Freda Gustafson, 85, passed away on Monday, March 13, 2023, at Pioneer Manor Nursing Home in Hugoton, Kansas.
Freda was born to James Harmon and Susie Edna (Nicholes) Ausbun on August 6, 1937, in Hugoton, Kansas. She was a lifetime resident of Stevens County.
Freda married Alfred Eric Gustafson in Hugoton, Kansas on April 22, 1957. This union and marriage were blessed with five children, Debra, David, Resi, Steve, and Lisa.
She was a graduate of Hugoton High School, going on to attend Anderson College in Anderson, Indiana and Fort Hays State, Hays, KS. She chose to stay home to raise her children, choosing to join the work force when her youngest was in middle school. Freda was an office manager at Collingwood Grain and later ADM Grain Elevator for many years, retiring in 2005. While she and Eric mostly lived in the Stevens County area, they also spent time in Graham County, living and farming on the Redline Road, attending Redline Church of God, and sending children to school in Bogue, Kansas. Many memories and friends were made and remain there.
She was a member of the First Church of God in Hugoton. At church she loved teaching the nursery class and sharing Bible stories with them. She and her husband also were youth sponsors for many years; coaching the Co-Ed softball team brought her much joy.
At Anderson College, Freda played on the women’s basketball team. Because of her brother, she was asked to try out for the team even though she told them she’d never played. She made the team. She continued to play women’s softball as a young mother, continuing to pitch. Her oldest daughter remembers her pitching a fast pitch no-hitter one night.
Freda loved to go see her children and grandchildren, and they knew she loved them. She took every chance she could to go watch any of the grandchildren's activities throughout their childhood years.
Her hobbies were gardening, ceramics, sewing, knitting, and enjoying coffee with friends in the coffee group back in Bogue. The garden became much smaller once she started to work full time, but she always canned quarts of green beans until she gave up the garden. The petunias in her back yard were always a favorite spring project.
She is survived by her two sons: David Gustafson and wife Toya, Hugoton, KS; Steve Gustafson and wife Brandy, Panhandle, TX.; three daughters: Debra Wilson and husband Phil, Plains, KS; Resi Valek and husband Bill, Agenda, KS; Lisa Whitham and husband Matt, Moscow, KS; a brother Gary Ausbun and wife Frankie, Leo, IN; brother-in-law, James (Jim) Kramer, Prairie Village, KS; sister-in-law, Margaret Ninemire, La Junta, CO; 16 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren and other relatives and friends.
Freda was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Alfred Eric Gustafson; grandson, Jacob (Jake) Valek; brothers, James H. Ausbun Jr. and Harold Ausbun; two sisters, Verla Seeman and Shirley Kramer.
A memorial has been established for the First Church of God of Hugoton, in the care of Robson Funeral Home, P.O. Box 236, Hugoton, KS 67951.
Visitation will be held Friday, March 31, 2023, from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. at Robson Funeral Home, Hugoton. The family will receive friends from 4 P.M. to 6 P.M. at First Church of God, Hugoton.
The funeral service will be held on Saturday, April 1, 2023, at 10:30 A.M. at First Church of God, Hugoton, Kansas, with Pastor Israel Franco and Pastor Richard Martin presiding. Burial to follow at Hugoton Cemetery.
Robson Funeral Home, Hugoton, is overseeing the arrangements.