A Celebration of Life for Freda Oliver Thormahlen will be held on Saturday, June 3, 2023, at 11:00 am. She passed away peacefully in her sleep on April 26, 2023.
Freda was born on January 22, 1939, in Wellman, Texas. She was the second of four children born to D.B. Dot Oliver and Willie Maye Smith Oliver. As a young child, her father nicknamed her “Foxie” after a little ditty about a little fox. The nickname stuck and she was called Foxie by family throughout her life. She attended school in Wellman and graduated in 1957. Freda was well-liked by her classmates, active in the student council, and was an avid basketball player. She was awarded Best Athlete of the Year in 1957. She was a member of the First Baptist Church. Freda often sang at church services and weddings with her older sister, Dessie. Her early years were spent on the cotton farm southwest of Wellman, in Terry County.
Upon graduation from Wellman High, Freda attended Texas Tech, then transferred to Sul Ross College in Alpine, Texas, to pursue a degree in Education. It was at Sul Ross where she met the love of her life, Jerry Thormahlen. Freda and Jerry wed August 15, 1959, at First Baptist Church of Brownfield, Texas. They were quickly blessed with a son, James Mark, born in 1960 in Alpine; a daughter, Diedre Ann, born in 1961 in Odessa; and a daughter, Amy Lynn, born in 1967 in Abilene. Freda taught elementary school in Wink and Lubbock for several years. The family lived in Odessa, Wink, and Abilene before moving to Lubbock in 1975, where they settled. Freda enjoyed being the wife of a football coach and took the intensity of Jerry’s profession in stride. She enjoyed attending the football games and hosting the post-football game gatherings.
Her interests and hobbies were varied. She sang in the First Baptist Church choir in Abilene where she had the opportunity to travel to several South American countries to perform “The Messiah”. Freda was a lifelong bridge player and a voracious reader. She also played tennis and enjoyed flower gardening. Freda sewed clothing regularly for her daughters for school and special occasions. She mastered crewel needlework, crochet, knitting, watercolor and acrylic painting, decoupage, and all sorts of crafts en vogue…she tried it all! She was a wonderful cook and excellent baker, always having a cake or pie baked for Sunday lunches.
Jerry and Freda were able to travel quite a bit in later years, which they so enjoyed, especially to NYC. When the grandchildren came, Freda was always present for the newborns and helped out with other grandchildren. She loved her grandchildren completely and took many airplane trips to California and many road trips to Austin to share in their young lives. She and Jerry attended many sporting events, performances, vacations, and county fairs and had many park adventures with their grandchildren. Freda was a champion for her husband, children, and family. She faithfully cared for her younger sister, Dottie Gary, for many years, as well as for her Mother, until their passing.
Freda was a beautiful soul: kind, loving, creative, intelligent, and determined with a witty and dry sense of humor. Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s disease took her memory away from us way too soon, but she remained a bright light to everyone with whom she came into contact and was well-loved and well-cared for by all the employees in Memory Care at The Isle at Raider Ranch.
Freda is survived by her children, Mark Thormahlen of Lubbock, Diedre and Frank Rovelli of Ventura, CA, and Amy and Dan Crofut of Austin, TX; their grandchildren, Olivia Rovelli, Charlotte Rovelli, Palmer Rovelli, John Rovelli, and Harriet Crofut; sister and brother-in-law Drs. Dessie and Vernon James, and brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Roger and Karen Thormahlen; brother-in-law Dan Gary; sister-in-law Barbara Oliver; nephews Huntley McNabb, Dr. Ross Thormahlen, Karl Thormahlen, Kurt Thormahlen, Cody Gary, Andrew Oliver; nieces Dr. Deborah McNabb, Dr. Cindy McNabb, Greta Thormahlen Shelton, Lana Thormahlen Thompson, Ashley Smith and their families.
Freda is preceded in death by her parents, Willie Maye and D.B. Dot Oliver; her husband, Jerry Thormahlen; her sister Dottie Oliver Gary; her brother, Buddy Oliver; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Don and Patricia Thormahlen; nephew, Keller Thormahlen.
In lieu of flowers, please make charitable donations to the Alzheimer’s Association.
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