Obituary of La Vern Adam "Vern" Freeh

10 July 1926 – 26 March 2011

LaVern Adam “Vern” Freeh, 84, died March 26, 2011 at St. Johns Hospital in Maplewood, Minnesota.

Vern was born on July 10, 1926 on the family farm seven miles south of Harvey, North Dakota to Martha and Robert Freeh. He graduated from Harvey High school in 1944 and enlisted in the Marine Corp and served in the Pacific theater during World War II.  After the war, he attended North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND where he met and married Mabel Moen on June 25, 1950 in Hunter, North Dakota.  After college he taught vocational agriculture and coached football in Linton, ND.  His coaching experience allowed him to go onto Michigan State University where he was an assistant football coach and received his Masters and Ph.D.  He was on the faculty of the University of Minnesota for eighteen years from 1962 to 1980.  In 1981, he left the university for the business world as Vice President of Public and International Affairs, Land O’ Lakes Inc.  In 1992, he retired to start his own consulting company, Freeh Enterprises and held a leadership role with the Russian Farm Community Project.  In 1994 he married Lois Ramey Swanson of Loma Linda, California.

Vern was involved in a broad range of business, education and development activities throughout the world.  He traveled and was part of U.S. State Department missions in 65 countries including Cuba and Egypt meeting with Fidel Castro and Anwar Sadat.  Most importantly, he devoted his life to helping people help themselves throughout the world.  Vern loved to share his experiences, insights and ideas for building a more peaceful, stable and productive country and world.  He was an inspiring speaker who captivated his audiences through the use of personal experience, humor and a sincere desire to help people make a difference.  His legacy carried over into his family.

Vern is survived by his wife of 16 years, Lois; son Robert and his wife Deb of Zimmerman, MN; daughter Lori Tufte and her husband Darryl of Eau Claire, Wisconsin; son David and his wife Rhonda of Lake Park, MN; daughter Kristi LaPlante and her husband Jason of Rochester, MN; ten grandchildren and two great grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by his parents Martha and Robert and his first wife, Mabel in 1993.

A visitation will be from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Sunday, April 3rd at Mueller-Bies in Roseville, MN, with private interment the following day at Roselawn Cemetery. A formal memorial service celebrating his life is scheduled for April 16th at 3:00 p.m. at Southview Seventh-Day Adventist church at 5750 Wentworth Avenue, Minneapolis, MN.

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller