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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Jordy Loves You!!!!!!!

I love Grandma & Grandpa! I just can't describe everything you've done for me with my limited vocabulary. Even if I could, it wouldn't fit on all the paper in the world. There's always a positive aura in the air when you guys are around. And one thing i just have to say right now, even if it seems out of place, but I really need to go on more campouts with Grandpa. Being on a campout recently in Boy Scouts has really spurred my enthusiasm. Chopping wood, carving sticks, smores...

Anyways I am really thankful for you guys, and I really wish there was more I could do to express my love. I love you guys as much as I love being "Uncle Jordy" :p

I love you guys so much! If there is anyone I know I can turn to for an example it's you. Nothing you have told me to do was ever wrong, ful or satanic. To know people who you can turn to for anything, is so comforting. My heart overflows with joy to know that there are such people in the world in these troubled times, and two of them are my grandparents.

I have always been fasinated

I have always been fasinated by numbers. Simple digits can be manipulated to have so many different values. And then with units they take on whole new meanings. 50 years of marriage, of family, of love. What a legacy! I just recently celebrated 2 years of my own family. It makes me remember all the great memories and lessons I have gained from Joe & Isabel (aka Grandpa and Grandma). It also makes me think of the future and where Stacy and I will be in 48 years. Well we have great examples to look to and we have been taught by our parents and grandparents.
Congratulations for putting so much value into each of those years!
Love Ryan

happy 50th anniversary!

My first interaction with Joe Free came when he woke me with a phone call at 8:00 a.m. one morning during my junior year as a student in mechanical engineering at BYU. I had expressed interest in research opportunities in the department and he was following up to see how he could get me involved. This was the first of numerous interactions over the years with a common theme – relatively brief, but well timed, expressions of interest and concern with long lasting implications.

I later pursued a Masters degree under Joe’s direction. During the process he would occasionally encourage me to continue my education beyond the MS degree – something I seriously considered. At the completion of my degree, I took a job in Salt Lake with a small startup company. Periodically, Joe and I would converse by phone. After I had been working about a year Joe called to check up on me. At one point in the conversation, he asked if I was still considering the pursuit of a doctoral degree. When I explained that I was enjoying work and that I had decided to put further study on hold for the present, if not indefinitely, he said that he was happy for me, but I could sense the disappointment in his voice. This weighed heavily on my mind in the days following. I felt that if my decision against further study disappointed Joe, maybe I should reconsider my decision more carefully. After a few months filled with soul searching, my feelings changed and I began preparations to leave my job and pursue a Ph.D.

Over the years, while I was in school and after I joined the faculty at BYU, Joe has continued to provide timely encouragement and guidance through notes, phone calls, and discussions in his office. Without Joe’s influence, I am not sure where I would be professionally, but it is unlikely that it would be where I am now. Thank you Joe for your example and wise mentorship. Thank you for making a difference in my life. Happy 50th anniversary to you and Isabel!

Tim McLain


I am so thrilled to be at your big anniversary bash. I believe that I have never seen you two looking so well. I do remember more hair....just kidding Uncle Joe!!

Everyone knows how I feel about you two, Aunt Isabel and Uncle Joe. Many, many years ago you warmly welcomed me to the Worthen/Wilcox clan. I consider you my own Aunt and Uncle (not just Steve's) and I am always excited when you are where I am going. Over the years I have watched the tender, loving care given your family. I have witnessed your steadfast strength, your wisdom and your enduring faith. I have cried on your shoulders and have been comforted by your loving support. There are not words to describe how much I love and admire you both!!!

So on this most momentous occasion know that I am with you in thought and heart and wish to you the most outrageously wonderful anniversary, for you are most deserved.

All my love (along with that of my family's)!

Your favorite niece-in law (I am sure),


Congratulations on 50 years of marriage

I remember quite vividly that on every occasion that I visited your home that it was different. Over the years I have learned what that different feeling was; that it is was a place where the gospel was taught and lived, where family member were taught by word and example to love the Savior and eachother, where the mammon was shut out and where the spirit was invited.

I thank you for your wonderful example, not to mention your example in keeping marriage covenants and serving the Lord. I hope to serve a mission or two or more.

As I raise my own family I try to follow your example.

We love love you.

