Cover photo for Mary Freese's Obituary
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1929 Mary 2015

Mary Freese

March 11, 1929 — June 10, 2015

The children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of Mary Foster Freese would like to let her friends and family, near and far, know that she passed away peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday, June 10, 2015. She was 86 years young. She is survived by five children, ten grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Mary donated her body to the University of Iowa Hospital, as had her husband Baxter. The children will hold a private memorial in one of their homes. Her children ask that any donations be made to her favorite charity, Camp Courageous in Monticello, or to Iowa City Hospice, with gratitude for the incredible service they provided to both Baxter and Mary.
The children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of Mary Foster Freese would like to let her friends and family, near and far, know that she passed away peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 in Kalona, Iowa. Mary was born on March 11, 1929 to Mabel Ione Jackson and Ellery Newton Foster in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She graduated from Wellman High School and went on to attend the University of Colorado in Boulder for one year. She graduated from Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa in 1950. While there, she participated in synchronized swimming and was a member of Delta Phi sorority. She married Baxter Lee Freese on June 30, 1950 in Wellman.
She was incredibly important to her husband, Baxter. She supported him in his leadership on the Iowa Conservation Commission, Iowa Beef Producers, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and Meat Export Federation. Mary was also a member of the Iowa Cattlewomen’s Association. Together with Baxter, they entertained numerous dignitaries, travelled the world, “adopted" two wonderful Swiss farm boys and provided endless love and entertainment for grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was a member of TTT and PEO women’s organizations and loved to play bridge with neighbors and friends. She was also a fabulous cook.
There was never any malevolence in her voice. Mary was friendly, but it was more than that. Mary loved people, and she had a way of making them feel welcome and accepted. Though her Iowa roots were strong, she was far more than where she was born. She was sophisticated and worldly. Mary loved to take trips and instilled in her five children the love of travel, culture, books and nature. She taught us how to take care of our friends and loved ones without complaint. She taught us that there is great satisfaction in caring for people you love, whether you are feeding and clothing them or simply being there when they need to talk. She played an important role in each of our lives, ensuring that we all had more than enough to eat and drink and that we felt loved. She exhibited a patience that is rare in any person. She had a quiet way of demanding good behavior, usually with only a look or single word, because letting her down was hard to bear. She will always be not just loved but cherished; she was the foundation of what is best in all of her offspring. She will be deeply missed.
She is survived by five children: John (Terry) Freese of Rocky Comfort, Missouri; Kathryn (John) Lindstrom of Stillwater, Minnesota; Jane (John) Weber of Ft. Worth, Texas; Jim (Cris) Freese of Fairfield, Iowa; and Anne Freese Troyer of Kalona, Iowa. Also surviving are ten grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Mary donated her body to the University of Iowa Hospital for research, as had her husband Baxter. The children will hold a private memorial in one of their homes. Her children ask that any donations be made to her favorite charity, Camp Courageous in Monticello, or to Iowa City Hospice, with gratitude for the incredible service they provided to both Baxter and Mary.

Camp Courageous
12007 190th Street, Monticello, IA 52310

Iowa City Hospice
http://www.IowaCityHospice.org
1025 Wade St., Iowa City, Iowa 52240
Tel: 319-351-5665 or 800-897-3052
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