Mary Elizabeth Fricke
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Mary Elizabeth Fricke, 85, of Evansville, passed into the loving arms of her Savior on December 24, 2013, at Parkview Care Center. She was born March 10, 1928, in Evansville, to the late Albert and Alma (Roeder) Boeke.
She grew up on the family farm on Evansville's West side and graduated from Reitz High School in 1946. The example set by her parents and her volunteer work camp experiences in her teen years spurred Mary's interest in ministry. In 1952 Mary graduated from Mission House (Lakeland) College in Sheboygan, WI with a BS in History. She worked as a Boys' Governess at the Winnebago Indian Mission School during her college years. Through that experience she developed a love for Native Americans and adopted a three year old Indiana girl, Wanda Mae. Mary worked for a year as a Christian Education Director at a church in Lafayette, IN before marrying Reverend Robert Fricke. Besides her role as wife and mother of four, she taught and served at St. James United Church of Christ in Morrison, MO and in the nearby school and community. After the death of her seven year old son, Carl, she returned to Evansville and worked as a school teacher.
Mary wrote a book of poems about her life experiences, Heart Throbs, which was published in 1968. Inspired by her son Carl's wish to become a cowboy and preacher, Mary dreamed of transforming her parents' 40-acre cow pasture in Posey County into a mobile home park with camping and horseback riding. With her parents help, A.C. Ranch became a reality in 1970. Mary expressed her love for God through her service to the many people who visited or lived at "The Ranch." The lodge and campground hosted parties of scouts and church groups for camping, horseback riding, swimming, fishing, picnicking, blackberry picking, hayrides, wiener roasts and ministry events. These ventures provided Mary's children with rich experience, opportunity for leadership and enjoyment of nature.
She knew no strangers and always had room for someone in need at her dinner table. Though she had little in material possession, Mary was always looking for ways to give. She had a habit of buying flowers (roses were her favorite) and then spreading them around to friends or anyone in need of cheering. Even in ill health, she was not a complainer, but always quick to offer a witty expression to keep us laughing. In later years Mary did home care for the elderly and moved to Mt. Vernon after retiring. Her last year was spent at Parkview Care Center where her caretakers enjoyed her stories and her spunky wit. She was a lifelong member of Zoar United Church of Christ.
Mary was preceded in death by her seven year old son, Carl.
She is survived by her sisters, Erline Stutsman of Chiefland, FL, Kathlyn Yarzagaray of Aruba, Elinor Boeke of Dayton, OH and Nancy Westenbarger of Evansville; brother, Lonnie Boeke of Evansville; children, David (Robin) Fricke of Henderson, Ann (Jeff) Yates of Evansville and Wanda Rose of Grayson, KY; 11 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Memorial services will be 11:00 AM Saturday, December 28, 2013, at Zoar United Church of Christ, 4600 Church Road. Friends may visit Friday from 4:00 to 7:00 PM and Saturday from 10:00 AM until service time at the church. Private burial will be held.
The family wishes to give special thanks to the caretakers at Cloverleaf and at Parkview for their many hugs, kisses and wonderful care of Queen Mary in her last stage of life.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Love A Child Orphanage in Haiti or to the Brazil Mission Trip fund at First Baptist Church in Henderson. Condolences may be made online at www.AlexanderWestChapel.com.
Published in Courier Press on Dec. 27, 2013