Greensburg — Freda Mae Volz Pleak, the 93-year-old matriarch of the Pleak family, wife to Walter Eugene Pleak, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014. Freda is remembered for her sweet smile, her determination, and her love of family, friends, church, and of course, of her family business.
Freda was born Nov. 3, 1920, in Lookout (Ripley County). She was the beloved daughter of Alex and Mary Catherine (Mamie Crum) Volz. Freda was a 1938 graduate of Osgood High School where she was a cheerleader. She was preceded in death by her parents Alex and Mamie, two sisters Evelyn Pitts and Viola Damm, two brothers Louis and Charles Volz, her husband Walter Eugene Pleak, and son Walter Eugene Pleak Jr.
Freda grew up as member of St. Pius Catholic Church, Ripley County. Her grandfather, Alexius Volz, donated the land upon which the school and the church were built for $1. Years later, Freda and her husband, Walter, could always be found working the quilt booth at the annual, late-summer St. Pius Picnic.
Freda met Walter at a dance in Liberty Park, Batesville. Walter swept Freda off her feet and even earned permission from Freda’s brother, Charles, to drive her home that evening. The two were married July 26, 1941, in the rectory of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Greensburg. Their deep love and commitment to each other is recorded throughout 71 years of marriage. They fought life’s battles side-by-side, and when Walter was deployed during World War Two, they sent pictures and notes full of love and hope to each other.
While Walter was overseas, Freda returned home and started raising turkeys. Upon his return three-and-a-half years later, Walter went to work for National Dairy, selling the very same buttermilk Freda fed her turkeys. She also learned to quilt from her Mother Mamie while Walter was gone. Whatever she did, she did it right or not at all.In raising their children, Walter and Fred committed to getting their kids involved in as many activities as possible. Both children, Rick and Cheryl – were in tap dancing, scouts and 4-H. Rick played the drums, while Cheryl played the piano, making for never-a-dull-moment in the Pleak house.
In 1958, after buying the oldest hardware store in downtown Greensburg – Corbett & Craig – Walter and Freda started what would become a life-long career in business, ultimately working 55 years side-by-side at Pleak’s Do-It Center.
Freda belonged to St. Mary’s Catholic Church. She also was a member of the Daughters of Isabella and Delta Tau Delta sorority. She was an outstanding cook and baker, often cooking meals for local nuns back in the 1950's. She was most famous for her pies! They were delicious!
Freda is survived by two children: Cheryl (Rock) Linville of Greensburg and Richard (Terri) Pleak of Greensburg; two grandchildren: Sonja Linville of Greensburg and Alex Linville of Phoenix, Ariz.; and by many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held from 2 to 5 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 26, at Porter-Oliger-Pearson Funeral Home, Greensburg, with a Rosary Service at 1:30 p.m. A celebration of life will begin at 10 a.m., Monday, Jan. 27, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the St. Mary’s Church Building Fund. Online condolences can be made to the family at www.popfuneralhome.com.