SAXTONS RIVER -- Helen Louise Buxton Frey, 86, of Saxtons River died Friday evening, May 17, 2002, at Springfield Hospital in Springfield. Mrs. Frey was born on March 30, 1916, in Saxtons River, the daughter of George and Nellie Wright Buxton. She attended Vermont Academy for two years until it became an all-boys school and eventually "graduated" in a special ceremony in 2001. She graduated from Bellows Falls High school in 1933. She attended New England Baptist Hospital (now Brigham and Women's Hospital) in Boston, graduating as a registered nurse in 1939.
In March of 1941 she enlisted as an Army Nurse and was sent to Ft. Ethan Allen Army Base in Burlington. She remained there until March of 1942 when she set sail for the South Pacific. She was sent to Australia and then to New Guinea with the 10th Evacuation Group; later she was assigned to the hospital ship Maetsuycker with the 10th Evac in the South Pacific. She treated the wounded for nearly three years until she returned home to Saxtons River as a captain in the Army Nurse Corps.
Her military awards consisted of a Distinguished Unit Badge, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and the Philippine Liberation Medal. After the war, she returned to Vermont and cared for her brother Alvah, who had contracted polio and was in the Mary Hitchcock Hospital in Hanover, N.H.
On June 1, 1946, she married Philip H. Frey in the Saxtons River Congregational Church (now the Historical Society). She spent almost her entire life serving her family, nation, community and her church, Christ's Church in Saxtons River. In recent years, she was president of the Church Women United, on the board of the Senior Citizens' Center, involved in the reading program at the elementary school in Saxtons River and a member of the Nature Club. Her long nursing career included service to her country at various local hospitals, rest homes and a Vermont Academy. She had a love of the arts, especially music, and was a faithful member of the Church Choir and later the Church Bell Choir.
Mrs. Frey was predeceased by her brother, Alvah G. Buxton; her daughter, Ruth Frey Davis; her husband, Philip H. Frey, and her sister, Ruth M. Buxton. She leaves a daughter, Louise Frey Deis, of Highland Park, N.J.; a son, Lawrence P. Frey of Arnold, Md., and a son, Alan B. Frey of Williston. She also leaves five grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 25, at 3 p.m. at Christ's Church in Saxtons River. There will be no visiting hours and the burial will be in private. In lieu of flowers the family would particularly appreciate donations made to the new Village Day Care and Preschool Program in Mrs. Frey's name. Gifts may be sent to Village Day Care and Preschool Program c/o Christ's Church, Saxtons River, VT 05154.