Gerald Freese


Funeral services for Gerald “Jerry” Freese of Morris will be held Monday, July 24, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. at the Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris with Chaplin James Neppl officiating.  A visitation will be held Sunday, July 23, 2023 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris and one hour prior to service on Monday.  Burial will be at Summit Cemetery in Morris.

Gerald Ralph Freese was born December 30, 1932, in Morris, Minnesota.  He was one of 4 children born to Ralph & Mary Catherine (Mitchell) Freese.  He grew up on the family farm near Alberta, MN helping with the various tasks of farm life.  Jerry graduated from the Alberta High School in 1951.  After graduation, he farmed with his father and worked in construction for a cement, brick and block company in the area for five years.   Jerry loved roller skating with his good friend Jim, and in late January, 1956, he met Janice Paul roller skating in Appleton, MN, and by mid-March they were going steady.  

Jerry was drafted into the U. S. Army on May 23, 1956 and sent to Fort Ord, CA for basic training.  When he came home on leave, Jerry proposed to Jan and they got married in Webster, SD on December 13, 1956 and lived in Morris until December 29, 1956 when he was shipped to Aschaffenburg, Germany.  Jan joined him there 3 months later.  Ten months later they returned to the U.S. and lived on or near the Freese farm to farm with his father, and he began working at the Alberta school in 1960 as custodian & school bus driver.  Eight years later he began work as Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds at the Morris school for 24 years, doing carpentry work in his spare time until retirement.

Jerry and Jan spent 22 winters in Apache Junction, AZ with many shared hobbies of fishing, boating, and traveling with camper or double on a motorcycle.  He joined the American Legion and was a Morris Lions Club member for 50 years.  A skilled carpenter, Jerry also built two of their family homes.

Jerry died at Vista Prairie at Copperleaf in Willmar July 15, 2023 at the age of 90. 

 He is survived by his wife: Jan of Morris; four children: John Freese of Pepin, WI, Julie (Howard) Johnson of Willmar, David Freese of Morris, and Diana (Randy) Fischer of Tomah, WI; 8 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, sister Mary Agnes (Freese) Schmitt of Waite Park, MN and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.  He was preceded in death by his parents; sister: Rita Catherine (Freese) Simones and brother: Fredrick Michael Freese.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials to the Morris Lions Club.  

Pedersen Funeral Home is in care of arrangements for Jerry.  To send condolence’s on-line, visit