Kathleen Margaret (Brown) Freiheit
July 12, 1954 – March 9, 2022
Dauphin sadly lost a strong member of its community on March 9th, 2022 when Kathy Freiheit passed away from ALS after being diagnosed in June of 2019.
Kathy is survived by her husband, Garnet Freiheit, her children Joel (Aerin) Freiheit and Amanda (Nicholas) Devigne, daughter-in-law Selena Freiheit, grandchildren Reece, Karis, and Charlotte, her brother Lance (Debbie) Brown, sister-in-law Marlene Streu, and numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews. She is predeceased by her son Jeffrey Freiheit, her parents Thomas and Lila Brown, parents-in-law Marie and Arthur Freiheit, sister-in-law Carolyn Shaw, and brothers-in-law Cal Shaw, Ernie Freiheit, and Bruno Streu.
Kathy was born on July 12, 1954 and grew up 7 ½ miles northwest of Dauphin, Manitoba with her parents Tom and Lila, and her older brother Lance. Growing up on a farm is where Kathy first started loving nature. After graduating high school from the first graduating class at the DRCSS Kathy moved to Winnipeg then shortly after moved to Ottawa working for the federal government for two years. She and a girlfriend then went on a backpacking adventure through Europe for four months which started her passion for travel. Upon returning to Winnipeg, Kathy started attending the University of Manitoba and graduated with her Bachelor of Social Work. She then returned to Dauphin and began her 40-year career as a social worker, starting with Child and Family Services.
During this time Kathy started Friday night curling where through friends met her husband Garnet. They married in 1985 and she expressed feeling very lucky to have also gained a son, Joel. On their wedding day Joel exclaimed “we got married dad, we did it!” Their son Jeffrey arrived later that year and prior to his first birthday Kathy started working for the Community Mental Health program and stayed there for the remainder of her career. Three years later their baby girl Amanda arrived and their family was complete. After many years working in the adult counselling program Kathy transitioned into the PSR program as an Employment Development Counsellor and worked with individuals including those who participated in the Hero Club, establishing the hot-dog cart. Kathy claimed her greatest career achievement was being the lead in establishing the Almost New Store. After retiring for only a month Kathy came back to work casually as a Mobile Crisis worker, demonstrating her continued dedication for helping others and expressed feeling fortunate for having a career she was passionate about.
Kathy began to personally recognize the importance of community involvement after becoming a parent. Kathy volunteered for many of her children’s activities which she loved so much, and actively sat on many boards and committees throughout the years from Tinkerbell Nursery School and the school board parent committees, to the Canadian Mental Health Association and the Dauphin and District Community Foundation. Kathy was a dedicated member of the Dauphin Justice Committee for over 25 years and the president of her MGEU local, in addition to sitting on the MGEU human rights and equity committee for a number of years. After retirement Kathy became a board member of the Almost New Store and remained on the board for the remainder of her life as this was such a special project dear to her heart. This only highlights some of her community involvement and as a result of her heart-felt devotion to her community, Kathy was awarded the philanthropist of the year award in 2019 by the Dauphin and District Community Foundation.
Kathy loved to travel and experience the sites and cultures the world had to offer. She had visited over forty countries on six continents. Cruise ships with Garnet, family trips to Australia, Mexico, and Europe, and then later our trips to Maui were all highlights of her marriage. Family ski trips, Disney world holidays, and road trips from the west coast to the Maritimes are memories with the kids she cherished dearly. Kathy had many adventures travelling with friends overseas to Europe and Brazil, and then Africa, Egypt, China, Peru, Galapagos, Mexico, and South East Asia. There were many hiking trips close to home, in the Rockies, and to Utah, as well as city trips to New York, Washington, New Orleans, and Philadelphia. All had special moments with special people which only would have continued if time hadn’t been cut short. Kathy cherished her friendships and expressed her gratitude for sharing those experiences with her as well as sticking by her through the hardest of times.
Above all it was known the most important part of Kathy’s life to her was family, and being a parent and grandparent brought so much joy to her life. Generosity, love, and guidance were important values of hers, always making time to help with life. Kathy’s love was continuously seen through her passion for planning and making sure all her children, grandchildren, family, and friends were taken care of in a special individual way. Nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, cousins, and friends they called family were always in her thoughts and special days for each person were detailed in exact interest and likes. Hosting holidays, celebrating birthdays and special occasions, and planning family vacations were very important to Kathy because making the most of time spent together made her very happy. Kathy truly lived life to the fullest while loving her home and the lifestyle she and her husband created surrounded by family and dear friends.
“I love you all so much and had so many adventures planned for us with the kids and grandchildren if time would have been allowed.
Love you forever and always. Remember the ladybugs.
I will be with you always. “
The family would like to send a special thank you to the Motor Neuron Disease Clinic at Deer Lodge Centre, ALS Society of Manitoba, Dr. Scott and the staff with Prairie Mountain Health Home Care Program and Daughter-On-Call who provided excellent care, as well as the many friends who supported Kathy throughout this difficult time.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, March 19th, 2022 at 1:30 PM at St. Viator’s Roman Catholic Church, officiated by Fr. Michel Nault. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Kathy may be made to the Dauphin District Community Foundation- Freiheit Family fund or the ALS Manitoba division.
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