Helen 'Jean' Fretty
Sept. 15, 1929 - January 10, 2018
KENSETT | Helen “Jean” Fretty, age 88, died Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at the Manly Specialty Care Center.
The funeral service for Jean will be held on Saturday, January 13th, 2018 at Bethany Lutheran Church (600 South St.) in her home town of Kensett, Iowa and will begin at 10 a.m. The Reverend Tom Martin will officiate. Burial will be in the Kensett Cemetery.
Visitation will be held Friday, January 12th at Bethany Lutheran Church, from 5-7 p.m., and for 30 minutes prior to her service.
In lieu of flowers, Jean's family has requested that memorials be given to Bethany Lutheran, 600 South St. Kensett, One Vision, 1200 N 9th St W, Clear Lake, IA, The Salvation Army, 3551 Frontage Rd, Mason City, IA, Hospice of North Iowa, 232 2nd St SE, Mason City, IA or KCMR radio, 316 N Federal Ave, Mason City, IA.
Jean Fretty was born Sept. 15, 1929 in Mankato, Minnesota. She was the daughter of Frank & Florence (Benson) Steiner of Blue Earth. Jean was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic Church in Blue Earth. She graduated from Blue Earth High School in 1947, then attended Minneapolis Business College. After college she worked at the Blue Earth State Bank.
Jean married the love of her life, Thomas Fretty on June 30th, 1950. Tom was called back into the Navy in 1951 (he had done a tour of duty off the coast of Japan during World War II). In 1952, Jean joined Tom in California with their 8-month-old daughter, Patty, while Tom was stationed in the Navy there. During their time in California, Jean worked at the Bank of America. In 1954 Jean and Tom moved to Kensett, Iowa, where they eventually started a business consisting of dry goods and furniture. In the mid 60's Jean & Tom moved their business to Manly, Iowa where they operated Tom's Country Market. As their “corner of highway 9 & 65” expanded, a musical museum housing band organs & old music boxes, was created. Along with this, a waterfall mountain, ice cream parlor & animated town were added. In the later years of their lives, Tom & Jean went on to be self employed in the antique business and then gradually slipped into retirement focusing on family and friends.
Jean will be lovingly missed by her children — Patty (Mark) Walker of Kensett, Sandy (Keven) Bruesewitz of Grafton & Jody (John) Kealey of Davenport, along with her grandchildren — Kendra (Tim) Stoner of Dubuque, Raechel (Luke) Fossey of Grafton, Lynnea (Tom) Morse of Indianapolis, Holly Bruesewitz of Clear Lake, Thomas Kealey of Iowa City, Mara Kealey of Ames, Kate Kealey of Davenport, Bryan Clark of Mason City and Andrea (Alex) Jahn of Germany. Jean's great-grandchildren include Hannah & Micah Stoner, Runa Morse, Phoenix & Isabella Clark and Amelie & Annika Jahn. Jean also had many extended family and friends that will miss her.
She was preceded in death by her husband Tom, her parents, her sister Ruth Blakely, & several sister & brother in-laws. Jean will be remembered by those that knew and loved her for her generous and caring spirit!
Bride Colonial Chapel, 110 E Spring Street, Manly, IA. 641-454-2242. ColonialChapels.com