Mary June Freisberg, 89, died Dec. 22, 2020, at Windsor Place in Coffeyville following a long illness.
Known as “June,” she was a member of a well-known newspaper and printing family in Caney where she spent most of her life.
Born to H.K. “Skeet” and Ethel P. (Miller) George on Sept. 22, 1931, she spent her grade school years at Mound Valley where her parents published the Mound Valley Times-Journal. In 1943 when June was in the eighth grade, the George family moved to Caney and purchased the Caney Daily Chronicle. June worked in the newspaper office during her high school years.
June graduated from Caney High School in 1949, and later from Coffeyville Community College. She went immediately into teaching at Frontenac and Baxter Springs, and later at Lincoln Memorial Elementary School in Caney where she taught vocal music.
She was involved in school bands, both at Mound Valley and Caney, and became an accomplished pianist, often accompanying her older sister, Joan, for many church, school and civic occasions.
She married Jacob E. Freisberg “Jake” on Sept 22, 1951. They moved to Hutchinson where Jake taught industrial arts, and they started their family.
They moved back to Caney in 1957 and Jake started to work for the Caney Chronicle, and oversaw the conversion from letterpress to the more modern method of offset printing.
June and Jake were involved in her family’s formation of Kansas Offset Printing Co. in 1960, and Jake was one of the four owners. June also spent many years at Kopco supervising the composition department. June often said that printing was in her blood.
Her teaching years at Caney were beloved in her memory. In 1971, June was director of the large musical/drama which celebrated Caney’s centennial.
After the Good News shopper was started in 1979, June started writing a column, “Here It Is,” which became popular with readers. She also served as editor of the publication for several years before her retirement, and she served on the board of directors for Good News.
June and Jake bought a cafe located in the east side of Caney in
1982 and changed its name to “The Windmill.” They enlarged the restaurant and operated it for several years, often hosting large dinners and meetings, plus regular dining.
Cooking was a true passion of hers, whether at the Windmill, or in her own kitchen. She said it was her relaxation to host large family events such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.
June was always active at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Caney where she played the organ for many years and was very active in the Altar Society.
She was a founding member of the Caney Valley Historical Society and served on its board of directors.
She was a constant and ardent booster of the towns where she lived — mostly Mound Valley and Caney. The very week she fell victim to a stroke in May 2018, June was scheduled to be the parade marshal for the Flag Pole Celebration in Mound Valley. From the day she suffered her stroke, she never was able to return home to live.
Surviving children are: Joe Freisberg (Debbie) of Elgin, Kan.; Jim (Nancy) of Caney; Julie (Monty) Dellis of Hominy, Okla.; and Jack Freisberg (Terra) of Bartlesville.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Jake Freisberg in 2002.
A daughter, Janet, preceded them in death at the age of 7 in 1969 due to leukemia.
Other survivors include the following grandchildren and spouses: Emilea Harlin (Chet), Lauren Viets (Zach), Colby Freisberg (Tina), Michael Freisberg (Sara), Zac Freisberg (Joy), Luke Freisberg (Elissa), Justin Mills, Molly Rains (Nathan), Sam Freisberg, Will Freisberg and Ava Freisberg.
Also surviving are 14 great-grandchildren: Addison Harlin, Colt Harlin, Cayson Harlin, Brody Viets, Ellie Viets, Zane Viets, Austin Freisberg, Sawyer Freisberg, Bowen Freisberg, Franz Freisberg, Libbi Jabben (John Michael), Griffen Peck, Waylon Ranes, Memphis Rains.
Sibling survivors include sisters Joan Paine (the late George Paine), Kathy Taylor (Rudy), and brother Kenneth George (Reba), and a host of nieces and nephews.
June enjoyed writing, gardening, decorating, cooking, family —
grandchildren in particular — talking and sharing stories with friends. Her mind was keen to detail up until the stroke which affected her for the last 2 1/2 years of her life.
Through all these events described, she knew the names and jobs of all her grandchildren, and held pride in them all.
A family Mass of Christian Burial will be held Monday, Dec. 28, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Caney. Public Graveside services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday at the Sunnyside Cemetery under the direction of the Potts Chapel.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Winsdor Place Activity Fund.
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