Helen Mildred Freudenberg, age 95, of Rhinelander, died peacefully after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease on July 15, 2020, at Friendly Village nursing home in Rhinelander.
She was born on July 8, 1925, in Ohio, to Ben and Elvie (Winkler) Gibson. Helen attended schools in Evansville, Ind., before moving throughout the Midwest. During World War II she worked through Whirlpool Corporation as a riveter to help build LST landing crafts. Later in her life she spent many years in Chicago, where she raised her two sons and worked in the accounting department at Jewel T. Food Stores for several years, a time in her life that she was very proud of, as well as her membership with the Retail Workers Union. She had many opportunities to advance her education through the union and travel on trips with her fellow union sisters. It was in Chicago that she met her beloved husband Hans W. "Bill" Freudenberg. They spent summers going up north to cabins and traveling to Canada for fishing.
After retirement, Helen and Bill moved north to "God's Country," aka Sugar Camp, where they spent several years on Bass Lake, until Bill's passing in 1991. She took great honor in also caring for her mother at home until her mother's passing after a battle with dementia. It is in the woods and lakes of Sugar Camp where she shared her passion of gardening and berry picking with her grandchildren (which her passion carries on within them to this day).
She later moved to Rhinelander, where she left retirement to join the workforce, something that gave her great joy and pride. She worked at Peterson's Health Care, but spent the majority of her later years working at Trig's grocery store, as the "feisty little lady" cashier on the nightshift. Coworkers appreciated her work ethic and sense of humor. She took great pride in her energy level, saying that she could out work "the younger kids," and that folks didn't realize how old she really was. She was working full time on night shifts until almost the age of 85.
In her free time she enjoyed gardening, yard work, quilting, cooking the best fried chicken and fried green tomatoes in the world, and watching wrestling. She especially loved spending time with her family and her "babies" which were her cats and dogs.
Helen is survived by her sons Benny Rhoades of Rhinelander and Clarence (Opal) Brown of Evansville, Ind; daughter-in-law Mary Humphrey of Rhinelander, stepson Bill (Mary) Freudenberg of Rhinelander; grandchildren Jeffrey (Leonor) Brown, Jennifer (Andy) Peebler, and Crystal Brown; and two great-grandchildren, Christopher and Chloe, as well as many family members, friends, and beloved coworkers. She was preceded in death by her parents, her beloved husband Bill whom she missed dearly, her daughter Linda Carol whom she lost as an infant, and her dear grandson David, who would look out for her and take every opportunity to mess up her hair.
The family would like to take this opportunity to express their gratitude for the amazing team of nurses, therapists, and providers working at Friendly Village Nursing Home, who cared for her in her later years, as well as Ascension Hospice Services. Their support in navigating this time has been profound, supportive, and healing. Special appreciation to Julie Russel for her support and counsel over the years, as well as "Sam the nurse" who spent countless hours on the phone talking with Helen's granddaughter, as she worked to provide compassionate care that promoted her autonomy and uniques, despite the challenges of the losses associated with Alzheimer's. Profound gratitude and grace.
There will be a graveside service held for Helen on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 11 a.m. at The Northland Memorial Park Cemetery with Chaplain John Uhlarik officiating. Friends, family, and those who Helen impacted are invited to attend this outdoor service. You may leave your private condolences for the Freudenberg family at www. carlsonfh.com.
The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is handling the arrangements for the family.
Posted: Saturday, July 25, 2020
Article comment by:
Helen was a wonderful lady!! I had the pleasure to both work with her at Petersen Health Care and take care of her also. She always brightened my day! She will be missed.
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