Lorraine (Rentsch) Friberg
1931 - 2021
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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


To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on Jan. 3, 2021.
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Memories & Condolences
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20 entries
January 10, 2021
My mother met Lorraine when she first started working as a teacher in Monterey, CA while Gregg was assigned to Fort Ord during his military career. This started a friendship that has lasted over 60 years. I have so many memories of our summers spent either in Puyallup at their home, or the Fribergs spending summers with us in Monterey. They were a family extension to me, and Lorraine was like a second mom. I am so glad my family was able to see Gregg and Lorraine in 2017 on our last visit to Washington. It was always fun to visit with them, Tamara and Russell and see each others families grow. I will always be grateful for having Lorraine and Gregg in our lives, the memories we have and all the guidance and love they gave as I grew up. I miss them very much and will always remember the wonderful people they were.
Michele Mancuso
Friend
January 9, 2021
Mrs. Friberg was a TRUE teacher, she was the drill team instructor till 1981, and she was also my senior year English teacher...She was a strong woman who cared about her students, and she helped many many of them both in and out of school to be successful...she was full of energy, love, and can do attitude....she will be missed in so many ways...thank GOD for teachers like Mrs. Friberg who DO take the time to care, teach, and truly love her students...always in our thoughts...
Kris Anderson
Student
January 5, 2021
She was one of the best teachers I ever had. No real need to study because she always got everything across in class. I got straight A’s my senior year in her English class. I will never forget her. God rest her sweet soul.
Gail Palmer
Teacher
January 5, 2021
As one of the original neighboring families who also lived on 5th Avenue (we lived across the street from the Friberg's) I and my family were fortunate to know Lorraine when her and "Coach", Tammy and Russel were writing their family story way back in the 1960's. And I'm pleased to read all these comments about Lorraine confirming what I already knew. Their/her story and their/her love of family is a great one and it turned out just like God wanted it too and with his blessing. RIP Lorriane Friberg and may God Bless You for your exemplary life and your many accomplishments both at home and in your classroom...
Chuck Fink
Neighbor
January 5, 2021
Mama Friberg was single handedly responsible for my love of English!! She was also responsible for me being chosen to be a daffodil Princess candidate! She would tell the students in her class that she thought I’d make a good princess! I lost but I never forgot her encouragement! I loved loved loved her reading to us and was also responsible for my love of reading I enjoy still!!
RIP Mama Friberg!! Your job on earth is done! Time to enjoy your rewards in Heaven! ♥
Diana L. Smith
Student
January 5, 2021
She took a room full of 17/18 year old PHS High School students and brought Shakespeare alive to us, my absolute favorite teacher...
"and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!" ~ Hamlet
Karla (Fox) Goral
Student
January 4, 2021
My very favorite teacher at PHS, she took 17/18 year old high schoolers and made Shakespeare exciting, she was a terrific teacher!
Karla (Fox) Goral
Teacher
January 4, 2021
My Favorite Teacher of all time !
Galand Marshall
Student
January 4, 2021
Mrs Friberg left a lifelong impression on me. She was energetic, caring and passionate about her students "getting it." I have lasting memories from many days in her class...not something I can say about many other teachers. I always knew that I was lucky to be her student. Thank you for teaching us about life and sharing your gift to teach.
Gail Strobl
January 4, 2021
I graduated from PHS in 1983 and Mrs. Friberg was my favorite teacher! She was always so kind and looked for the best in her students! I still have a couple papers I wrote in her class because her comments she wrote in them made me feel so good. Blessed to have been her student.
Cathy Sherman
Student
January 4, 2021
Mama Freiburg was my all time favorite teacher I ever had. She had so much patience will all her students. I was going through some hard personal problems st the time I had her in my senior year and she took the time to talk with me and I will never forget the advice she gave me. My condolences goes out to all her family. Go Vikings, class of 1981.
Patricia Cavanaugh- Hollatz
Student
January 4, 2021
Part of the “Golden” age of educators for Puyallup! Mrs. Friberg was one of those unique individuals whose appearance always made the room brighter, and the event better. Along with that effusive “can-do” motivation, her spirit will continue to all who had the pleasure to know her! Go Cougs!!
Darold Larson
Acquaintance
January 4, 2021
She told me and Chris. Take you two will pass this coarse. I'll make sure of that. No matter what I have to do to you two. Your going to gratitude. scared hell out of both of us and we passed she made it her mission that we passed. I have never forgotten her for that I tell my kids and grandkids about her still. God bless prayers with family and friends.
Eugene F Hastings
Student
January 4, 2021
Lorraine was such a big part of our family both as a teacher ans a friend since my mother also worked at Puyallup High School. So happy to have known her. Heaven just acquired a magnificent angel indeed.
Tammie McGraw
Student
January 3, 2021
I will miss you Mama. You were one of a kind.
Dennis Farnes
Student
January 3, 2021
Mrs. Friberg was such a wonderful teacher! I am so glad she was my teacher! I can’t remember all of my teacher’s names, but I definitely remember this sweet lady! I am glad she lived a long life! I am from her senior class of 1969. God bless her family as they remember the many special memories with her.
Linda Michel Bailey
Student
January 3, 2021
Looks like she lived a very full life died at the age of 89 and she just lost her husband a year ago . Had her as a teacher and enjoyed every minute of being in the classroom rest in peace Mrs. Freiberg the best teacher ever!
Lilly Linn
Student
January 3, 2021
Lorraine was special to me also. When she became worthy advisor for Puyallup rainbow she asked me to pass out her programs. I was in the second grade. She wanted me to wear a long white dress with a red velvet bow that ran the length of the dress...to go with her beautiful long red velvet dress. She made me feel very special.
I also had her mother as my 7th grade English teacher....both of those ladies showed me what love and class was all about.
Thanks for the positive memories ladies.
Susan Crowe Johnson
Susan johnson
Friend
January 3, 2021
Tamara and family I am sorry for your loss. We all called her Momma Freiburg!! I know she is with Gregg in heaven dancing and watching over everyone. So glad I was able to see her at your dad’s memorial. She will be missed by all the lives she touched over the years. Hugs to all❤
Annie Carpenter
Student
January 3, 2021
Mrs. Friberg was one of the kindest , fun teachers that my brother and I had while in school at PHS. . She will be missed by many and be welcomed into Heaven with open arms ! Sincere sympathy to all of her family . Pat and Mike Fenner
Patrick Fenner
Friend
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