma and grandpa because i just like being with them.One of the things I like to be with grandpa is he taught me how to make a whistle. I thought that was one of the coolist things.Grandma is fun to be with because she sometimes gives me fruit popsicles mmm.I love them so much and the picture is actually at my baptism and ddaaadd!!! gggggrrrrrr. He cut off me in the picture. Waaaaaaa waaaaaa waaaaaaa! O well time will pass sniff sniff. I love you grandma and grandpa. Be safe!

Lots of HUGS from AZ

I'm so glad to be invited to this awesome reception! You two have made an incredible difference in my life....more than I could ever adequately write about. I remember my first introduction to the Free family. I had gone out with Joe just a few times when he brought me home to meet you. I fell in love with the family that first day. I loved the way I felt in your home and knew that I would always be comfortable there. That was important to me.

Mom, you have the sweetest smile and are so sincere in your love and concern for everyone. You are so much fun to be with and are so humble in your approach to life. I have never felt that I need to measure up to more than I am. You are slow to judge and quick to help. I often feel that I am lacking in many ways as a homemaker, but you never make me feel that way. In fact, you are constantly praising and encouraging me in my efforts.

You have a gift for knowing how others feel and ache with them when they are hurting. The insights that you have learned from the scriptures through your own challenges have blessed me as you have shared them with the family. Particularly your love for the Savior and your appreciation of His atonement have blessed my life.

Dad, you have a great way with people. You are not ashamed of the gospel and love to share what you have with others. I love that! One of the most powerful differences you have made in my life is your
helping me to realize who I am. You usually greet me with, "How are you today, Young Mother in Zion"? It is a constant reminder to hold that calling sacred and to be about doing the best I can with these precious children. I have wondered when the day would come when my children are all grown and I may be greeted with, "How are you today, OLD Mother in Zion?" But maybe, since all things are relative, that day may never come.

One other thought...When my Joseph was 5 years old, you and Mom came to Arizona for a visit. I was having such a struggle with Joseph. I didn't think like him, I didn't understand him, I thought I was a complete failure as a mother because of his difficult behavior. (Looking back, it wasn't that difficult...I was just a YOUNG mother in Zion). I remember crying at night and wondering what I was doing wrong. Then you came to visit. You understood Joseph in a way I hadn't been. You accepted him and loved him and knew he was ALL RIGHT. I wondered if my Joseph were a lot like his Grandpa and that was why he understood him. I clung to that hope that if Grandpa could turn out so good and kind and wonderful, then I need not worry so much about my Joseph. It gave me such hope! And just look at him now! He is so much like his father and grandfather which brings me such joy!

Of course, the most profound difference you have made in my life has to do with your union. Your bringing my Joe into the world and bringing him up in light and truth, loving him, teaching him, serving him, playing with him, working with him, and supporting him has blessed me eternally. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful companion to be with forever. He emulates the both of you in so many ways and treats me and our children and all around him with the same kindness and generosity that you have shown him. How can you give adequate thanks for that?

I have watched you now for 24 years and love to see the way you take care of each other's needs. You truly have a great union and your kindnesses to each other have been a huge blessing in my life. Thanks for loving each other and have a wonderful 50th celebration!

Love, Diana

Mom and Dad

Well Well Well,Where to begin, and where to start, with this grand production that has spanned 50 years, countless graduations, late nights and lot of long talks. I always told everyone that I wanted to be like my Mom and Dad when I was married……………that is still the Goal!

Mom, your willingness to teach me things that I was interested in like cooking and sewing, was far out shadowed by your willingness to share the gospel and your love and firm belief of it. I never doubted how my Mother felt about the principals of the gospel, or how she felt about her love, “joe”. I remember when Grandpa Worthen was living with us and how in times of frustration you were not lashing out at those around you, but I found you in the blue room on your knees praying for patience and strength. There are so many times I have thought of that and tried to follow your example……Your love for me and my wife and kids was always known and felt.

Dad as I think about the countless miles we put on vehicles talking and discussing and going back and forth, it leads me to believe that your being blessed for everyone of those patient understanding miles that you listened and helped me with. The camping and hunting and fishing I feel taught me respect for the land and also the respect for others and that a real “man” is one that has feelings and is willing to cry with others with changes need to be made and life throws curve balls at you. I cannot thank you enough for all the wise guidance and uncluttered example of living the gospel that you have always shown to me……
I love you both so much and wish you many more years of happiness and mom finding projects that her kids and grandkids can do to keep dad occupied WINK!!!! Anytime MOM!

You two are the GREATEST!!!

Hey Grandma and Grandpa! I love you so much! Thank you for everything! I would like to say some good things about both of you.

Grandma: I love you because of your enthusiasm and your humor. You make the funniest comments wherever you are. You also have a great taste in music (i.e. "Saturday Night"). I love how you are always willing to serve anyone. I love your awsome cooking. I remember one morning when you asked me what I wanted for breakfast and I said, "How about some bacon, eggs, pancakes, orange juice, sausage" (thinking that you would just laugh and get some Cherrios out of the pantry), but you said, "how would you like your eggs!" and you were off to work! I LOVE working on puzzles with you. Maybe we could work on a really big puzzle together. I also love your willingness to serve a mission with Grandpa. You are a great example to me. Thank you so much.

Grandpa: I love you for your love of nature. I too, love nature (the smells, plants, animals, and the quietness). I just feel great there, and especially with you. You know just about everything about the great outdoors. Like Josh said, I loved it when you made a whistle out of a Willow. I also remember collecting sticks that would split into two sticks, and you would make a slingshot out of it. I haven't told you how much I admire your love of taking cool wildlife pictures. I love seeing the end product. Maybe if I get a camera, we could go on a nature hike and take some really cool pictures of birds, streams, and fish that we catch in that stream (which is another nature thing I like about you). I love the fact that you can make anything out of wood, whether it's carving a cool walking stick or making rubber band guns for your grandsons. I am greatful for your wonderful example of going on a mission. Thank you!

I know that I haven't said everything about you two. It is mostly because it is hard to write (type) out everything about you. But I would like to say that you both have a very strong spirit that has blessed my life in the past, present, and that will bless me in the future. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I love you!

Mike Free (I am also greatful for the coolest last name ever!)

You two are the greatest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow! 50 years,you two must really love each other a lot to be married for 50 years! First, I really hope that I will be able to find someone just perfect enough for me, you two show me that it is possible to find that special someone.

Okay, I'll start with Grandma (beacuse it's ladies first...Grandpa I am just being polite (cheese!!!) Well grandma I will always remember your smell. Its a good smell don't worry, and that you always cooked all the good stuff, you even got me to try peas in a pod from your garden and I think that that got me to like them a lot. I remember always running to give you a hug and would see your smileling face and know that you would love me no matter what. I also love how you would teach me how to play card games and you would also play them with me too! Sometimes I just think,"How is she going to do all of that?!?" And I was so impressed that you could always some how pull it off. Thank you for always being there to help me, you knew exactly what to say to me when I was sad, you are like my 2nd mom! I love you!!!!!

Okay Grandpa, your turn! Well I will always remember how you were really interested with nature. You would take me on nature walks, and you would always tell me about all the plants and animals, and you wouldn't just tell me the name, ohhhhhh no, you would tell about its harritage and some stories about it. I think that it always helped me to remember it better. I used to think that you were Father Nature and grandma was Mother Cook! You knew exactly what to say to me when I was sad. Just like Grandma, you two are really like a team! You are also very creative, you once told me that I could make a necklace out of some little chicken bones, and I still have it to this very day! You even carved a wistle out of wood and played it! I love you!!!!

Now, I would like to tell you my very favorite memory from the both of you. Do you remember when me and Melinda got to go and visit you on your first mission in New York? Well my very favorite part of that whole trip was the part when we got to go into the Sacred Grove. I don't ever remember any other day fealling better than on that day.

