Celebrating the life of Evelyn "Evie" Francis Frier
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"Evie" was born December 30, 1935, in Nevada, Iowa, the eighth of thirteen children of Alice Ellen MacDonald Larson and Clifford Chris Larson. She grew up in a large family centered in God and rich in love. Her surviving siblings are Lois (Glen) Brown, Edna Whetstone, Larry (Erma) Larson, Ada Frodyma, Bob (Joy) Larson, Eileen Brennan and aunt, Pat (Dave) Faber.
After high school graduation, Evie married Stan Knutson and had Linda and Wanda. She loved motherhood, considering it a sacred trust of God. She dealt with sadness, divorce and single parenthood with the love of her family. She worked hard at two jobs, making stuffed animals and as a cafe server to provide for her little girls. Ron Frier was one of a construction crew who ate regularly at the cafe. He asked Evie out, met her two daughters and married Evie. Together they had Terry and Kathy. Their next baby, Ronald Gilbert, died at five days old of birth complications. The comfort of family sustained them. They took their broken hearts and their four children for a new start in Peoria, Illinois, between Evie's Iowa and Ron's Michigan. Their first home in Peoria was across the street from Christ Lutheran Church, where Evie felt and learned more of the grace of God. Tom was born and Evie was happy raising her children and participating in church and school activities. As Ron's business flourished, Evie became a scrupulous bookkeeper, a patient scheduler, and bound carpet remnants into rugs for extra money.
Her children raised, Evie earned her CNA certificate to put her caregiving skills to work. She excelled, winning the hearts of her patients and the praise of their families. Evie was respected for her ability to deal with difficult Alzheimer's patients, showing only compassion for one that caused a hand injury with nerve damage and loss of her chosen profession.
Evie and Ron divorced. It was a strange divorce: they couldn't live with or without each other. After Ron was diagnosed with a recurrence of lung cancer, he spoke of her and ended saying, "Your Mom is a peach." And she was. She was the only one he trusted to care for him. She cared for him until he died in his home and he provided that home for her to live in until she died.
Grandmotherhood crowned Evie's life. To her tribe of grandchildren she expressed deep love by conversation, overnight visits, candy and painting their cuts with nu-skin. She got to hold each great-grandchild.
Evie survived larynx cancer in 2011. We lost her voice. She spoke in notebook conversations. The pain slowly riddled her mind, keeping her more homebound. Evie's church, Redeemer Lutheran, fed her with in-home Communion, kept her in prayer, and reached out to her with thoughtful greeting cards, squirreled away with all her correspondence. Comfort was in family visits and letters during Covid isolation, then wonderful sibling Zoom meetings, where she could see and hear beloved brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews who could take part!
Evie, our mother, loved each member of her entire family, grieving the loss of each one passing before her. Love of God started in her famly, spilling over to others. We, Evie's children, Linda (Steve) Holcomb, Wanda (Al) Wenninger, Terry (Tina) Frier, Kathy Bair and Tom Frier, with all of her grandchildren and great grandchildren, give thanks that she simply fell asleep to this world and woke up with God. Memorials may be made to Redeemer Lutheran Care Ministry at 6801 N Allen Road in Peoria, Illinois 61614.
The Cremation Society of Mid-Illinois Co. Pekin/Peoria is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at csmico.com
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