Gretchen Bahr Frueh

May 3, 1935 Dec. 31, 2011

Gretchen Bahr Frueh, 76, of Lakewood Ranch, Fla., died Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011. She lived with dignity, grace, deep faith and unconditional love. These qualities grew even stronger as she lived with lung cancer during her last four years.

She was born in Beaver Dam and grew up in Waukesha.

Her parents were Dr. Dwight Moody Bahr and Dorothy Sharp Bahr. She was predeceased by her sister, Genevieve Bahr Rowland.

Gretchen received her Bachelor of Arts from Kalamazoo College and her Master of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She worked in geriatric and medical social work, including hospice and was also a hospice volunteer.

She was a charter member of Peace Presbyterian Church in Lakewood Ranch. She served as a Presbyterian deacon and elder in various churches and was a leader in starting Stephen Ministry programs at churches in Pittsburgh, St. Petersburg, Fla., and Lakewood Ranch.

Gretchen was a lifelong member of P.E.O. and was president of Pennsylvania state chapter. She was a charter member of four chapters of P.E.O. in different cities where she lived.

She is survived by her husband of 55 years, John; her son, Curt (Elizabeth), and grandchildren Sarah and Andrew of Charlotte, N.C.; and daughter, Carol Russo (Robert), and grandchildren Peter and Daniel of Ivoryton, Conn.

Her family, her faith and her host of friends were most important in her life.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at the First Presbyterian Church, 2050 Oak St., Sarasota, Fla. A reception will follow at the church.

Donations may be made to The Cancer Support Community, 5481 Communications Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34240 and Tidewell Hospice.