Thank you both for letting me be able to have these awsome memories. I Love you Both so much,
Becca Free

Thanks for Your Example

This is an awesome idea -- a chance to wish you well even of you are not here with us. I was pleased to have the chance to tell you how much I admire you both, and tell Joe what a special influence he was on me as a new faculty member. When I arrived at BYU it was immediately clear to me that you cared about people and were dedicated to being of service to everyone around you. I have often reflected on the way you handled particular situations and have tried to do the same. Thank you.

Stephanie and I send our best wishes for a happy 50th.

Spencer and Stephanie Magleby


We wish you an AMAZING 50 years together.
We wish you an even more 50 years together.
Knowing you has been an amazing experience.
Knowing you has enriched our lives.
Knowing you has made us better people.
Knowing that there are people like
you in the world, gladdens our hearts,
because of people like you, who live
their comfortable lives and come into
strange places to share to share of thine
WEALTH OF LOVE,are worth knowing and cherishing
and loving.
This always sound strange to us when other
people declare their love to others they
hardly know, but let us take this opportunity
to say,
You are easy to love because you yourselves radiate
You are an embodiment of Christ's great Love.
May the almighty who send you to this blessed
continent keep you safe and more in love with
each other than when you first met.
Yours is milestone we pray to reach with ours

With Loving Thoughts
David and Mamokhothu Mokopotsa

Happy Anniversary!!

I met Richard Nelson a few years ago while exercising at the Orem Rec Center park track. As we conversed, the Free connection was made and I enjoy seeing him occassionally and getting a family update on one of my favorite families. Richard is always friendly and cheerful, and he runs fast.

Happy Anniversary!! to my former neighbors, Bishop, friends. Living next door to you for many years was a joy. I remember visiting your family in Boston probably 40 years ago. That was a good memory. For some reason, I remember the hard wood floors in the home you lived in there. I remember babysitting every week while Isabel worked in the Primary back in the dark ages when we had it during the week. Just your day to day smiles and great examples made it so pleasant growing up on 400 south next door to you. I enjoyed playing with Jean Marie and Marilee. I enjoyed watching Joe and Dave grow up. Rachel and Sharol were quite a duo. Buffy, and Matt. Have I missed anyone? Seeing you a time or two since I grew up and moved away has always been a warm experience as well. And for nine years I am back living on 400 south again. We love it here. We have nine children and five grandchildren, three married, two on missions, and ONLY four left at home. Our baby, Isak, enters to kindergarten today. We are blessed.

Enjoy your mission! And your virtual reception!

With love, Marci (Farley) Schramm

Congratulations on 50 years together!

Happy Anniversary

It's hard to say how you have made a difference in my life, because you've made a difference in EVERYTHING about my life! How can I say thank you for 46 years worth of love, service, teaching, example, and happiness?

I don't know how many times over the years when I'm in a tough situation I have thought, "Well, Mom has done this before - I guess it's possible for me to do it too." Yes, I saw you struggle at times, but when I think of all you accomplished during those days of making breakfast for all, sewing dresses, caring for small ones, cooking, making bread, canning everything under the sun, helping your family get by on TVP and powdered milk, sewing more dresses, keeping up with piano lessons, cleaning, mowing the lawn, and shoveling the snow! And that doesn't even count teaching 8 kids and getting them to cooperate . . . AND making all the birthdays and holidays special!!

One example of the difference you have made happened just a few years ago when we were unemployed and feeling discouraged. You offered to take Rich and I on a trip with you to Navoo to go to the temple open house. WOW! What a great treat to get away and to be with you for several days. Besides that we got to see the temple and to spend time in Navoo. I especially remember going to find our ancesters who had lived there and driving around to see where, and also walking around the cemetery. The whole trip was so relaxing and enjoyable and really was a bright spot in our lives.

It was obvious what a difference you have made, to see so many people who you knew from somewhere else while we were there!

No, you're not superhuman, but you both just keep trying each day to do your best and look what a difference that makes to so many!

I love you, Marilee