December 17, 2020
Leora Lois Kettelhut Freitag, 88, of Byron, Neb., died Dec. 12, 2020. She was born Jan. 7, 1932, on a farm in Republic County, Kan., to George and Anna (Hoops) Kettelhut.
Leora graduated from Byron High School in 1949, where she met Verdell Freitag. They were married on Easter Sunday, March 25, 1951, at St. Peter Lutheran Church, rural Byron.
Leora and Verdell were blessed with three children. They lived on two different farms before retiring to Byron in 1991. Leora taught herself to cook after getting married, as she helped her father, and later, Verdell, outside with farming and chores. Even in her last year, she was asked if she missed cooking, and she laughed and said, “No, but I do miss my flowers and garden.” She was a master seamstress, having sewn clothing for her children, hundreds of quilts and her daughter’s wedding dress. Leora enjoyed her animals. Leora taught Sunday school, vacation Bible school, and served on numerous church committees. She especially enjoyed making quilt tops for Lutheran World Relief.
Leora worked outside of the home and was one of only two secretaries at Reinke Manufacturing in the early 1960s for five years. She said her greatest fear was falling off a ladder, maybe because she painted her way across Thayer County for several decades, from family homes and barns to the courthouse. She also cleaned the Byron school for a few years with her friend, Roberta Kemper.
After the children left home, she had more time to socialize and enjoyed her women’s club, bowling, quilt guild, and Bible study group. She and Verdell enjoyed vacationing in Arizona over the winter for a number of years.
Leora is preceded in death by her husband; parents; and sister, Verla Heitmann.
She is survived by children: Don and wife, DeEtte, of Holdrege; Lonny and wife, Jan, of rural Byron; Evonne and husband, Bill Williams, of Omaha: eight grandsons; 18 great-grandchildren, 15 of whom she was able to meet before she died.
Leora suffered a stroke Jan. 3, 2019, and was a resident of Parkview Haven Nursing Home in Deshler.
A graveside service conducted by grandson, Chaplain Michael Freitag, was held Dec. 17, at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, rural Byron, where she was buried next to her husband.
Condolences may be left at http://www.krollfh.com. Kroll Funeral Home of Deshler was in charge of arrangements.