Sister Edwardine Freking

Freking EdwardineWEB

Sister Edwardine Freking, OSF died Saturday, November 4, 2023 at the age of 94.

The Rite of Final Committal was held at the Clare House Chapel, Mount St. Francis Center at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, November 6, 2023 followed by burial at the Sisters of St. Francis natural burial site. A Memorial Mass will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, November 17 at Mount St. Francis Center. Livestream of both services can be viewed at:

Irene Angeline Freking was born Sunday, April 7, 1929 at Sacred Heart Hospital in LeMars, Iowa. A week later she was baptized at St. Joseph Church in LeMars by Rev. John Thoennissen. Her parents were Clem and Edna (Healy) Freking. She was the oldest of five girls and one boy.

Irene grew up on a farm southeast of Hospers, IA. The country school she attended for two years was just across the road from her house. After that her father drove the children five miles to St. Anthony School. Irene took music lessons for the price of fresh eggs every week. After attending one year at Hospers Public High School, she began driving the 15 mile trip to Alton in a Model A Ford. She and her sisters spent part of the winters as boarders at St. Mary’s.

In August of 1947 Irene, Florence Vaske, and Sister Viven Vaske, rode the train across the state heading for Dubuque where she entered the Sisters of St. Francis. The following year, she changed her name to Sister Mary Edwardine.

Sister received her master’s degree in music education from Kansas State Teacher’s College, Emporia, KS.  She ministered as an educator in Iowa at St. Mary’s Waterloo, St. Mary’s and Holy Ghost, Dubuque, St. Mary’s and St. Catherine’s, Remsen, and St. Michael, Leeds. Sister Edwardine was also missioned at Midlothian, IL.

Following fifty-three years of teaching, Sister moved to Mount St. Francis to begin a 10 year ministry as sacristan and organist at Holy Family Hall and Clare House. In 2015 Sister Edwardine moved to Clare House.

Sister Edwardine is survived by her sisters Sister Angeline Freking, OSF and Louise Auchstetter; sister-in-law Karen Freking; nieces, nephews, and her Franciscan sisters.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her sisters, Catharine (Bernard) Portz and Marie (Oscar) Klein; brother Leo Freking; and brother-in-law Jim Auchstetter.