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.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

I love both of you!

elder jopesHoly Cow! 50 years is a stinken long time, but I’m not saying your old or anything. Well, I’ve been trying to think of some good stories about you two, but I’m having a hard time with so many other things going on. But I will try my best.
I think one of the most vivid memories that I have is when I was younger and when my family would drive from AZ up to UT. When we would finally pull up to your house, we would come running up the few stairs into the side door, and then run to grandma and give her a big hug! We were always so happy to see our grandma. I always loved waking up and hearing grandma ask us, “what would you like for breakfast?” I loved those words, and I still love them! You always had good things to eat, whether it was bacon and eggs, or just cold cereal. I think the thing I love the most, is your testimony and your smile. I always knew that my grandma free has a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That has never been a doubt in my mind. I also just LOVE your smile. No one can help but smile when they see you smile, even if they are mad for some reason. You have always been a great example to me. I just loved it when we had a testimony meeting, and you would share yours with everyone. I love you grandma!
Now it’s grandpa’s turn. I just want to say that I am proud to have the same name as my grandpa. I truly have a lot to live up to. You are already on your third mission, this is only my first! Well, there are so many experiences that I could talk about, but I will try to limit them, especially since I don’t have much more time to write. We are taking the new missionaries over to the mission home in about 15 minutes. Well, here is the first one that I remember. It is when we had our “Free To Climb High” family reunion. I had gotten my feet all dirty, and then you washed them in a bowl. At the time I really didn’t think much of it, except that I was hanging out with my grandpa. But now, after learning more and more about the Savior and about the gospel, that experience has meant a lot more to me. I truly can see Christ-like attributes in you. I also remember a lot of nature walks and hikes with you. I love your love for nature, and I think that is where I got it from, well, from my dad as well. One specific time I remember is when we finally made it to Panaca, not too long ago. You, dad, me and Adam all went on the other side of the rode by the mules. (I think they were mules) Anyway, you caught a frog and you were showing it to adam and I could just see how excited adam was to see that frog in grandpa’s hands. You have also been a great example to me. I am so glad to see you on a mission. Your testimony has always been amazing. I know that you know that this work is true, and I’m grateful that you have decided to serve a mission. Well, we got to take off, I love both of you.

Happy Anniversary from McKay!

Dear, grandma and grandpa. I am thankful the exmaple you hav set for me i want to go on many missions with my wife when I get older.Grandma thank you for taking me to the many place you took me.
Grandpa thank you for taking me to see the donkey and telling the story about how the rattlesnke got its rattle.I hope you guys have a good 50th aniversery. And all see when you come back.

McKay P.S. When do you come back?
e-mail www.dave@thefrees.com

happy anniversary

Hey! its nate. So how r tings goin in Africa? Things are goin pretty good here in Arizona. Well I just wanted to wish u a happy fiftieth anniversary! I love u guys so much.

More anniversarys than me

You're the best maternal grandparents I've ever had, hands down. After living such exemplary lives, you have certainly earned a nice quiet retirement...huh? What do you mean they're in Africa? Well, I guess they deserve a nice vacation...mission!?!? What's that? This is their 3rd mission?? You mean they're still forgetting themselves and serving others after a lifetime filled with charity?!?! Man, they should get an award or set a record or something. They certainly set a record in my book: "Best Example of How I Should Live My Life That I'm Related To". Thanks for choosing the right.


Happy Anniversay

Joe and Isabel,

How grateful I am that Alan Parkinson introduced us and that you then accepted a call to serve in the BYU 4th Stake. You brought such a great spirit to the stake. Even before we met, Alan often spoke of his deep admiration for you as one of the most spiritual people he had ever met. I found this to be no exaggeration. From our first meeting through every contact we have had since, I have feel your deep and genuine goodness. When I think of you, Joe, I think of someone who lives by the priorities that my father believed in. My dad often said, "In the God's eternal plan, all accomplishments will fade into oblivion except personal righteousness." Thank you for your example of righteousness.

John and Susan Tanner

Happy 50th Anniversary and Prayers for Many More!

