for Loretta K. Freiling | Ryan Funeral Homes
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Loretta K. Freiling

May 6, 1929 ~ August 22, 2018 (age 89)

Madison - Loretta Stastny Freiling, aged 89, died peacefully on August 22, 2018 at Meriter Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin.  Loretta had been sent to Meriter by the caring staff at Oak Park Place.  Loretta had been a resident at Oak Park Place since January 2014.  Loretta enjoyed her last few years at Oak Park Place, especially field trips with staff and friends and her daily Wisconsin State Journal crossword puzzle.

Loretta was born on May 6, 1929 at the Stastny family farm, near Fennimore Wisconsin, the daughter of Theodore Stastny and Anna Knesting.  She grew up on the family farm on Castle Rock Ridge.  Her first job was bringing the draft horses from the fields into the barn while her father took care of the farm implements.   In the summer between her junior and senior years in high school, Loretta moved to Madison and roomed with her older sister, Mary.  In the summer of 1944 she was working at the Up-Town Grill on State Street.  

At the age of sixteen, Loretta moved to Madison after graduating from high school in Boscobel.  She studied shorthand and secretarial skills at the Madison Business College with her sister Mary.  She vividly recalled crowds of people celebrating V-J Day on State Street and the Square.                

After Business School, Loretta found employment at the Motor Vehicle Department.  Soon afterward she met and fell in love with James Freiling.  They were married on May 5, 1948.  Their first child, Rhonda, was born on December 16, 1949.  Loretta left her job, to care for Rhonda.

Shortly thereafter, a fall from a silo broke James Freiling’s back.  Loretta returned to the working world by starting a sixty-year career at the University of Wisconsin.  Her first stop was a stint at the History of Science Department.  This department evolved into the Institute for the Research in the Humanities.

In 2009, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle recognized Loretta for her 60 years of service at the University of Wisconsin.  During her years at the Institute, Loretta became involved in coordinating tours with the Archeological Institute of America and interested UW faculty and students.  She was a key organizer of adventuresome trips to Greece, Turkey, Russia, Machu Picchu, the Great Wall of China, and the Pyramids of Egypt.  Loretta led many UW tours to Europe, the Middle East, China and South America. 

Loretta attended Saint Raphael’s Catholic Cathedral, and Holy Redeemer Church in Madison, WI.

Loretta is survived by her daughter, Rhonda (Freiling) Sommer of Renton, WA; numerous nieces and nephews; and several other relatives and close friends.

Loretta was preceded in death by her husband, James Freiling; her sisters, Blanche Stastny, Celine (Stastny) Schmitz, and Mary (Stastny) Perrin; and brothers, John Stastny and Joseph Stastny; her daughters, Colleen (Freiling) Fox and Karen Freiling; and son, Kevin Freiling.

There will be a service on October 13, 2018 at Ryan Funeral Home, 5701 Odana Road, Madison WI at 1:00 PM.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be sent in her name to the Alzheimer's & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin Dane/Green Regional Office, 3330 University Ave., Suite 300, Madison, WI 53705.

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Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services
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