Mary Elizabeth (Wilson) Froemming
Mary Elizabeth (Wilson) Froemming, 98, died gently at home in Madison on Sept. 10, 2019.
Known as Betty to family and friends, she was born in Stillwater, Minnesota August 23, 1921 to Chester Sawyer Wilson and Mary Elizabeth (Beatty) Wilson.
She lived in Stillwater till the age of 18, when she went to Madison to attend the University of Wisconsin. There she met Gale Froemming, a Milwaukee boy. They married in 1942 and four months later the draft took Gale into the army. She followed him to Abilene, Texas, where she drove a cab, to Durham North Carolina, where she worked as a food server in a hospital, and to Washington D.C., where she was employed as a typist by the Office of Price Administration. Returning to Madison, the couple ran a small gift shop on State Street while Gale completed his engineering studies at the University and their first child, Neil, was born. They then moved to the Milwaukee area, where Gale went into the contracting business with his brothers. Betty worked as a homemaker and a bookkeeper for the business. They had two more children, Beth and Roy.
Both Betty and Gale had a strong desire to travel and spend enough time in other parts of the world to really get to know them.
Over the course of their life together, Betty did the work of planning, moving and making a home in Casablanca, Morocco; Istanbul, Turkey; Roseville, MN; Tucson, AZ; Blantyre, Malawi; Nairobi, Kenya; Mogadishu, Somalia; Taipei, Taiwan; Saigon, Vietnam; Georgetown, Guyana; Kabul, Afghanistan. The family was joined in Istanbul by daughter Alice, in Malawi by granddaughter Nicole, and in Saigon by daughters MaryAnn and Kate.
Meanwhile, Betty earned her BA in education (with high distinction) from the University of Arizona. In 1977, Betty returned to live by Lake Michigan near Cedar Grove, WI, and became a very active member of Unitarian Church North in Mequon. In 2001, she moved to Madison where she involved herself in the Madison Society of Friends and her community at Middleton Glen, while keeping her interest in many political and social causes.
Betty was predeceased by her husband, Gale, in 1978, her sister Barbara Badger and her daughter-in-law Sara Satterthwaite. She is survived by her six children, Neil (Chandanie and Sara), Beth (John), Roy (Terri), Alice (Steve), MaryAnn (Kelly), and Kate (Randy); her seven grandchildren, Nicole (Johnny), Rebecca (Jason), Heather (Sean), Keith (Jessie), Tony, Jyothi and Naveen; and her two great-grandchildren, Kestrel and Elise, as well as many nephews, nieces and cousins.
The family is grateful for her two caregivers, Naffie and Casey whose extraordinary care and friendship helped to make Betty’s last year easy and calm. She is remembered as a great cook, a woman of extraordinary intelligence, curiosity, balance and fairness with a ready laugh and most of all, one of the kindest people on the planet.
We remember Betty listening to Chapter a Day from our childhoods onward and request that memorial donations be made to Wisconsin Public Radio, in lieu of flowers.
A memorial service will be held Sunday, November 3, 2019 from 2 to 4 pm at The Society of Friends Meeting House, 1704 Roberts Ct., Madison.
Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road Madison
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