Funeral services for Charline “Char” Freitag, 90, Lawrence will held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, September 25, 2021 at West Side Presbyterian Church 1024 Kasold in Lawrence.
Char was sleeping peacefully in her room at Pioneer Ridge Retirement Community when the Lord gently took her in His arms and home to Heaven on the morning of September 13, 2021. She was suffering with Parkinson’s and is now free and rejoicing with loved ones and the Lord.
Char was born on June 9, 1931 in Denver, Colo., the daughter of Edwin Walter Warder and Marjorie Ewins Warder. She was the oldest of 3 sisters, Patricia (Ramer) and Virginia (Minks), who both preceded her in death.
She met her future husband, Robert (Bob) Freitag, at a church dance. It was love at first sight for him, but Char wasn’t so sure. In the end he won her heart and hand and they joined together in marriage on August 6, 1950. Bob sadly preceded her in death on July 4, 2018.
Char began married life as a homemaker raising two young children. Later on, while working part time at the Ballard Center in North Lawrence, she was asked by a “scout” to become the very first director of the newly forming Head Start Center in Lawrence being developed by President Johnson’s administration. Her family agreed and she jumped into the role with all the gusto she had and then some. She took an empty section of the Plymouth Church and built it up into a successful, thriving children’s center. Many of the original staff that she hired stayed with her throughout her career there. She was that well loved, admired and respected. She was not only their “boss” or “Queen Bee” she was also their trusted friend and confidante. And even though she was a “toughie” in the children’s eyes they all loved her immensely and the parents would seek her advice. Throughout the years and all the children that came and went she was still remembered by kids who went there 10 or 15 years before! And she loved them all.
She was very active with their church and with many of the outreach programs they did. She could always be counted on to fill in for someone, organize this or that, being accepted as a Deacon and an Elder, teacher, youth leader, young adult leader, sang in choir, church service activities, etc. She had her hands in everything. One of her many talents was sewing and she loved to experiment. She made Bob several, very colorful ties to wear (and he did!) and jumped into making a “minister’s shawl” to wear with his robe during services. A lot of intricate work went into making one, but she succeeded and it looked great.
The church family and activities were very important to her. There are so many memories and stories that everyone could tell!
She had many talents and she especially loved to knit. She knitted her family each a nice, long personalized Christmas stocking that could hold a baby elephant! They are beautiful! Many more for many others’ joining the family were knitted throughout the years and enjoyed for many more. But she will mostly be remembered for being the “host house” for Thanksgiving with her sister’s families. We lived between Pat and Gin’s families so they would travel to Lawrence. As the years went by and the families grew the dinner and all that goes with it ballooned into a full blown weekend reunion!!
Char was very giving with her time. She volunteered for many local organizations including Habitat for Humanity, Dg. Co. AIDS Project, Kaw Valley Blue Bird Assoc., Dg. Co. Child Development Assoc. and several others. She also served as moderator of Synod of Mid-America and the Nat’l Comm. for Mission Development Grants for Presby. Church.
Char is survived by her children: son, Mark (Stephanie) Freitag, Wichita, Ks.; daughter Kat (Patrick) Cooney, Harrisonville, Mo.; sisters, Alice (Cliff) Theobald, Nokomis, Fl.; Mary (Mike) Schroeder; Gardnerville, NV.; brother-in-law, Ervin Minks, O’Fallon, Ill.; grandsons’ wife, Jenny and great-grandchildren, Thomas, Kate Lynn and William Robberson, all of Wichita, Ks.; several cherished nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death also by: grandson Joshua Robberson and nephew Nathan Ramer.
Char will be very much missed by those closest to her, but the many cherished memories of her will keep us smiling and laughing!
Memorial contributions may be made in her name to Douglas County AIDS Project, L.I.N.K. – West Side Presby. Church fund, Ballard Center of Lawrence or Doctors without Borders and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary 120 W. 13th Street Lawrence, KS 66044
The family will greet friends 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Friday, September 24, 2021 at West Side Presbyterian Church in Lawrence.