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Shirley Mae (Kayser) Freeberg
October 13, 1926 ~ July 26, 2023 (age 96) 96 Years Old
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Shirley Mae Freeberg, stepped into the light on July 26, 2023 at her home at the Classic, a beautiful assisted living facility in Altoona, Wisconsin. Shirley had lived there since 2019
Shirley is survived by her two daughters, Vanna Kay Freeberg of Fort Bragg, California, Mary Freeberg-Graziano, of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and, her only grandchild, Josiah Jacob Baker of Lake Tahoe, California. Her oldest daughter, Karen Mae Freeberg passed on in June 2021 in Tucson, Arizona.
Here is "Her Story", in her words:
I was born on October 13, 1926 in Chicago, Illinois. My parents were Clara H. Hofert and Van L. Kayser. When I was seven years old, along with my brother, Allan, we moved to a 20-acre farm in Granton, Wisconsin. My father lost his job at the Western Electric Co, in the middle of the Great Depression.
Life in Granton was typical small-town Wisconsin. I started in the second grade and graduated from High School. I was confirmed in the United Methodist Church. After attending a year at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, I renewed my friendship with a former Granton High School alumnus, Garfield Freeberg. We were married in my home church in November, 1945. We lived in Granton, Madison and Eau Claire before moving to Running Valley in rural Colfax, Wisconsin. We bought our farm in 1951 and lived there and in the village of Colfax for ten years. While in Colfax our life was centered in our church home, Running Valley Lutheran Free Church and our children's school life.
In January, 1959, we, along with our three daughters, Karen, Vanna and Mary moved to Eau Claire. We found our church home at Trinity Lutheran Church and the girls picked up their school work in their respective schools.
After the girls were settled in school, I had various jobs in the Medical Profession. In 1968 I became the Secretary to the Associate Administrator at Luther Hospital (Now the Mayo Clinic). Within three years my new work was with the organized medical staff. I was Medical Staff Coordinator, and later added Quality Assurance to my list of duties.
In 1995 we sold our Garfield Road home and moved to Sunland Village East in Mesa, Arizona. We found our new church home at Our Saviors Lutheran. Many new friends, new activities (golf for Garf) and lots of sun. Garf was diagnosed with CLL in 1998, but chemo kept him feeling well. In 2004 we bought a condo in Eau Claire, spent one more winter in Mesa and returned to Eau Claire.
Garf passed away in August, 2011 and a new stage of my life began. After 65 years of marriage, it was a challenging time. A heart attack in February 2017 was an eye opener. Fine friends and caring children have brought me to this stage.
In 2015 I found a new church home at Peace Lutheran - it provided a new blessed dimension to carry me through my final days. I now have the blessed assurance of my Heavenly home because of what Jesus did for me on the cross. My body is going to Mayo Medical School for research upon my death. (Perhaps they will discover what really made me tick?)
My dear girls hopefully will write the final chapter of this mortal life. As my father used to say "Be Joyful."
* * *
Our Mother was a pillar of strength throughout her entire life. She was a wonderful, caring mother and role model for all three of us. We will miss her terribly, but rest easy knowing that her steadfast faith held her up until her final breath. Her deep and unwavering love for all of her family has allowed us all to know what Love truly is, and live that Love each and every day.