Gretchen Freund Egan, 71 years old, died peacefully on February 28th, 2021, under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.
She was born in Wausau, Wisconsin on February 1st, 1950 to the late Win & Mary (Ashley) Freund. She was an avid tennis player and golfer, though she was told to focus on her tennis game by her father after her temper caused her to throw a golf club at the course. She attended Wausau High School and graduated in 1968. She went on to receive her Bachelor’s degree from UW-Madison in English and Journalism, as well as her Master’s degree in Education from UWSP. She made her career as an educator, first to her two children when she stayed home to raise them, then later as a teacher of ESL/Project Reprieve at NTC and finally English/Journalism and Skyrocket Advisor at Wausau East High School until her retirement.
Gretchen had a caring heart and it showed through her community involvement. She was involved in many organizations. From her children’s elementary school PTO, to AAUW, church functions and caring committees, hospice volunteering, being an Oblate for St. Paul’s Monastery, and volunteering for Monk Gardens. She was always working to help others and better the community around her. She was a social person and had an extensive group of friends from all stages of her life. Her friends describe her as a kind, gentle soul, with a caring, compassionate, loving nature, who was also both witty and strong. She had a welcoming smile and a contagious laugh. She was always writing letters to those far away, as well as meeting those close by for a meal, a book group, or a chat.
Her proudest accomplishment, however, was her family. She was a caring, selfless and devoted mother to her son Patrick and daughter Meg. She was happy to cook for any friends who were invited over and was always present at school and sporting events, even the cold, windy and sleeting spring soccer games. She embraced the addition of her son-in-law Theran to the family and enjoyed having another person on which to share her love. Later in her life, she showed this same love and kindness to her grandchildren, Ben and Annie. They were her pride and joy and if you knew her, you knew about them. They loved to hear “naughty Nonny stories” about her antics during childhood (letting herself into the neighbors house at 6am Saturday morning to watch cartoons or setting off all of the car horns of her parents bridge group while they were having a lovely game inside). She cherished her special time with her grandchildren, whether it was picking out flowers and planting with Annie, reading stories, playing cards/games, or making them ice cream treats any time of day, because “Why not? I am the Nonny.”
She is survived by her daughter Meg (Theran) Peterson & two grandchildren Ben & Annie (Wausau). Niece Katie Warner-Smith (Curt) and grand nieces & nephews, Emma, William, Elizabeth, and Charlie (Whitefish Bay, WI) and niece Hannah Freund (Bloomington, IL). She is preceded in death by son Patrick, parents Mary & Win Freund, brother Bob Freund, and sister Nancy (Freund) Warner.
Private family services will be held, with a celebration of life held at a later date. Brainard Funeral Home - Everest Chapel, Weston is assisting the family with arrangements. You may leave messages and condolences for her family at brainardfuneral.com.
Special thanks to the staff at Pride TLC for their loving care in her final days, and Aspirus Hospice staff for their kindness and assistance. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Egan Family Memorial Scholarship ℅ the Wausau East Scholarship Fund or Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.