Phyllis R. Freitag

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Phyllis Ruth Freitag, 85, of Elkader, died Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, at the Elkader Care Center after having a stroke. She was born Jan. 26, 1935, in rural Elkport, to LeRoy and Beatrice Jennie (Mangold) Hansel. 

She graduated from Elkader High School with the class of 1951. She first worked as a telephone operator. On June 28, 1953, she married Ivan Freitag at Peace Church, Elkader. To this union was born three children: Dennis, Dwight and Lori. Ivan and Phyllis moved out on the farm in 1955, and retired from farming in 1995. Phyllis took an active part in the work on the farm. She was a great cook and could always whip up some extra food for unexpected visitors. She loved caring for the children and working with them in farm chores. Later, as a grandma and great grandma, she would always be willing to babysit the kids for their parents. After the children were gone, she was the Elkader meal site coordinator, which she took great pleasure in.  She was recognized by the governor of Iowa for her work at the meal site. She also was active at Peace Church, serving on the church council, participating in Deborah Circle and taught Sunday school. 

After retirement, she and Ivan wintered in Alamo, Texas, each year to get out of the Iowa cold. She emceed musical jams at several of the activity centers at many parks around the McAllen area. Ivan video recorded the shows and would present tapes to each performer of their part of the year’s shows. They formed many friendships with other winter Texans. They also enjoyed watching their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren participate in sports and a variety of other events. The couple had just celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary in June.

Phyllis was a very loving, caring, kind and supportive woman to her husband, family and friends. She and Ivan loved to travel on family trips and later trips by themselves. She will be greatly missed by her survivors, which include her husband, Ivan Freitag of Elkader; children, Dennis (special friend Amy Montgomery) Freitag, Elkader; Dwight (Thersea) Freitag, Elkader; Lori (Matt) Fink, Oneida, Ill.; six grandchildren, Ann (T.J.) Casper, Cresco; Gretchen (Marty) Schnoor, Norwalk; John (Allison) Freitag, Iowa City; Jessica (Greg) Bahls, Manchester; Brandi (fiancé Kevin Fuqua) Fink, Eldridge; Tiffani Fink, Peoria, Ill.; 12 great-grandchildren; one sister, Diane (Roger) Breitsprecher, Clayton Center; and brother, Paul (Barbara) Hansel, Cedar Rapids; nephews and nieces.

She was preceded in death by her parents, LeRoy and Jennie Hansel; sister, Sheryl Harmon; and daughter-in-law, Pamela Freitag.

A private graveside service will be held at East Side Cemetery, Elkader, with Rev. Jon Haack officiating.

Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Elkader is assisting the family.

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