Cover photo for Rachel "Catherine" Freytag's Obituary
Rachel "Catherine" Freytag Profile Photo
1930 Catherine Freytag 2024

Rachel "Catherine" Freytag

September 5, 1930 — July 4, 2024

Independence

Rachel Catherine (Cruce) Freytag, 93, passed away July 4, 2024, at her home in Independence, Missouri. Cathy was the youngest of eight children born to James Grover and Mary Elizabeth (Ingham) Cruce on the family farm in Urich, Missouri September 5,1930. She was one of the last Elementary students to attend Freeze Out School in Urich before it closed and began attending Ballard. Graduating from Ballard High School at the age of 16 in 1947. The same year she applied and achieved her Teacher Certificate and became one of the last one room schoolteachers in Missouri assigned to teach in Lima from 1947 to 1948. Cathy attended Central Missouri State University from 1948 until her Graduation in 1951 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Teaching Business Education and a Minor in Math. While in college she worked at Spenser Chemical the summer of 1949 and in the Optical Office of Dr. Bradley in Warrensburg from 1950 to 1951. After Graduation she accepted a teaching position in Drexel from 1951-1953. She returned as a teacher for her Alma Matter Ballard High School from 1953 to 1955. Cathy married the love of her life John Wilhelm Freytag, Jr. May 3, 1956, at Westport Presbyterian Church. She had accepted a new position with AT&T from 1956-58. The newlyweds moved into a tiny apartment between Gillham Road and Westport from 1956-1957. They built their first home on Main Street in Independence, Missouri in 1957 where they would raise their family. Cathy accepted a position teaching in Wellington from 1958-1959. A position closer to home in Independence, Missouri opened up and she began a career that would last until her retirement in 1991. Her first position in 1959 -1960 was at Palmer Jr. High. The next year she only taught half a year at William Chrisman High. Staying home to welcome her firstborn, Jacqulyn Sue March 22,1960. Cathy continued to stay home to welcome another baby girl, Gwendolyn Joy January 18, 1962. A year later she lost a baby boy in childbirth. She then attended UMKC to earn a master’s degree in counseling in 1964. After Graduating she accepted a Counseling position in the newly built Bridger Junior High School where she stayed from 1964 until her retirement on 1991.

 Growing up in the country a neighbor would take Cathy to church whenever a traveling minister came to town. These Ministers were of different denominations. Cathy was Baptised when she was 6 and their first Baptist Church opened. She started attending Westport Presbyterian Church before she and John were wed May 3, 1956. Joining Trinity Presbyterian from 1957-1962 in Independence, Missouri. Both girls were Baptized at Trinity before the young family joined Messiah Lutheran Church in Independence. The family joined St. Paul’s Lutheran in 1979. Both daughters were married by Pastor Huelse and their youngest granddaughter was Baptized by Pastor Huelse. The family moved to Abiding Savior before it closed and transferred to Timothy when their youngest Grandchild started school. Moving closer to home at Christ United Methodist Church where their youngest Grandchild attended VBS, choir, Sunday School and John and Cathy joined The Journeyman Sunday School Class.

 Cathy was a member of AAUW, The Independence Music and Arts Program, lifetime membership in N.E.A., The Beverly Shelton Girl’s Town Club, Past President of the Greater Kansas City Counselor’s Association. John, Cathy and their youngest Grandchild were members of Knife and Fork until it dissolved.

 John and Cathy retired in 1991 from the Independence School District. They bought Season Tickets to Starlight Theater, The Royal’s, and Crown Center. They began traveling with friends to Hawaii, Alaska, Arizona ,California, Canada, Oregon and many other wonderful couples trips. After John passed away August 5, 2015 Catherine bought a membership at Quality Hill with her Golden Girl’s. They played Bridge, traveled to Branson and when 2020 hit played Solitaire.

 Cathy enjoyed playing Bridge, reading, gardening roses and Irises, crossword puzzles, puzzles of all sizes, was actively involved in politics, acting, was a huge fan of Marilyn Maye, Glenn Miller’s Orchestra, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Rodger Whittaker, The Irish Tenor, and many more artists. Cathy’s favorite color was red. She collected Santa’s. Loved roses so much that John brought her roses for no special occasion at all. Cathy loved strawberries. She loved Janet Evonovich Books especially, Stephanie Plum! She loved James Harriett Novels and Pioneer Go Home! She loved “The Dirty Life” She loved “Dumb and Dumber”, ‘Queen Bee’s”, ‘‘One For The Money”. “Pom”s” and yelling at the big screen TV.. She was a proud Democrat like her husband and an avid believer of Woman’s rights.

