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Amelia — Mary J. Frahm, 74, but one day from being 75, of Amelia, died peacefully on Thursday, July 6, 2023 with family by her side at her home in Amelia.
A private family service will be held at a later date.
Memorials may be made to the family for future designation.
Biglin's Mortuary in O'Neill is in charge of the arrangements.
Mary was born the oldest daughter to I.A. "Dutch" and Helen A. (Psota) Chelewski on July 7, 1948 at the Loup City hospital. Mary's first home was on a farm southwest of Loup City. Later Dutch and Helen moved their small family to a farm near Westerville. Mary and her sister Connie loved farm life. They frequently retold humorous stories of swimming in stock tanks, collecting frogs and snails and wallowing with the hogs.
As a school teacher, her mother provided her education during the primary years. Many life lessons were also taught by her fun loving father, including how to fish, pull pranks, sing ditties and shoot guns. Most of all, he taught her to love all living creatures. Mary had a deep compassion for all animals, whether they were pets, wildlife, livestock, insects, rodents or varmints. Dogs and horses were among her favorite companions.
In 1957, Dutch and Helen purchased the cafe and motel in Stapleton. Mary helped wrangle bedding, cook meals and serve tables. She and Connie also created mischief around the cafe and Stapleton community.
Mary graduated from Stapleton High School in 1965. She received her bachelor of education from Kearney State College, and later obtained a master's degree.
She met John H. Fletcher of Basset while at college. They were united in marriage on June 1, 1969. While John served in the U.S. Army, the couple lived near Fort Leonard Wood, MO. John and Mary returned to the Stapleton area and finally made their home in Gandy.
Mary taught high school classes at Stapleton Public School until they started their family. She was a frugal homemaker while they raised their two sons Shaun and Aaron. She always had an abundance of pets and livestock on their small acreage. Ducks, geese, chickens, goats, cows, dogs and cats always eagerly greeted visitors at their home.
Once the boys completed upper elementary grades, Mary returned to teaching at Stapleton. She retired as a fifth grade teacher in 2010.
In 1990, John passed away suddenly. In his absence, Mary persevered in raising two ornery teenage boys. She ensured they had ample opportunities for fishing, hunting and shooting with John's close friends. Three years later, she and Aaron lost Shaun in a car accident. Mary's faith in God and the support of family and great friends kept them both moving forward.
Mary was a seeker of great adventures and was happiest outdoors. She hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and dog sledded across the northern frozen lakes. She hunted, fished and packed horseback through the mountains. She participated in various equestrian drill team performances. She and Connie logged miles upon miles trail riding on horseback all over Nebraska and the surrounding states. They especially loved spending time at Fort Robinson in Nebraska and the Black Hills in South Dakota. Their proudest accomplishment was riding to and photographing all 239 windmills in Halsey National Forest. Mary documented her adventures with pictures and stories in volumes of albums.
She was passionate about gardening and spent hours canning and preserving the often over abundant harvest.
She loved to dance and could be seen floating around the dance floor to a polka or a western two-step.
Mary delighted in hearing stories of her two grandsons Logan and Noah. As a fellow mother of boys, she could always relate.
Mary was an avid reader and lifelong learner. She was known to say, "If I can't learn something from a book, I don't want to read it. It will be a waste of my time."
She spent hours reading God's Word and applying it to her life. Not meant to be alone, God answered Mary's prayer and brought Doug Frahm into her life. They had several interests in common, including each having connections to Model A Ford cars. Doug invited Mary to ride in his car during the 4th of July parade in Chambers and their relationship grew from there. They were married on July 26, 2008, and made their home in Amelia.
They enjoyed many great adventures together as well, including trail riding, camping, fishing, attending Mountain Man Rendezvous and renovating their beautiful home.
Doug's involvement with the American Legion as an Air Force veteran spurred Mary's active role in the American Legion Auxiliary, serving as secretary/treasurer.
As Mary and Connie took interest in “Glamping” with their girl friends, Doug took instruction for the remodel of a glamper or two. Mary was pleased that Doug was handy to do some of the dirty work while butchering chickens or other not so fun tasks. Mary enjoyed being a part of Doug's large extended family. She loved to cook for and host family get-togethers, especially for Thanksgiving, Easter and Mother's Day. The laughter while playing cards games and dominoes brought her great joy.
Mary is survived by her husband Doug Frahm; one son Aaron (Julie) Fletcher; two grandsons Logan and Noah of Hershey; one stepson Joe Frahm (fiance Amanda Anderson) of Lincoln; one brother-in-law Roger Newtson; one nephew Mike Newtson of Ravenna; one niece Corrie (Tom) Walthers of Loup City; one great-nephew Clancy Walthers of Ord; her mother-in-law Aggie Frahm of Atkinson; five sisters-in-law Pat Ronnebaum of Stanton, Karen “Sue” (Kevin) Shafer of Prescott, AZ, Kathy Frahm of Blair, Lana (Don) Pheifer of Bassett and Nickie Buell of Long Pine; three brothers-in-law Greg (Pam) Frahm of Emerson, Kent (Jody) Fletcher of Shelton and Monte (Mary) Fletcher of Spencer; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and dear friends.
She was preceded in death by her first husband John H. Fletcher; oldest son Shaun Fletcher; parents Dutch and Helen Chelewski; one sister Connie Newtson; one infant grandson Joel Fletcher; fathers-in-law Heinie Frahm and John L. Fletcher; mother-in-law Melva Fletcher; and four brothers-in-law Dan Frahm, Steve Ronnebaum, Ken Robertson and Dennis Fletcher.
Online condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.biglinsmortuary.com.
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