Lorraine (Rentsch) Friberg
March 7, 1931 - December 19, 2020
Puyallup, Washington - There wasn't a crossword puzzle Lorraine couldn't complete, a classroom full of high schoolers she couldn't command, or a Shakespearean quote she couldn't provide at a moment's notice.
Lorraine Friberg, 89, was born on March 7, 1931, in Vermillion, South Dakota, to Emeline and Charles Rentsch and passed away December 19, 2020. She spent her early childhood in South Dakota until her family moved to Puyallup, WA in 1942. She graduated salutatorian from Puyallup High School in 1949, earning the Walker Award. Lorraine was offered an academic scholarship to the University of Washington but made the wise decision to become a Washington State University cougar instead (GO COUGS!). Within the first month of her freshman year, she met a tall, strapping football player, Gregg Friberg, and the rest was history! She earned two degrees from WSU and graduated with high honors before marrying Gregg, and that union lasted 67 years until his passing in 2019. She taught in Pullman schools for two years while Gregg was on the football coaching staff. They lived in Columbus, Georgia, and Monterey, California, during Gregg's military career. Lorraine taught in the Monterey School District as Gregg completed his active duty. Upon returning to Washington, they settled in Puyallup and bought their home of 60 years. Lorraine taught senior English and Shakespeare at Puyallup High School from 1956 until her retirement in 1984, where she served as the district's first English chair. She was affectionately known by her students as "Mama Friberg."
Lorraine was a member of Chi Omega sorority, Delta Kappa Gamma, and a life member of the WSU Alumni Association. She was active in the Puyallup community having served on the Puyallup Parks and Recreation Commission, the Puyallup Planning Commission, and the Puyallup Library Board for a total of 17 years. She was on the genealogical Heritage Quest Research Library Board for many years and enjoyed researching family roots for herself and others. In retirement, she enjoyed her friends in book club, reunions with high school and college friends, traveling the world extensively, and cheering on her grandchildren at their sporting events and activities along with Gregg. Lorraine was the quintessential life-long learner. She loved reading, photography, knitting, and playing the piano.
Lorraine is survived by her son, Russell and wife, Laurie; her daughter, Tamara and husband, James Chipps; her beloved grandchildren, Emily Hansell and husband, McKenzie; Madeline Buchanan and husband, Greg; Darrin Friberg and wife, Caris; Scott Friberg and wife, Samantha; her "adorable and brilliant" great-grandchildren, Charlotte, Eloise, Colie, Claire, Cora, Brayden, Ellis, Rowen, and Rylee; sister Audrey Calavan and husband, Joel; extended family, thousands of former students and many, many friends.
A special thanks goes to Dr. Jerry Duris for his many years of care and compassion for both Lorraine and Gregg.
A celebration of Lorraine's life will be planned when all can gather safely. Contributions may be made to Puyallup Public Library in Lorraine's memory.
"… and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest." Hamlet, Wm. Shakespeare
Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on Jan. 3, 2021.