Gwen Jean Freier March 13th, 1932 - August 22nd, 2023

Gwen's Obituary

Gwen Jean Freier met Jesus face to face when she was called home to heaven on August 22, 2023 at the age of 91. She closed her eyes peacefully at home in the presence of her loving family after confessing her faith in Jesus as her Savior for over 91 years.

A Service of Celebration will take place on Saturday, August 26th at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Stevensville, Michigan 2673 W. John Beers Road at 11 am. with Pastor Jesse Knox officiating. Visitation will take place at the Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph, on Friday, August 25th from 5-8 pm and from 10:00 until the time of service at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Faith Lutheran Church, 1400 E. Preston Rd., Mt. Pleasant, 48858, Grace Lutheran Church, 404 E. Glenlord Rd., St. Joseph or St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 2673 W. John Beers Rd., Stevensville, 49127. Those wishing to share a memory may do so online at

Gwen was born March 13, 1932 in Dunn County Wisconsin to Irvin and Minnie nee Miller Bilse. Her walk with Jesus began on April 4, 1932, when she became a baptized child of God at St. John’s Lutheran Church of Ridgeland, Wisconsin. She was born and raised on the family farm in Prairie Farm, Wisconsin until her family moved to Watertown, Wisconsin where her father became business manager of Northwestern College and her mother the head dietitian. Gwen attended St. Mark’s Lutheran School during her elementary years and her high school years at Northwestern Preparatory School. After several years of instruction in the teachings of the Bible, she was confirmed in her faith on April 14, 1946 at Trinity Lutheran Church of Watertown, Wisconsin. The confirmation verse she chose from the Bible was her inspiration throughout her life: “I can do all things through Him (Jesus) who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13.

Following her high school graduation, Gwen attended Northwestern Institute of Medical Technology and worked as a lab technician at Munn Koch Clinic of Janesville, Wisconsin, Watertown Hospital and for Dr. Pelant in Grafton, Wisconsin. Gwen met the love of her life, Ronald Freier, and they were married on August 28, 1954. During the time her husband was preparing for the holy ministry at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, Wisconsin, she worked to earn her PHT degree (Pushing Husband Through).

She served alongside her husband during his fifty-seven years in public ministry at Scottville and Custer, Michigan and Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, Michigan. She accompanied her husband during the time he served on the World Mission Board of the Wisconsin Evangelical Synod, establishing and visiting missions in Japan, Europe, and Asia. On many of these mission trips, while her husband was busy in meetings, she was spending time with the missionary wives encouraging them as well as discovering what life was really like living and raising children in a foreign country.

Besides being a close companion and co-worker with her husband, Gwen chose to be a stay-at-home mom. She was always involved in serving her Lord through the church and community. She served as Reporter for the Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society, was involved in various ladies’ groups, attended Bible Class, sang in the choir, and offered a helping hand wherever it was needed. Besides being a housewife and companion to her husband, she loved raising and spending time with her two children, her grandchildren, and great grandchildren attending their games, concerts, and activities. She enjoyed hosting youth groups, cooking, gardening, reading, and playing euchre.

Gwen is survived by one son, Mark (Debbie) Freier of Howell, Michigan and one daughter, Rachel (Pastor Michael) Biedenbender of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, six grandchildren: Anne Freier Calabretta, Katie (Daniel) Robertson, Nathan (Angela) Freier, David (Angela) Biedenbender, Ashley (Pete) O’Neil, and Andrew (Maddie) Biedenbender, and eleven great grandchildren, Izaak and Declan Biedenbender, Huxley, Emma, Jackson, Lily O’Neil, Brady, McKenna and Peyton Biedenbender, Abby and Graham Freier, and Logan Robertson. Gwen is also survived by her two sisters Marie (Robert) Bruce and Lois (Ron) Muetzel.

Gwen’s earthly remains will rest at the Spring Run Cemetery in Scottdale, Michigan until the Great Day of Resurrection when the Lord will raise her body and change it to be like his glorious body.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Starks & Menchinger Chapel & Cremation Services, 269-556-9450

Service Details

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