Mary Jane Frei

     Mary Jane Frei, 90, of Eau Claire, formerly of Neillsville, died Tuesday, May 24, 2022, at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire.

     Mary Jane was born Feb. 24, 1932, in Loyal. She was the daughter of George and Angeline (Schuld) Frei. At a young age, she moved with her parents to a farm in Pine Valley Township, south of Neillsville. She attended Hiawatha Grade School, grades one through six, and then she attended St. Mary’s Catholic School, grades seven and eight. In 1948, she moved with her parents to Neillsville and attended Neillsville High School and graduated in 1950.

     In July of 1949, she was stricken with polio, which left her mostly confined to a wheelchair and having to use leg braces and crutches. In 1951, she moved to Eau Claire to attend vocational school (now known as Chippewa Valley Technical College). In 1952, she started employment at the Eau Claire Leader Telegram and retired from there after 39 years in 1991.

     The highlight of her life was when she bought her first car, equipped with hand controls in 1958.

     Mary Jane enjoyed her home and had many friends. She loved corresponding with letters to her many friends and relatives. She also had a nice doll collection.

     She is survived by her sister, Beverly (James) Raine; many nieces, nephews and many great- and great-great-nieces and nephews.

     She was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters, Roseline (Norbert) Noeldner, Lucille (George) Pagenkopf; two brothers, Edward (Joyce) Frei and Leo (Marge) Frei; and three nephews.

     A Mass of Christian burial was held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 31, 2022, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Neillsville. The celebrant was Father Gregory Michaud.  Music was provided by Rebekah Lehn, organist, and St. Mary’s Choir. Burial followed at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery. Visitation was held from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, May 31, at the church. 

     Online condolences may be made at 

     Gesche Funeral Home and Cremation Service assisted Mary Jane’s family with funeral arrangements.

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