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Bobbie’s Folly

I shouted down to Bobbie, “Let me guess. God just spoke to you and told you to give me all this land for a Christian retreat?”


Love ya, Bobbie


Though Bobbie’s mouth fell open for several seconds as she looked up at me, it was quickly replaced by a huge grin and then a full on smile. Bobbie’s face just lit up in all her awe and wonder at hearing God’s voice.  After watching her move through a dazzling array of emotions and realizations, Bobbie quickly covered her mouth and nose with both hands as she shouted up to me, “How did you know that?”

I replied, “The same God who just told you about giving me the lands for a Christian Retreat is the same God who just told me the same thing about half an hour ago when I was driving up your beautiful driveway.”


We were both very excited! After finishing her roof I climbed down and we chatted, getting to know each other and then began talking about what God had shown us.

Over the next few months we made plans to move forward with the retreat. I told Pam and the kids about the events of the day and about how God moved in our lives.  On at least one or two occasions I took the family out to Bobbie’s ranch-house (for cookies and crumpets of course).

Bobby was a fascinating woman filled with the excitement of life. She said, her family were some of the original developers of the Kodak Inc. Company whose wealth made it possible for her to be the first woman to graduate from Harvard Law School.  Bobbie generally spoke in rapid succession, idea following idea, confirming her place in her family as one of the mavericks.  As I drafted the building plans for the coming retreat, Bobby moved on everything legal.

Several months into the pending project Bobbie’s family decided to send a family friend and advisor to Wild-West.

Tragically, the advisor was an old friend or brother of Bobbie’s father who did not simply come to visit the Old Pueblo. I remember Bobbie telling me who he was, but I’m not sure at this time.  After Bobby shared what she was planning regarding the retreat She never seems as committed.  Apparently the gentleman either convinced Bobbie or she could not justify the actions under the scrutiny of her family and peers.  I can certainly understand the pressures.  It no longer mattered whether or not God Himself had told her to do it or the level of conviction she might have felt; one way or another, either Bobbie or her family advisor believed they had more wisdom than their God.

Sadly, after a final meeting between Bobbie and I, she decided she couldn’t go through with our plans for the lands or the retreat.

How sad, I thought. Though I tried to convince her she should trust God above all others, she just couldn’t or wouldn’t bring herself to rebel against family advise or her own misgivings.  I know not which.  God knows.

We went our separate ways and didn’t speak for several years. I think Bobbie felt guilt or shame.  I don’t know for certain.

When I was able to finally make contact with Bobbie again it was through a family member. Tragically, Bobbie had some type of mental break and was sadly institutionalized with some type of mental health issues.  Though only a few years had passed, Bobbie could not seem to remember our encounters, the retreat or anything to do with having heard God’s voice.  I miss the old Bobbie.


Though I cannot see the fulfillment in the natural, I am looking forward to seeing how may one day fulfill this prophecy in the future.

I realize the Lord may not fulfill any of this prophecy. The prophecy may not have actually been for my benefit.  Possibly God was doing something in Bobbie’s life and I was just a side-note.  Only God knows.  On the other-hand, I am looking to see this miracle of God actually come to pass. God said it will be so; therefore – to me, it will come to pass, though at this juncture I cannot see how.  God knows.

Later, in May of 2009, I was considering selling my home and moving into the mountains where I wanted to create a Christian retreat. About one month later, I realized God had never actually told me to build a retreat on her property, so I thought, “what the heck, go out and she what Bobby thought about doing something with it now.”

I was so sad… On June 8th 2009, as I traveled out to find Bobby’s place, I couldn’t remember where the turn-off was to get to her place.  Because of this, I went home and looked her name and address up on the internet; unfortunately, while I was searching for anything which might give me her address, I came across her Guest-book obituary.  Unhappily I hadn’t talked to Bobby in very long time, though I had tried I failed and wished I had succeeded.

One amazing thought, May 5th was the same day the Lord told me to go up north to the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest area and look for land on which to buy and live.  An area just above the Blue Range Primitive Area where I had been looking for land previously.  May 5th was also the day Bobby went to be with our Lord.  I will definitely be seeing you later Bobby when we all join the Lord in the skies!


I decided to send this small excerpt from my autobiography to her next of kin and see what happens. Mostly, I would like to know what exactly change her mind.  She eventually donated those 240 acres for preservation to the University of Arizona.  I wonder what she did with the rest of her lands. The Lord knows.

I found this tribute on line: Goodbye my friend, may the Lord receive you with angels singing.

bobbyBarbara Warner Ellis Frecker Born May 4, 1929 in Rochester, NY to Franklin Courtney Ellis and Marcella Mettler Ellis. Passed into eternity on April 4, 2009 in Tucson, AZ. She graduated from Harley School in Rochester, NY in 1946 and then Smith College in Massachusetts in 1950. She graduated from Harvard Law School in 1954. Apprenticed Law. She managed the Warner family ranch in Angleton, TX until 1966 before moving to Tucson in 1968 to join her Aunt Barbara Mettler at the Creative Dance Studio on Ft. Lowell. She married Jack Emmet Frecker on August 30, 1969. Bobbie and Jack raised Jack’s three boys and then adopted three teenage girls at Sweetwater Ranch just west of Tucson. After building a house, horse corral, hay barn and fencing 540 acres, Bobbie and Jack donated 240 acres for preservation to the University of Arizona. Bobbie used her law background to defend nearby Tucson Mountains against radio towers and development in sensitive desert habitat. Bobbie was dedicated to wildlife, nature and preservation. She is preceded in death by her husband Jack Frecker. She also leaves three sons, Keith Michael Frecker, John Terance Meng-Frecker and Jay Lomaak. Her daughters, Kelly Ann Warren, Marnie Adeyna Frerman and Margaret Linda Marano also survive her along with two brothers, Franklin Courtney Ellis and William Garretson Ellis. She also leaves eight grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Tucson Humane Society or any animal charity of your choice. Arrangements entrusted to Adair Funeral Homes-Avalon Chapel (742-7901).

See you on the other side, my friend!