Freda Ann Russell, 71, passed away Oct. 9, 2012, at the Fairbanks Pioneers' Home.
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Freda was born Nov. 20, 1940, to Lillie Mariel Gober and George William Gober in California. The family moved to Harrah, Okla., soon after where she spent her childhood.
In high school Freda was involved in many activities including baton twirler, marching band and forward on the basketball team. The basketball team she played on took second in state during her senior year of high school. Her love of sports and academics that began in high school would continue throughout her life.
Freda went to college at East Central University in Oklahoma, but her sense of adventure got the best of her and she moved to California where she continued her education at the University of California Berkeley.
Eventually she made her way to Alaska, where she got married and had her only son, Jeff. When faced with raising her son on her own, she moved to Oklahoma to finish her degree at the University of Oklahoma. After she completed her degree, she returned to Alaska where she taught in towns and villages throughout the state including, Bethel, Tanana and Nulato.
Freda left once more to pursue her master's degree in Thousand Oaks, Calif., before returning to Alaska where she would remain. Freda devoted her life to education, which was not only her profession, but a passion and something she took great pride in. Upon retirement from her formal career, she returned to Ladd Elementary School to implement a reading program.
Freda looked at teaching, and coaching as an opportunity to provide guidance and share and learn from her students. She used to say there was something she liked or admired about every student she ever had.
Freda is survived by her son Jeff; granddaughter, Brittany, of Fairbanks; brother, Glen, and his wife, Nywana; and family in Mankato, Minn.
An informal service will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012, in the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center.
Arrangements were entrusted to Chapel of Chimes Funeral Home.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Oct. 16, 2012