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Alvar Grant Freden

July 29, 1921 December 11, 2013
Alvar Grant Freden
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Obituary for Alvar Grant Freden

Alvar Grant Freden, a long time resident of Farmington Hills, died on December 11, 2013 at the age of 92.
Alvar was born on July 29, 1921 in the home of his parents Henning and Mabel Freden on Otsego Street in Detroit. He attended McKerrow Elementary School. As a kid, he enjoyed playing �kick the can� and �rain on the roof� with friends. In 1933 the family moved to Pasedena Street in Detroit. Alvar attended Tappan Intermediate School and graduated from Mackenzie High School in 1939. He had a paper route while in high school and during the summer months made $5.00/week delivering 80 papers. Another job he had was in a drug store where he was a �soda jerk� and a delivery boy. Deliveries were made in a 1930 Model A. He made $9.00/week at this job and worked 6 days a week and one Sunday a month.
After High School, Alvar attended Wayne State Night School. He was a guide at Greenfield Village in 1940 & 1941. He enrolled at the Michigan State Normal College (Eastern Michigan University) where he attended for 1 year beginning October of 1941. His parents supplemented him with $5/week for food.
In the summer of 1942, Alvar enlisted in the Signal Core and attended classes in radio and electronics. He was sent to a technical school in Chicago for Radar training. He stayed at the YMCA for 2 months. He then went to Philadelphia for 2 months for additional Radar training. From there he went to basic training at Camp Crowder in Missouri for 6 weeks. He then moved on to Camp Murphy in Florida in 1943 where he studied long range radar. On March 2, 1943 Alvar entered into Active Service during WWII. As part of the Army Air Core he was stationed in the States at various locations, watching the skies for enemy planes: Drew Field in Tampa Florida; lived in tents in Sarasota Florida for a short time; and on to Stowell Texas during the winter of 1944 & 45. From there he went to a rest camp in Fresno California, and then was sent to Seattle Washington where he received an Honorable Discharge on February 16, 1946.
From the spring of 1946 to summer of 1948 Alvar returned to Michigan State Normal College and completed his Bachelors with a major in math. His first teaching position was in Roseville Michigan at Eastland High School where his salary was $2750.00.
In the Winter of 1948/49 he met Shirley Elliott on a blind date, set up by Phyllis Patterson. He proposed before Thanksgiving of 1949 and they were married on June 10, 1950. They lived in a Flat on Monica Street in Detroit.
In 1951 He took a job at Jefferson Junior High. In October 1952, Alvar and Shirley�s first child, Ralph Gunnar Freden, was born. In 1953 Al and Shirley lived with Shirley�s parents, Arden and Nellie Elliott, on Northlawn in Detroit to save for a down payment on a home. Shirley worked and Alvar (while still teaching) attended night classes at Wayne State University where he worked on his Masters degree - which he received in 1955. They bought their first home on Kenneth Avenue in Redford in 1954. On a stormy day in March 1956, Gale Margaret Freden was born.
In 1957 Alvar took a position teaching math at Cody High School in Detroit where he eventually retired from. Summer jobs included delivering milk, assembly line work at Ford, work in his father�s tool & dye shop where he made deliveries of pin striping fixtures to Lansing. In September of 1961 their last child, Jean Ellen Freden was born. In 1966 they made a down payment on the house in Farmington Hills. The family moved into the new house on Geraldine Court in October of 1967.
Faith, Family, & Friends were evident in the activities of everyday life. While in Farmington Hills the family attended Nardin Park United Methodist Church. Alvar loved to Bowl and Golf. He was in one league in the early years � the schoolman�s league. He became a member of the Farmington Elks, lodge# 1986, and he and Shirley enjoyed many activities with other lodge members. There was the neighborhood bridge club and neighborhood picnics to enjoy as well. The family spent many wonderful Michigan Summer days at the cabin at Higgins Lake where Alvar taught his kids and nieces and nephews to water ski. In 1970, the family of 5 headed out west to visit Alvar�s brother Karl. His first new car, a 1970 gold Oldsmobile 88, was the vehicle that got the family to the Grand Canyon, Disney Land, Knott�s Berry Farm, Pasadena (where Karl lived), Yosemite, Salt lake, Las Vegas, Hoover damn and other sites that the family would treasure. Holidays were all spent with Family in Detroit, Dayton Ohio, Dearborn, or Farmington Hills. The 1980�s were full of weddings for the Freden family. In 1983, Gale married Don Wilson. In 1985 Ralph married Mary Cullen. And in 1987 Jean married Tom Halm. Those marriages produced 5 granddaughters: Jennifer Wilson, Bridget Freden, Angela Wilson, Lauren and Erica Halm.
Alvar�s retirement brought more golf leagues, more bowling leagues and travels to bowling tournaments. Shirley passed unexpectedly in December of 1997 � she was only 73 and Alvar was 76. It was a difficult transition for the entire family. Alvar established new routines, with Ralph and Mary bringing food one or two times a week and always supplying left-overs that he could re-heat. The Ram�s Horn in Farmington became a regular stop and they treated him well and accommodated his Gluten free diet. When Al was 77 he bowled his first 300 game on December 30, 1998. That following spring he got his first ever hole in one at Marion Oaks golf club. What a thrill that was. His sister Helen got him a shirt for his birthday with �300 and 1� embroidered on it.
In 2011, Alvar turned 90 years young and realized that getting around on his own was not as easy as it once was. It was that August that he came to live in East Lansing at �The Marquette�. There he had his own apartment, went to the dining room for 3 meals a day, and the �Tender Heart� staff was there to provide any assistance he needed. He enjoyed meals with friends he made there, did his crossword puzzle daily, and watched sports, wheel of fortune and Jeopardy for entertainment, and did his exercises every morning after breakfast. It was a fall and a break of the Tibia and a 12 day hospital stay in ICU that left Alvar without the reserves to bounce back. On Wednesday, December 11, 2013 � Alvar went to be with our lord.
Both Shirley and Alvar passed away during Advent in December. The Advent wreath is made of evergreen boughs, symbolizing everlasting life. The circle represents the continuous love of God, with no beginning and no end, as well as the soul's immortality. The first candle is called the "Candle of Hope." It symbolizes faith in God keeping his promises to humanity. The second is called the "Candle of Preparation," reminding Christians to "get ready" to receive God. The third candle is the "Candle of Joy." It recalls the angels joyfully singing about the birth of Christ. The fourth candle, the "Candle of Love," reminds Christians that God loves them enough to send his only Son to Earth. The "Christ Candle," the white candle in the center, stands for Jesus Christ himself.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley Jean (nee Elliott) in 1997, and is survived by his son, Ralph (Mary) Freden; daughters, Gale (Don) Wilson and Jean (Tom) Halm; grandchildren, Bridget (Kyle) Hopkins, Jennifer (Brandon) Cogswell, Angela Wilson, Lauren and Erica Halm and several great grandchildren. He also leaves sisters, Irene Freden and Helen (Dale) Seyfried and was preceded in death by a sister, Sylvia Freden and brother, Karl Freden DDS.

A Memorial Service with Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Ceremony and Military Honors will be held at the Farmington Elks Lodge No. 1986, 30898 Ten Mile Road, Farmington Hills, Michigan 48336, on Saturday, January 4th, 2014 at 1PM. Pastor Jim Wenger will officiate. Friends may visit from 12 Noon until the time of service.
Memorials may be made in his name to Faith Lutheran Church, 4515 Dobie Road, Okemos, MI 48864. For further information please phone Lynch & Sons, Milford, at 248-684-6645.

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