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Freda's Story

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Freda June Isbell passed away on Tuesday, June 6, 2017. Memorial services will be held Friday, June 16, 2017 at 6:00pm at Church on Fire 315 W. Gray St. in Norman. Immediately following services, there will be a gathering and meal in the common room at the Willows apartments located at 517 N. University Blvd.

Freda, the oldest of five children, was born July 14, 1940 in Mexia, TX to Victor and Evelyn Isbell, and attended school in Irving, TX. At Irving High School where Freda graduated in 1958, she pursued her love of dancing by joining the schools Majorette team which her mother, Evelyn sewed the uniforms for. The team appeared in the local Texas paper quite a number of times for their accomplishments.

Freda Married her first husband, Malcolm Walker after high school. They had two daughters, Randi and Malisa (Lisa) and moved all around the country living in various locations for Malcolms job, but Fredas favorite place was Los Alamos where she had always hoped to return someday. The two divorced but remained good friends. Freda moved back to Texas with her two daughters and during this time became an entrepreneur with her own wig business called the Wig Wagon, and later she made bridal veils, and flowers.

Freda remarried and had three more children, Gavin, Joshua, and Cassia, and moved to Norman then Tulsa, Oklahoma. Gary and Freda divorced and Freda deciding she was done with marriage, wanted to get an education for herself and moved her and her three youngest children back to Norman in 1990 to attend the University of Oklahoma.

Despite Freda raising three young children on her own, and facing battles with her health, she graduated OU in 1997 with a Bachelors in Sociology. She went on to work for Indigent Defense, Habitat for Humanity, and even as a caregiver for the elderly, but she soon retired to pursue her true passion, a generational, artistic tradition of flower making that her paternal grandmother, Lena Isbell had originally taught her using silk stockings and wire.

In her final years, Freda spent hundreds of hours honing her art by meticulously, and lovingly crafting beautiful flowers from materials such as ribbon, crepe paper, lace, brooches, and beads in all sorts of colors and styles. Her favorite thing to do was bridal bouquets and boutineers, for her family, friends and friends of friends. Freda was a true artist and creating with her hands made her exceedingly happy. Her dream was to build a small business with her art, and she did sell several pieces before she passed. Other hobbies Freda enjoyed were cooking meals large enough to feed a small army, spending time with her family, and watching crime dramas.

At age 76, Freda was now a proud and devoted mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She never stopped caring about each and every one of them, giving everything she could to help, even at her own cost. She wanted her family to always know how much she loved them.

Freda was proceeded in death by her parents, Victor and Evelyn Isbell, brother, Allan Isbell, and grandson, Nicholas. She is survived by her siblings: brother, David and sisters, Vicky, and Kay, of Texas as well as sister Linda of Georgia. Her five children: daughter, Randi and Husband Mark Chambers of Noble, Daughter, Lisa Stevens of Norman, Son Gavin Nipper of China, Son Joshua and wife Edith Nipper of Norman, daughter Cassia and husband Steve Boaz of Norman. Eleven grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Freda will be deeply missed by all those who knew her. The world has truly lost a beautiful person.
Published on  June 10, 2017
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