Paul Freeberg, her husband, was found dead at the same time of an apparent heart attack. His death was unexpected. Both died peacefully, at rest.
The couple were married in Dodge City in 1950 and moved to Santa Fe, N.M. In 1952, they moved to Meade and then to Parsons in 1957.
Mrs. Freeberg was born Magdalen Martha Kirmer on July 22, 1928, in Claflin to Frank and Albina (Penka) Kirmer. As a child the family moved to Spearville, where she attended school. She is known as "Maggie" to her family and friends in western Kansas. She worked at Montgomery Ward following high school. For many years she worked as an aide in the Parsons elementary schools, Parsons Junior High School and Parsons Senior High School. She also attended Labette Community College. Through the years she gave countless hours of volunteer service. She spent many years as a Girl Scout leader, both at the local and district level. She served as president of both the St. Mary's and St. Patrick's school boards, and as president of the St. Mary's Altar Society. She liked to sew, read and spend time outdoors. She loved meeting people, helping children read and watching old movies. She played Pinochle with the same group of wonderful friends for almost 50 years.
Mr. Freeberg was born William Paul Freeberg on July 20, 1927, in McCune to William R. and Anna (French) Freeberg. He spent his early years in the McCune and Pittsburg area before moving to Parsons. He graduated from Parsons High School. He served in the U.S. Navy before graduating from the University of Kansas with a degree in civil engineering. Following graduation, he was employed by Eby Construction Co. in Dodge City, where he met Martha. He was sent by Eby Construction to supervise the renovation of the historic LaFonda Hotel in Santa Fe, N.M. Upon completion, he worked for the Kansas Highway Department in Meade. He served as Parsons city engineer from 1957 until his retirement in 1992. He was considered an authority in civil engineering, authoring several articles and being elected president of the Kansas Civil Engineering Association.
During his tenure as city engineer, Parsons saw numerous road, bridge, water and sewer improvements. The city also benefitted from urban renewal, construction of Tri-City Airport, an industrial park and Lake Parsons. He worked tirelessly to obtain grants for city projects. He saw the coming and going of numerous city managers. His favorite project was Lake Parsons. He built a water ski boat and spent countless hours with family and friends on the lake.
He worked with the Boy Scouts and coached St. Mary's girls' softball teams. He was a member of the Elks Lodge and the Kiwanis Club. He served as officers in each and planned the construction of the new Elks clubhouse. He also was a member of the American Legion and the Knights of Columbus. He was instrumental in the construction and fundraising for the new St. Mary's Church.
He enjoyed planting a huge garden, his old tractors, water skiing, sports and being outside with his dog, Coco. Flying was a joy for him, and he was a licensed pilot. He and Martha were both members of St. Mary's Parish and then St. Patrick's Parish. They enjoyed traveling whenever they could, but also enjoyed their time at home in their house and yard. In earlier years, they loved to dance and learn all the new dances. Mostly, they enjoyed being together.
Their grandchildren were the joy and passions of their lives. They got to meet their new granddaughter this Christmas.
Survivors include four children and their families, Barbara and Alex Meyer and their children, Scott and Twyla, of Maple Grove, Minn.; Marsha and Randy Bickham and their sons, Travis and Cody, of Half Moon Bay, Calif.; Steve and Carla Freeberg and their sons, Sheigh and Jordan, of Wichita; and Jane (Jiya) and Seshan Sarma and their children, Eshan and Vega, of Weehawken, N.J.
Martha also is survived by four sisters, Margaret Ann Werner, Sister Renee Kirmer, Anita Kirmer, Carolyn Brogden and her husband, Dennis; and a sister-in-law, Darlene Kirmer.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her sister, Bernita; two brothers, Norbert Kirmer and Herman Kirmer; a sister-in-law, Marilyn Kirmer; and a brother-in-law, Lawrence Werner.
He also is survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Virgil and Dorothy Freeberg of Parsons; and his dog Coco.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Bobby ("the one-man Indonesian air force"); and his nephew, Ronnie Freeberg.
Both are survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
The funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. today at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Parsons. Burial will be in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Parsons.
The parish rosary was recited Friday evening at Carson-Wall Funeral Home in Parsons.
Memorials are suggested to Parsons Animal Welfare Society and may be left at or sent to the funeral home at Box 942, Parsons, 67357.
Excell I. McDaniel
Excell I. McDaniel, 85, of Parsons died at 1:06 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009, at Presbyterian Manor in Parsons.
She was born Sept. 2, 1923, in Hulbert, Okla., to Willard Roosevelt and Hannah (Vann) Irons. She grew up in Parsons, where she graduated from Parsons West High School and earned an associate's degree from Parsons Junior College.
Through the years, she worked as an inspector at the Kansas Ordnance Plant and also as a teacher's assistant at McKinley Elementary School.
She was a member of New Hope Baptist Church in Parsons, where she served as deaconess, financial secretary and mission third vice president. She enjoyed gardening, tending to her flowers, spending time with her family and friends and church activities.
She married Arthel McDaniel on Feb. 17, 1942, in Parsons. He preceded her in death on April 22, 1990.
Survivors include a son, Arthel "Sonny" McDaniel Jr. of Olathe; two daughters, Vera Jean Goff of Manassas, Va., and Hannah Ewell of Palm Coast, Fla.; seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and a brother, J.C. Irons of Tulsa.
She also was preceded in death by a daughter, Ethel Mae Washington; and a brother, Willie Irons.
The service will be at 2 p.m. today at New Hope Baptist Church in Parsons. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery.
Memorials are suggested to New Hope Baptist Church and may be left at or sent to Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home, P.O. Box 374, Parsons, 67357.
Bonnie R. Boone-Hayden
Bonnie R. Boone-Hayden, 97, of Parsons died at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009, at Elmhaven West nursing home in Parsons.
She was born Dec. 27, 1911, in Alto, Texas, to Jessie R. and Sally (Gillman) Jones. As a young girl, she grew up in McAlester, Okla.
She married Ira W. Boone on Sept. 1, 1928, in McAlester, Okla. He preceded her in death Aug. 6, 1973.
She married Jesse A. Hayden on Nov. 18, 1982. They later divorced.
Survivors include a son, Kenneth L. Boone of Dennis; seven grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren; and a brother, Jess Jones of Dayton, Texas.
She was preceded in death by a son, Richard Boone; and a daughter, Wanda Crozier.
The graveside service will be at 10 a.m. Monday at Memorial Lawn Cemetery. Friends may call after noon on Sunday at Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home in Parsons.
Memorials are suggested to Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice and may be left at or sent to the funeral home, P.O. Box 374, Parsons, 67357.
Mary Jane Rorabough
CHETOPA -- Mary Jane Rorabough, 67, of Chetopa died at 5:50 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009, at Chetopa Manor nursing home.
She was born May 26, 1941, in Columbus to Orie Alfred and Elizabeth (Hartzler) Rorabough.
Survivors include a sister, Hazel Buick of Junction City; and an aunt, Willys Hartzler of Golconda, Nev.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
The service will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at First Baptist Church in Chetopa. Burial will be in Fly Creek Cemetery in rural Columbus. Friends may call from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday at Bath-Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home in Chetopa.
Memorials are suggested to First Baptist Church in Chetopa or Chetopa Manor nursing home and may be left at or sent to the funeral home, P.O. Box 346, Chetopa, 67336.