Today, our staff bid a fond farewell to this sweet face:
She's our dear Frieda.
Since 1954, Frieda has graced us with her formidable presence. Whether working the front gate, helping in the kitchen, sewing a new red suit for Santa Claus, or tending to the park's flowers, she's offered a work ethic and kind humor that has inspired generations of young workers.
We gathered today to honor Frieda, who turned 98 last fall. We told stories, looked at old photos, and ate comfort food (Will's wife told me he ate two fried biscuits).
Frieda's response to all the fuss? I'd like to thank the Kochs for putting up with me all these years.
Afterwards, a lot of private thoughts were quietly exchanged. Chad thanked Frieda for stitching up his britches one day after he split his uniform slacks at work.
She smiled that smile.
Tammy in Group Sales paused for a few words and a hug.
Tom told a great story about putting a new roof on Frieda's house 28 years ago.
She questioned why he'd used a certain roofing material.
"Aw, Frieda, this is the last roof you'll ever need."
He replaced it last year.
And now it's time for an entirely new roof, as Frieda moves to Evansville for her retirement.
We'll stay in touch. And we'll remember her always.
For she planted much more than just flower seeds in her 55 years here at the park.