 Cathy was well known for her BBQ Brisket and stuffed cabbage rolls. She loved Mexican, jalapeño, Strawberry Margarita’s, cornbread, freshly squeezed orange juice, corn and watermelon. Stroud’s Fried Chicken was her favorite place to get gizzard’s. She loved telling everyone how much she loved eating pig’s or chicken’s feet. After watching the movie “Pom’s” she always said she wanted to go out with a boom! Toward the end of her life she said, “It’s amazing! I never thought it could be like this. It’s Amazing! I have one foot in Heaven and one foot on earth! I can see everyone! It’s Amazing! “She got to say goodbye to almost everyone and we all got to say, ‘I Love You!…”one more time! Cathy’s last words were ‘orange juice, watermelon and cornbread. We should have realized her last words were a crossword puzzle that she would literally go out with a boom! After almost a 7 month stay bedridden in Hospice Cathy went out with a boom on the 4th of July at the very moment her Hospice Nurse arrived. She was Surrounded by her Hospice Nurse, her youngest daughter, son-in-law and youngest Grandchild. We toasted Cathy with orange juice, watermelon and cornbread before her body was transported to Carson Speaks Funeral Home.

 Cathy was preceded in death by her parents: James and Mary Cruce, Urich, Missouri. Her sibling’s and their wives: George and Olga Cruce, Euphrates, Washington; John and Mattie Cruce, Knobnoster, Missouri; Gene and Virginia Cruce, Oneida, Illinois; Bill and Ada Cruce, Cameron, Illinois; Frances Rosemary Cruce, Saskatchewan, Canada; Czerna Bye (Cruce) and Gene Johnny; Oliver Ingram Cruce, Altona, Illinois; her husband, John Wilhelm Freytag, Jr., her infant son; Her nephews Larry Cruce, Urich, Missouri; Glenn Eric Johnny, Independence, Missouri; her niece. Virgie Cruce Rose, York, South Carolina, her Great-Great Niece, Kayla Cheyenne Self. Feline companions: Midnight and Orange Freytag.

 Cathy is survived by her daughters: Jackie Landers, Hartselle, Alabama; Gwen ( Brian) Zumalt of the home in Independence, Missouri. Her Granddaughter’s : Rachel Lee Landers, Bellefonte, PA; Elaine Joyce Landers, Decatur, Alabama; and Kera Nicole Zumalt of the home in Independence, Missouri. Her sisters-in-law Mary Charlotte Cruce, Altona, Illinois and Wilhelmina Barnett, Kansas City, Missouri. Her nieces and nephews and their families: Susie Zelensky, Renton, Washington; Laurel Cruce, Spokane, Washington; Jeff Cruce, Altona, Illinois; Perry and Roberta Cruce, Marquette Heights, Illinois; Jan and Von Cawvey, Anchorage, Alaska; Jim and Jennifer Cruce, Chino Hills, California; Doug and Kathi Cruce, Galesburg, Illinois; Diane and Charles Fedorow, Cameron, Illinois; Gary and Margaret Johnny, Pasadena, Maryland; Galen and Cheryl (Erwin) Johney, Georgetown, Texas; Sara (Barnett) and Hank Reese, Kansas City, Missouri; Marshall and Valerie Cruce, Cleveland, Missouri; JoAnna Cruce; Mary Kay and Pete Self, Harrisonville, Missouri; Linda and Nancy Cruce, Urich, Missouri; Robin and Scott Gorman, Bremerton, Washington; numerous second and third great nieces and nephews. Feline Companions: Michael, Angie, Raven, Grayson and James.

 Cathy leaves behind a wonderful care team. Her Amedysis Hospice Team: Shantel Ortiz; Emily Hagan and Chaplain Harold Dinsmore. Her Mom Sitter’s when Gwen, Brian and Kera had to be at Kera’s medical appointments: Linda Young, Wilma Casper, Lorraine Randall, Kim Grubbs, Candy Roberts. Our Banana Club neighborhood children who helped with snow shoveling, trash cans, and odds and ends. Bruce and Karen Lathrop for mowing and our neighbor’s for looking out for us and helping anyway they were able.

 Services will be held Saturday, July 20th at Carson Speaks Funeral Home, 1501 W. Lexington Avenue, Independence, Missouri 64052; 816-252-7900. Visitation will be at 1. Funeral at 2. A reception will follow at Christ United Methodist Church, 14506 E. 39th Street South, Independence, Missouri 64055. A

 In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to the following: The Independence Young Matrons; The Independence School District Foundation; Christ United Methodist Church.

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