Freda Marie Hedge, 97, died on July 29, 2014, at Camden Clark Medical Center, Parkersburg, following a brief illness.
Freda was a New Year's baby, born on Jan. 1, 1917, to Zachariah and Sarah Allice Weinrich of Mahone, Ritchie County, W.Va.
She was one of 14 siblings, seven boys and seven girls. Freda was child number 11 in this large farming family.
Freda graduated from Harrisville High School Class of 1935, and on April 24, 1937, she married her childhood sweetheart, Harley R. Hedge. Together they had three daughters, Nancy Hedge West (Gary) of Dumfries, Va., Erma Hedge Dunfee (Bruce) of Littleton, Colo., and Patricia Hedge Casper of Parkersburg. She is also survived by nine grandchildren, Teresa West Gray, Brian West, Kevin West, Sarah Dunfee Zabor, Rachel Dunfee Robinson, Diane Dunfee Smith, Elizabeth Dunfee Howell, James Casper and Lt. Col. John Casper. She also has 20 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.
In addition to being preceded in death by her husband, Harley, on July 12, 1989, Freda is also predeceased by her 13 brother and sisters; two grandsons, Keith West and Stephen Casper; and by her son-in-law, Thomas Casper.
Freda and Harley lived in Harrisville, W.Va., early in their marriage, and in 1947, moved to Salem, W.Va. Freda was active in 4-H as she was growing up and continued this love by serving as a 4-H leader and attending 4-H Camp at Jackson's Mill with her three daughters. Freda could always add a spark to campfire programs with her fun and skits. She was also a member of the Pytheon Sisters, Veterans' Wives Club, PTA and WSCS of the Salem Methodist Church. While living at Salem, Freda worked at Salem Florist and became a floral designer.
Following her husband Harley's career moves, Freda moved to Columbus, Ohio, in 1962. It was here that she achieved one of her lifelong dreams when she graduated from the Columbus School of Cosmetology. Freda and Harley later moved to Batavia, Ohio, Charlottesville, Va., and Charleston, W.Va., before retiring to Belpre, Ohio, in 1982. Freda became very involved in the Belpre community. She was a longtime member of the Belpre Woman's Club and in 2001 was selected as the Woman of the Year by the Belpre Chamber of Commerce. In 2004, Freda was selected as the Volunteer of the Year and 2014 was honored as being one of its oldest active members. She was active in the Belpre Historical Society as well as the Belpre Holiday Lights and she helped to make many of the animated figures that adorn Civitan Park during the Christmas Season. Freda was also a member of the Ann Royall Chapter DAR and the Thomas Ritchie Chapter Daughters of the American Pioneers and St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Parkersburg.
Freda was a talented decorator, hostess and artist; but she will be remembered most dearly by her family as the mother and grandmother who enjoyed all 11 of her grandchildren visiting at the same time each summer. The memories of those summers will live forever.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Leavitt Funeral Home, 801 Victor St., Belpre, OH 45714, with Pastor Pam Shuman officiating. Visitation will be 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home. There will be a graveside service at King Knob Cemetery at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the King Knob Cemetery Fund in care of Pat Casper, 40 Lake Drive, Parkersburg, WV 26104.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.leavittfuneralhome.com