Sue L. Friese


Posted: Friday, September 12, 2003

Longtime Soldotna resident Sue L. Friese, known to many as "Grandma Sue," died Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2003, after a brief illness at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 88.

At her request, a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Mrs. Friese was born in Oak Harbor, Wash., on Jan. 2, 1915. to W. Franklin and lsabelle Smith. She was the last surviving child of her 15 siblings. She grew up in the Seattle area, graduated from Queen Anne High School and then attended Seattle Business College.

She moved to Wrangell in 1933 where she met and married her husband, Stanley Friese, in 1943. They lived in California for many years, spending their summers in Southeast Alaska. They returned to Alaska permanently in 1971, moving to the Kenai Peninsula in 1975.

They purchased Riverside Campground in 1975, and Mrs. Friese continued operating it until her health failed. She truly loved her "extended family" of campers at the park and would anxiously await summer's return each year. Mrs. Friese was a lifetime member of the Order of the Eastern Star of the North, Chapter No. 17, and was a past Worthy Matron of the Wrangell Chapter.

"Sue will always be remembered for her sincere care and generosity toward everyone she met. Always wearing her 'official hug tester' pin, she never knew a stranger and would always greet everyone with a hug, smile and unforgettable blue eyes. Her dedication and love of her family was immeasurable. She touched so many lives by always remembering birthdays, anniversaries and accomplishments and would always follow up with a letter to let everyone know she was thinking of them. There wasn't a day that went by that you wouldn't hear her say 'Aren't we lucky,'" her family said.

Mrs. Friese was preceded in death by her husband, Stanley Friese, in 1980.

She is survived by her daughter, Nancy Calvert of Soldotna, and granddaughter, Charise Calvert of Soldotna.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Sue Friese 4-I-I Scholarship Fund, 45552 Sterling Highway, Soldotna, AK 99669.

Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.

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