Betty Freund

Freund, Betty

Loved ones in Heaven rejoiced when Betty Freund, 93, joined them on April 30, 2013. Born Elizabeth Marie Flanagan, Aug. 25, 1919, to William and Elizabeth (Brueske) Flanagan of Pickett, she was 1 of 13 children.

Upon graduation from Oshkosh High, Betty attended Teacher's Normal in Berlin and began a teaching career that lasted a lifetime. She sang with a dance band that satisfied two of her passions, singing and dancing. Accomplished in vocal and instrumental music, Betty enriched the lives of countless audiences and her piano and organ students. Though needy herself, she charged 25 cents for a piano lesson for years to make it affordable for all who wanted to learn.

Betty married Rudy Freund, a terrific dancer, in 1941. They had 5 children, David of Rose, Ok. Maribeth (Ralphie) Monday-Nigl of Oshkosh, Gary (Marilyn) of Waukau, Connie (Jim) Whiteside of Anderson, S.C. and Richard of Ripon. Betty worked as an Avon Lady in the 40s and 50s. She started a brand new trend. She urged farmwomen to get their husbands to wear deodorant. One by one, her male customers adopted the new habit. Betty made the world a better place in so many ways.

Betty was preceded in death by her husband, Rudy, son, Gary, daughter-in-law, Marilyn, brothers, Don, Carroll, Leon, Milton, Bob and Clayton, sister, Bonnie Brayton, brothers-in-law, Melvin and Alex Freund and sisters-in-law, Pricilla Sontoski, Esther Freund and Wally Messerschmidt and grandson, Daniel Freund. She is survived by four children, David, Maribeth, Connie and Richard, two sisters, Elaine (Jim) Brisky and Jeanette (Bob) Lotz, three sisters-in-law, Rosemary Bodah and Lola and Emma Freund and three brothers, Bud, (Phyllis) Flanagan, John (Maggie) Flanagan and Merlyn Flanagan. Her grandchildren adore her. They are granddaughters, Kim, Stacy, Tammy, Kathy, Mitzi, Bekkei, Blythe, Kristine and Genevieve and grandsons, Cavic, Denny, Eric (Charlie), Bill, Andy and R.J. In this large family, there are dozens of other unnamed great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, in-laws and their spouses who also love Betty and will miss her kind, gentle nature.

A celebration of Betty's life will take place Tuesday, May 7 at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 730 Madison Ave., Omro, Wis. The family will greet visitors from 9 to 10:30 A.M. A Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 10:30 with Fr. William Van De Kreeke and Sister Pam Biehl officiating.

The family wishes to acknowledge Bud Flanagan, Hospice and Fr. Bill for their compassionate support. Hats off to the Omro Fire Department for their unique show of respect last Sunday.

In lieu of flowers, please honor Betty's memory by emulating her thoughtful, giving ways. When you think of her, please do something kind for someone…a note, a phone call, an email, a contribution, a hug or a smile. Betty was a blessing to us all.


Published in Oshkosh Northwestern on May 3, 2013