During the early morning hours of Wednesday, July 25, 2018, loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend, Gayle Marie Freeburg, drifted peacefully into the arms of our Lord and Savior, the Prince of Peace and son of God, Jesus Christ. No word has ever been spoken that can describe the depth of loss felt by those who loved her. There will never be another like her. Solace is found in the simple truth that she no longer has to wonder where Saint is. She has found him, and they are together now and for eternity.
Gayle was born in Cresco, Iowa on December 29, 1939 to Alice Mary andEarl Russell Waller. She was the youngest of four children. Recollections of her childhood come from the many stories she told about growing up on the farm. She was blessed with a wild imagination that turned feed bunks into sailing ships and barns into fortresses. The home she grew up in was filled with music as her mother could play anything on the piano and play it by ear, “never needing sheet music.” Gayle was awe inspired as music pervaded their household and each child grew into adulthood with their own individual music abilities. Gayle was blessed with one of the most beautiful singing voices many have ever heard and the ability to play the piano from Hamlin to Tchaikovsky and everything in between; with sheet music, of course.
She attended Cresco High School where she excelled in Academics, Music (Solo, Glee Club, Trio, and Ensemble), Drama, and Speech (Dramatic Declamation). Gayle made it to the State Finals in 1954, 1955, and 1956 for both Music and Speech. Upon graduation, she left for Iowa State Teacher’s College (UNI) where she found and fell into forever love with Saint Freeburg. Their meeting one another was a story they shared thousands of times over the years. They locked eyes in passing while heading to different classes at opposite ends of the campus. From that point they found out about each other through old fashioned detective work and each planned “accidentally running into one another” until finally Saint showed up at her dormitory and asked her out. His courting her was slow and deliberate. Six months later they wed.
Saint and Gayle moved to Spencer, Iowa in 1958. Far from Cresco, Gayle brought her traditions and her upbringing with her to create a warm and loving home for her husband and the family they would soon have. After moving into their first home on 6th Avenue West, Bud Freeburg showed up at the door with a wedding gift. He had purchased a Wurlitzer piano and presented it to her saying “not a soul in this family can carry a tune in a bucket, until now. Fill this home with music Gayle.” And that she did. Not only did she fill their home with music, but she and Saint filled it with love, and laughter (she had the best laugh), and dancing, and singing and six beautiful children to share all of it with. Gayle was the consummate housewife for many years and her talents had no bounds. She sewed many of the girl’s clothes and many matching dresses for special occasions. She crocheted, cross-stitched, did needle-point, decorated, baked, and gardened. She was an amateur hair-stylist as many of the children’s school pictures would reveal. She was actively involved in the First Christian Church of Spencer, Iowa where she led Circle, traveled with her accompanist to surrounding towns to sing and speak at different churches and events, she sang in the choir, directed choir, coordinated weddings, sang at weddings, sang at funerals, she was a devout Christian in word and deed.
Time travels so quickly and soon all the children were in school. Gayle decided to work outside the home. She worked at Flower’s by Fonley for many years then took a job at Spencer Memorial Hospital as a switchboard operator. She worked her way into registration and then medical records until she was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in 1982. It was a difficult time, but she and Saint persevered, and Gayle survived to start a new chapter in their lives. In 1985, Gayle, Saint, and their son Ryan moved to Scottsdale, Arizona. Thankful to have Saint’s parent’s Bud and Berniece Freeburg, and his sister Janice Cannon and brother-in-law Richard Anderson in the area, they forged a new beginning. With her experience, Gayle quickly got on at Scottsdale Osborn Hospital where she worked until her retirement in 2002. She loved the people she worked with and made many friends and acquaintances. Her love was boundless and for everyone who knew her you knew she was fully present when you were with her. She had an uncanny way of making those around her feel cared for. She worked tirelessly to provide love and support to everyone and for that she had many successes.
No one knows for sure when, but somewhere along the line dementia crept in and made a home in Gayle eventually leading to Alzheimer’s disease. With the unrelenting love and support from her forever love Saint, the two of them forged a union of their capacities to achieve their longing to remain in their home for as long as possible.. After losing Saint on June 11, 2017, Gayle herself became lost. Now she is found.
Gayle was preceded in death by her adoring husband Bernard “Saint” Freeburg, her loving parents Alice and Earl Waller, her brother Dr. Roger Waller, her brother Russell Waller and his wife Velma, Tommy Markham, Bud and Berniece Freeburg, JoAnn Ball, Neil Ball, and Marlene Freeburg.
Left on this beautiful planet to survive her passing are Gayle’s sister Gladys and her husband Lowell Sovereign (Cresco, IA), her sister MaryLou Markham (Conway, TN), and her sister-in-law Mrs. Beth Waller (Nashua, IA). Gayle’s children and their loved ones, Kelly and Doug Adams (Spencer, IA), Christy Syndergaard and Bob Travis (Red Oak, IA), Jojean Dikeman (Scottsdale, AZ), Sandra and Todd Howard (Tucson, AZ), Carol and Rick Alfaro (Scottsdale, AZ), Ryan and Tara Freeburg (Scottsdale, AZ). Her grandchildren, Nichole (Paul) Moreland, Eric (Jodi) Adams, Daniel Goulart, Skylar (Ashley) Roder, Paden (Sydney aka Poncho) Roder, Mike Dikeman, Kaleigh Alfaro, Rees Howard, David (Chelsea) Alfaro, Blaze Dikeman, Mason Howard, Travis Howard, Rourke Freeburg, Rogan Freeburg, and Jack Freeburg. And the littles: Gage and Echo Moreland; Isaiah, Jeremiah, Avery, and Bernard Alfaro; Emmett and Jamison Roder, and the latest greatest addition, Avery Adams. Of course, all the extended Freeburg and Waller clans of which there are so many. We were all blessed to have known Gayle.
Funeral services will be held at First Christian Church, 701 E. 18th Street, Spencer, Iowa; 10:30 a.m. Saturday, August 18, 2018 with interment at Northlawn and food and fellowship to follow.