Robert, Janet, Clayton, Spencer, Megan & Lauren Worthen

Dear Isabel and Joe

Dear Isabel and Joe,
What fun - a virtual anniversary party!
Know that you're getting a big hug right now and wishes for many more years of special blessings.
I treasure the many times Jack and I and family have spent in your home ( Or I should say homes), always feeling so accepted and loved. The peace and tranquility always inspired us to do better.
You always seemed to have an exciting new project going -- woodworking, tree houses, puzzles, home remodeling, family history, etc. And those delicious cinnamon rolls. Yummy! Are you sharing that talent still?
Remember the long trip you made to North Dakota? What a joy for us, so far from family, to share some time with you and yours, even the rainy part. Know it was a challenge for you with all your little ones, but we surely enjoyed that visit.
Well, I'm holding up the line and there are many others waiting to visit with you. How about another hug? Congratulations on making it to the big 50.
Love you so much, Carlita

From Stephany Worthen

Happy Anniversary! What a wonderful accomplishment in this world of "here today, gone tomorrow marriages". You have been both been a beautiful example of raising a wonderful family, and loving and serving each other. Thank you for all the times you have let us or our "EFY" kids stay at your lovely home. I especially want to thank you for always being so kind and truly making us feel loved and cared about. Joe has always had a way of looking people right in the eye and making them feel important. And Isabel has always done anything she could to make us feel welcome and comfortable. Have a wonderful Anniversary - take some time to celebrate a little!

WIth much Love, Stephany Worthen

Happy Anniversary!

Aunt Isabel and Uncle Joe,
What a fabulous idea! Congratulations on 50 years of setting a great example for all of us. I always looked forward to visiting your house as a child, because you made me feel so loved. And the yummy food didn't hurt! Years later, as I went to BYU, I had the opportunity to get to know Uncle Joe much better, both as a friendly face for an occasional campus visit, and as the best Book of Mormon teacher ever. I learned so much about you, and the depth of your testimony as I sat in your class. You both give the best hugs ever, by the way! But what I am most impressed with, is your constant smiles and sense of humor. I always feel better when I'm around you, because you both have a way of looking at the positive side of things. Thank you so much for that legacy!
Love you,


Thank you for all the love and care that you have given to me during all of these years,for all of the wise advice. You have helped me to see things in a different way helped me grow spiritually and remember that I am a son of God, and how important it is to always be striving to do my best and follow the teachings of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Thank you for all of the good times we have had together; camping, Sunday´s together as a family, trips to Panaca, Grandpa´s stories, Grandma´s delicious chocolate chip cookies...
But most of all I would like to thank you for being my grandparents, and for being, in my life, huge examples of devotion, love, care...etc. going and serving on so many missions (anyone can tell that it has made a difference in thousands of peoples lives) and I know that the Lord loves you both for all of the great work you have done through all of these years.
That is why he has blessed you both on this day of your 50th Anniversay with all of the love and care of the Free family, and to see how you are so important in our lives and how much we love you.
I love you both SO much,


To the greatest neighbors

I am so glad that Marilee contacted us. I want you to know that we could not have had better friends than you both and your family. I miss you and think of you both often.

Isabel, your friendship was so precious to me. From the day that we met I knew I had a very special friend. You were always there for me and never a day would go by that we didn't visit with each other. How we would love to go shopping for material, clothes, etc. But the most fun and laughs was when we would shop for girdles. We would get laughing so hard. I'm sure the sales people thought we were a little crazy.

It was fun raising our kids together. They were all best friends.
There were picnics, fishing trips, going to parades. Can you remember how we would sew shirts alike for all the kids. There was the time when we went to Manti to the pageant and then camping the night in the canyon. You both made it so much fun for our family.

The other day one of the kids commented on how much they loved your brown bread and cinnamon roles. They could smell them cooking and I'm sure they were on your doorstep as soon as they were done.

Isabel, one of the most important examples to me was your love of the gospel and the Savior. You loved the scriptures and would remind all of us of the importance they would have in our lives. Thank you for that. I love you and pray for you often.

Joe, I want to thank you for your patience with our large family and how kind you were to them. Kirk caught his first fish when you took him to the Unitahs. You took them on nature walks and taught them love for nature. You always had a smile for them and they felt loved by you. You were a great bishop. And we always apreciated your wise counsel. Amy will never forget how you called her "Amy angel".

We appreciated your great example then and also now. Have a wonderful anniversary and thank you for inviting us to it.

Love, your Benson neighbors