Helen Fretty, 88
Formerly of Blue Earth Helen “Jean” Fretty, age 88, died Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018 at the Manly Specialty Care Center.
The funeral service for Jean was held on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018 at Bethany Lutheran Church, 600 South St., in her home town of Kensett, Iowa at 10 a.m. The Reverend Tom Martin officiated. Burial was in the Kensett Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, Jean’s family has requested that memorials be given to Bethany Lutheran, 600 South St., Kensett, Iowa; One Vision, 1200 N. 9th St. W, Clear Lake, Iowa; The Salvation Army, 3551 Frontage Rd., Mason City, Iowa; Hospice of North Iowa, 232 2nd St. SE, Mason City, Iowa or KCMR radio, 316 North Federal N Federal Ave., Mason City, Iowa.
Jean Fretty was born Sept. 15, 1929 in Mankato. She was the daughter of Frank and Florence (Benson) Steiner of Blue Earth. Jean was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic Church in Blue Earth. She graduated from Blue Earth High School in 1947, then attended Minneapolis Business College. After college she worked at the Blue Earth State Bank.
Jean married the love of her life, Thomas Fretty on June 30, 1950. Tom was called back into the Navy in 1951, he had done a tour of duty off the coast of Japan during World War II. In 1952, Jean joined Tom in California with their 8-month-old daughter, Patty, while Tom was stationed in the Navy there. During their time in California, Jean worked at the Bank of America. In 1954 Jean and Tom moved to Kensett, Iowa, where they eventually started a business consisting of dry goods and furniture. In the mid 60’s Jean and Tom moved their business to Manly, Iowa where they operated Tom’s Country Market. As their “corner of highway 9 and 65” expanded, a musical museum housing band organs and old music boxes, was created. Along with this, a waterfall mountain, ice cream parlor and animated town were added. In the later years of their lives, Tom and Jean went on to be self employed in the antique business and then gradually slipped into retirement focusing on family and friends.
Jean will be lovingly missed by her children, Patty (Mark) Walker, of Kensett, Sandy (Keven) Bruesewitz, of Grafton, and Jody (John) Kealey, of Davenport; her grandchildren, Kendra (Tim) Stoner of Dubuque, Raechel (Luke) Fossey, of Grafton, Lynnea (Tom) Morse, of Indianapolis, Holly Bruesewitz, of Clear Lake, Thomas Kealey, of Iowa City, Mara Kealey, of Ames, Kate Kealey, of Davenport, Bryan Clark, of Mason City and Andrea (Alex) Jahn, of Germany. Jean’s great-grandchildren, Hannah and Micah Stoner, Runa Morse, Phoenix and Isabella Clark and Amelie and Annika Jahn. Jean also had many extended family and friends that will miss her.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Tom; her parents; her sister Ruth Blakely, and several sisters and brothers-in-law. Jean will be remembered by those that knew and loved her for her generous and caring spirit!
Bride Colonial Chapel, 110 E. Spring St., Manly, Iowa (641) 454-2272.