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Carla Freeman

1938 - 2019
Carla Freeman Obituary
Carla Freeman

Grimes - Carla Ann Blue was born on July 21, 1938, on the family farm in De Smet, South Dakota. Carla attended country school and graduated from De Smet High School in 1956; she then graduated as a registered nurse from St. John's School of Nursing in Huron, South Dakota.

Carla met the man who would one day become her husband at the 4th grade spelling bee, where the "country girl" was victorious over the "city boy," much to his chagrin! Carla and Dallas later started dating in high school and were married on December 28, 1958. They began their married life in Canton, South Dakota, where Dallas taught high school English and Carla pursued her career in nursing at Canton-Inwood Hospital. Their "three in a row" children, Leanne, Darren, and Lecia, were born in 1960, 1961, and 1963 at the hospital where Carla was employed. In 1969, the family moved to Estherville, Iowa, where Carla continued her nursing career at Holy Family Hospital and Dallas joined the faculty at Iowa Lakes Community College. At Holy Family, Carla served as supervisor of the Medical/Surgical Floor and was given the responsibility of setting up and implementing the Coronary Care and Intensive Care Units. They were active members of the Presbyterian Church, where, for over 20 years, Dallas served as Choir Director and Carla sang soprano. Both Carla and Dallas were active in the Many Voices Community Choir as well as several Iowa Lakes Community College musical theatre productions. In addition, their beautiful tenor and soprano voices were heard at weddings, funerals, community celebrations and, most importantly, family gatherings centered around the piano.

A budding pioneer in Iowa medicine, Carla was selected in 1975 as one of the first six women in Iowa to pursue family Nurse Practitioner licensure, forming the foundation of Nurse Practitioner and Physician's Assistant professions in this state. She received her advanced education from the University of North Dakota and practiced for 20 years at Spencer Medical Associates in Spencer, Iowa, both at the Spencer office and her own satellite clinic in Milford, Iowa. Even after retiring in 1993, Carla never surrendered her medical bag and stethoscope, as she cared for family, friends, neighbors, and anyone in need.

While raising children and pursuing their careers, Carla and Dal supported their antique "habit" by avidly collecting and selling furniture and glassware at the Spirit Lake Antique Mall. In addition, they were lovers of adventure, traveling throughout the United States, Canada, the British Isles, Western Europe, pre-war Yugoslavia, and communist-era USSR. Their hobbies and travels satisfied their thirst for new experiences and understanding of Western Civilization as well as their appreciation of the arts. These shared interests and the memories they created provided for endless hours of reminiscing in the years to come.

Following Dallas's retirement in 1997, they fled the cold Iowa winters, heading to their Vero Beach, Florida condo for six months each year, where they enjoyed the lush foliage in their beautiful courtyard, water aerobics, condo community friends, and a smorgasbord of world class fine arts productions.

In 2007, Carla and Dallas relocated their summer-only residence to the Des Moines area, where they have been surrounded by kids, grandkids, great grandkids, and wonderful friendships at Glenstone Village.

Carla is survived and dearly loved by her husband of 61 years, Dallas, and her children Leanne Freeman-Miller (Gordon), Darren Freeman (Patty), Lecia Berven (David); adored by her grandchildren and great grandchildren Krysten Williams (Brian), Jarrod Steen (Dawn), Alex Miller, Evan Miller (Laura), Ross Freeman (Kate), Brent Freeman (Bobbi), Alyssa Fischer (John), Ryan Berven, Derek Berven (Kristen), Alyson Wolfswinkel (Brandon); great grandchildren Grayson & Gia Williams, Natalie & Alivia Steen, Alayna & Liam Freeman, Cameron Freeman and Baby Freeman (due in November), Charles & Blake Fischer, Noah Berven, Hudsyn Wolfswinkel, and Baby Berven (due in May.); sisters Billie Baird, Lauryce Stilwell; Dallas' siblings Donald Freeman (Dorothy), Darrie Diamond (Arlen), Daniel Freeman (Cheryl). She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Carla was preceded in death by her parents, Delbert and Anamae Blue; brother Monte Blue; brothers in-law Dean Ogren, John Baird, and Roger Parsons; mother and father in-law Darrel and Berneice Freeman; niece Deanna Freeman; and nephew Tony Diamond.

A celebration of life will be held at the Glenstone Village Clubhouse, 3305 SE Glenstone Drive, Grimes, Iowa (located north of the Cutty's north entrance) from 12-3 on Sunday, October 6. Lunch is provided, and a brief tribute will take place at 1 p.m.
Published in Des Moines Register on Oct. 5, 2019
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