Frieda Haussler Fuller

Frieda Haussler Fuller, long time resident of Leavenworth, died at the age of 78 on Wednesday, April 26, 2017.

Born November 6, 1938 in Kirchheim unter Teck, Esslingen, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, Frieda grew up in war-torn Germany. She spent her childhood in the small town of Ludwigsfeld, outside of Ulm, after allied bombing raids destroyed her family home in Ulm. Frieda often retold the story of how her mom and four siblings escaped their house just in time. When they left the bomb shelter they found their home in shambles, with their bathtub in the middle of street.

Frieda always had a wild heart—often stealing away from the schoolhouse with her band of schoolmates in tow, or engaging in other mischief to keep things interesting for her parents and the town. After the US Army took over nearby Wiley Barracks (formerly Ludendorf Kaserne), Frieda’s parents worked mending uniforms for American soldiers. Frieda took a job waiting tables at the officers club, and it was here that Frieda met Dwight Fuller, the handsome young officer that she often waited on, who was always quiet but exceedingly polite and respectful. Dwight was in the doldrums from a recent breakup (his debutante fiancé had refused to marry him in the Catholic Church, so he broke off the engagement), and Frieda was encouraged by Dwight’s friends to show interest in him to cheer him up. Their courtship lasted just long enough for both of them to realize they belonged together forever.

Frieda and Dwight were married May 5th, 1962, in a Catholic Church in Neu Ulm, Germany. Although Frieda was a Lutheran, she knew the perfect man when she saw him, kept her catch, and happily converted to Catholicism. The perfect combination of Frieda’s free spirit and Dwight’s cautious, principled nature created a thriving marriage that spanned nearly 50 years. Frieda and Dwight went on to raise five children, all the while moving over ten times as a military family and enduring lengthy separations due to Dwight’s deployments to Vietnam.

It was as a mother that Frieda discovered her true calling. If you knew Frieda, you knew she was here not to be a mother, but to mother; not just her five children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but all of their friends and anyone else who made a connection with her. The Fuller house was known as “Hotel Fuller,” where all of her kids’ friends were welcome anytime, and where there was always plenty of food to go around, including plenty of Frieda’s homemade spaetzle, schnitzel, potato salad and lasagna. And if they were lucky, they would also get treated to some of Frieda’s blunt, but wise, counsel.

Perhaps it was the untamed wild soul of her youth that gave her the ability to bond with children. She had an innocence she never lost, and kids adored her fun side, while she always showed them the patience, understanding, and respect every child needs from an adult to feel wanted and safe. She was every child’s greatest ally against an adult world imposing its demands on their freedom and challenging their innocence. Some words from Frieda’s granddaughter, Jasmine:

I credit you for teaching me how to be a strong, independent woman. While I am not always appreciative of your blunt honesty and opinions at the time, I have come to realize that it is exactly who you are and I would never want it to change. Your honesty has transferred to me, and is one of the reasons I am now so respected by others, and it has helped me become successful in my life. One thing you have that I was never so lucky to learn is patience . . . I love remembering times when you would sit and teach Xayden letters and numbers for hours, cheering her on the whole time and focusing on her without distraction. I also remember being surprised at the comfort you provided during hard times, throughout my life, when I felt like a disappointment to everyone. I want you to know I will never forget how much fun we used to have when I was a kid and you would hide in the laundry hamper during hide and seek, or let us bring snow in the house because "melted snow was the best way to clean the floors." Thank you Grammy, Tick Tock, for always being you.

To adults, she was the life of the party showing everyone how to live carefree in an often overly careful world. She was a timeless spirit, bringing out the absolute best in everyone, and challenging the worst. No one should be crying about her passing, unless you were not fortunate enough to know her. You should weep a little and pray to God that in your lifetime you were fortunate enough to experience someone like her.

When Frieda died she was ready to rejoin Dwight, who passed away in 2011. From the time Frieda and Dwight met, to the time they died, Frieda and Dwight were simply “Schatz” to each other—a simple term of endearment for two people that were purposeful in keeping their mission in life simple: to love each other, and raise a loving family together. They were a match made in Heaven, and now are together in Heaven.

Frieda, Dwight “Mission Accomplished.”

Frieda was survived by her five children, Mike, Dwight and his wife, Patrice, Margaret, Joey and his wife, Amy, Dean and his wife, Casey as well as her 11 grandchildren, Jasmine and her husband, Cody, Erin and her husband James, Alex, Christian, Sadie, Lina, Owen, Mitchell, Anna Caroline, Quinn, and Chase, and her four great-grandchildren, Xayden, Ezli, Heidi, and Theo.

Visitation will be from 10 to 12 p.m. Saturday, May 13th, 2017, at the R.L. Leintz Funeral Home. Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery with her Schatz at a later date.