In Memoriam: George Alexander Friedley

We will host a memorial service on Sat. May 27, 2017 to celebrate the life of George A. Friedley. Prelude (organist Wayne Wildman) begins at 11:00 a.m. with service starting at 11:30 a.m. Lunch to follow.

Here is the obituary that was published last summer when George died.

George Alexander Friedley, 87, a native and longtime resident of Sheboygan, WI, died on Monday, June 27, 2016 in Fort Worth, TX. He was born on October 14, 1928 to Ner Orium Friedley and Esther Amalia (Strassburger) Friedley. George married Mary Louise Dobbins on August 6, 1960. Together the couple raised three children, Gretchen, Geoffrey, and Melanie, and celebrated 50 years of marriage. In 2011, he moved to Fort Worth, where he resided at The Vantage and at Bethesda Gardens.
George graduated in 1946 from Sheboygan North High School. In 1950, he graduated with honors from Heidelberg College in Tiffin, OH, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Theatre Arts. From June 1950 to March 1952 he worked as a buyer for the H.C. Prange Co. in Sheboygan, during which time he also enlisted in the U.S. Naval
Reserve. In March 1952 he was called into active duty, served in Korea on the destroyer U.S.S. Wiltsie, and was honorably discharged in September 1953. During his term of service he received the National Defense Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the China Service Medal, and the Korean Service Ribbon with two stars. Following his release from the Navy, he joined the Leverenz Shoe Company in Sheboygan, where he worked for the next 35 years, achieving the position of Vice President for Customer Services. In the late 1980s he worked for Ross Business Machines, and from 1991 to 2000, he served as a Business Banking Representative at Associated Bank of Sheboygan. George was a member of Zion Reformed Church (later Zion United Church of Christ), where he was baptized and confirmed and over several decades directed and participated in choirs, taught Sunday School, and served on the consistory. Later in life, he and Mary Lou joined the First Congregational Church U.C.C. in Sheboygan, where they sang in the choir and in numerous other ways integrated themselves into their new church family. A third generation resident of Sheboygan, George was committed to active involvement in his hometown. A passionate Rotarian, George was a Paul Harris Fellow and a Lifetime Member and Past President of the Sheboygan Rotary Club, where for years he also served as song leader. In 1982, George received the club’s Good Citizenship Award. He was a founding member of the Sheboygan Y’s Men’s Club, and he supported and volunteered for many other organizations, including the Sheboygan Area United Way, Meals on Wheels, the Sheboygan Symphony, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (JMKAC), Lakeland College, and Sheboygan Community Concerts. He enjoyed playing bridge and Scrabble and was an avid Green Bay Packer fan. Music making and singing were pastimes that, for George and his family, superseded nearly all others. Both George and Mary Lou had studied Voice in college, and Mary Lou was a certified public school music teacher. Together they enjoyed singing in many different ensembles, especially choirs at Zion, at the First Congregational Church, and at JMKAC. In the 1960s, they and their friends would gather periodically to sing 16th century
madrigals. At different times, both directed Zion’s Youth Choir. When their children were old enough, the family constituted a quintet that would sing carols in four parts for friends at the holidays, and in 1982 they were named Musical Family of the Year by the Sheboygan Music Club. In maintaining these musical activities, George was continuing treasured family traditions established by his grandfather and grandmother, Gustav Albert Strassburger and Amalia (Karth) Strassburger, and continued by their six children, Esther, Karl, Edith, Robert, Eleanor, and Helen, and their families. George was preceded in death by his beloved wife Mary Lou in 2010 and his siblings Mark Royer Friedley in 2009 and Suzanne Ner (Friedley) Duffy in 2005. He is survived by his three children and their families, Gretchen and Paul Steck (Katie, Kara, and Drew), Geoffrey and Diana (Livingston) Friedley (Grace), and Melanie and Patrick Towle (Alex, Charlie, and George). The family requests that memorial gifts be sent to the Ohl Endowment at Heidelberg College or to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

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