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Charles Friederich Obituary (2022) – Madison, WI

Charles Edward (Charlie) Friederich

July 13, 1934 – May 28, 2022

BRODHEAD – Charles Edward (Charlie) Friederich, 87, of Brodhead, WI, died May 28, 2022, at SSM Health Monroe Hospice Home. He composed his own obituary, which follows:

In more than 30 years as a journalist, I have written dozens of obituaries. This, I promise, will be my last.

My parents named me Charles Edward Friederich, but everybody calls me Charlie. I was born in the small town of Western, NE, on Friday the 13th of July, 1934. My father, Fred Friederich, was a Methodist pastor and my mother, Lydia Roth Friederich, was a housewife and registered nurse. Her training came in handy when I was born, as the stork beat the local doctor to the house and Mom supervised the delivery.

I graduated from high school in Seward, NE, in 1952 and from Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln in 1956. I received a full-tuition scholarship to the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, where I received my master’s degree in journalism in 1959.

Wanting to see another part of the country, I accepted a job as a reporter for the Binghamton Press in upstate New York. Two years later, in January, 1961, I moved to Wisconsin and was a member of the staff of The Milwaukee Journal for almost 30 years. My first seven years at The Journal were spent in Milwaukee, where I did most everything from writing obituaries to composing editorials.

While in Milwaukee, in the young singles group at Kenwood United Methodist Church, I met the lady who became the love of my life, Mary Pearl Koertge. We taught Sunday School together, dated, and I proposed to Mary on my birthday in 1963. She accepted and we were married in Kenwood Church on Nov. 9, 1963.

In 1968, we moved to Madison, where I covered the State Capitol for The Journal.

The Journal allowed retirement at age 55, and so I did, in 1990. This fit well into Mary’s career. As a student in high school, she felt a calling to become a minister. However, she received little support from her parents and pastor; so the idea was long postponed. My retirement freed Mary to pursue this dream, and in 1991 she was appointed pastor of three small United Methodist Churches in southwest Wisconsin: Argyle, Blanchardville and Lamont.

When Mary retired from the full-time ministry in 1997, we moved to Brodhead. There, I enjoyed church, daily walks or bike rides of a mile or two, visits to the YMCA of the Rockies near Estes Park, CO; to Chautauqua and to Susanna Wesley House at Pine Lake United Methodist Camp near Westfield, WI.

Surviving me are Mary, my wife of more than 58 years; and our children: Matthew (spouse, Diana) of Berwyn, IL; Elizabeth (Rick) Connolly of Montfort, WI; and David (Christine) of Round Lake, IL. Also surviving are our 12 grandchildren: Rebecca, Charlie, Jacob, Ben, Emily, Paul, Nick, Hope, Bret, Josh, David William and Patrick; and one great-grandchild, Mateo. Three sisters preceded me in death: Rose Jenson of Sioux Falls, SD; Doris Klutts of Gering, NE, and Joann Lindberg of Peoria, IL.

A private service for the family was held on Friday, June 3, 2022. A service celebrating Charlie’s life will be held on Saturday, August 6 at 5:00 pm at Pine Lake United Methodist Church Camp in Westfield, WI.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be given in Charlie’s name to the Salvation Army in Madison, Wisconsin.

To leave an online condolence for the Friederich Family, please visit: www.dlnewcomerfuneralhome.com.

Published by Madison.com on Jun. 5, 2022.

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