Dear Joe and Isabel,

We first met in November of 1978. You had been married 23 years then. John was 4 years old. I was 29 and had just moved to Utah and into the 4th Ward. You invited to your home for Sunday dinner all most immediately after our first meeting. It was the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship.

I have always felt a part of your wonderful family. I'm so pleased that both of my parents were able to meet you. I think the first time was up in Yellowstone. You stopped by the motel where we were staying so that you could meet Mom and Dad. If I remember correctly, you made several attempts. Poor little Johnny was sick in the car with appendicitis. It ment so very much to me that you took time out of your own vacation to do so.

I will always cherish the times we spent together and the memories I have of them. One of my fondest memories is in 1979 when I went to the Temple for the first time. Joe and Isabel were with me and Isabel helped to escort me. Another wonderful memory is when Joe went through the Temple for my Father after his passing.

Isabel, I have great memories of working in the Young Womens Program for many years together. My first calling in the YW's Program was Beehive Advisor. Rachel was a Beehive in my class. I remember many Family Home Evenings at your home. Your delicious home made bread and everything else you cooked. I can here your sweet voice in my head anytime I think about you.

It was so wonderful to see you both in 2000. When again you opened you home to me. It was such a fun visit.

Both of you have always been such great examples of how the Lord would have me live my life. I wish you many more years of health and happiness.

I send you these few words with more love for you both than I have words to express.

Happy Anniversary!

Your Eternal Friend,


From Savannah

In her words she can say, "I love you and big hugs!"

Love, Savannah Free

Lots of Love to you!!!

Wow, what a hard task, to say how you guys have made a difference in my life. I've known you my whole life, so my whole life would have been different if you had not been there. So, instead of recounting my whole life and telling you how every part would be different, let's just reminisce about my favorite memories of you both. Grandpa, I will never forget when you carved a snake out of a stick for me when we were on some camping trip, it is still in my possession and I love it. I thought it was so cool that there were different colors on the wood, and I wondered how you could make it do that. I know now that depending on how deep you cut the wood it's a different shade. Grandma, I remember when you crocheted a blanket for me, for, I think, my ninth birthday. I cuddled with it all the way home. I still have that blanket too. You both have been awesome examples of loving spouses, parents, and people. I hope my marriage and family will be as united as yours is. I have fond memories of being at all your houses, because I'm always happy and always well fed!(he he) I love it when you recall things I did as a child, or tell me how special I am. When you told me just a couple of months ago that I was an answer to you and Elizabeth's prayers, you have no idea how I felt. In that moment I not only felt close to you, but most importantly to my Heavenly Father. I knew that the Lord knew me and that there are things that he needs me to do. I hope I am always ready and willing to accept.
I'm so happy for you and for your successful last 50 years. Without them I would not be the same person that I am today. I love you with all my heart.
Your favorite grandaughter named Holly who is almost 17!!! (2 months and 21 days!)

Following in your footsteps

Dear Grandma and Grandpa,

I love you both so much! Congratulations on 50 years together; I am so happy for you. As I approach the beginning of my marriage to a wonderful man (less than four months away!), I hope that I will incorporate some of the lessons you have taught me. Some of these are scripture study, the importance of spending time together as a family in recreation and spiritual activities to create close family relationships, and giving freely to the church--both of time and resources. You are the example that I look to in all things, especially in my marriage and family. Thank you for EVERYTHING that you continue to teach me. I love you a whole bunch!

Love, your granddaughter,
Rebecca Nelson

happy 50th

Amazing how fast time flies by. We can look forward and think that this time may never pass, yet we find ourselves looking back wondering how long ago has this been behind us.

Keith and I are in our 16th year and it truly seems like yesterday.
We have a few years to catch up with the two of you. You are a wonderful example to us. thank you.

Keith has a ratio question to ask you when you get home.

Enjoy, your time. Keep up the wrong side of the road driving, I'm sure you have it down pat now, and will have to relearn to drive on the right side of the road!!

I know you will enjoy your day as you enjoy the love we all send to you and for your special day.

love you
Keith and Susan Rollins