Paula Fremd, age 100, of Yankton, passed away Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at Avera Sister James Care Center, Yankton.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Monday, February 20 at Avera Sister James Gathering Place, Yankton with Rev. Michael Schmitz officiating. Burial will be in the Fort Logan Cemetery, Denver, CO.

Visitations will begin at 5:00 p.m. Sunday, February 19 at the Opsahl-Kostel Funeral Home & Crematory, Yankton with a Rosary at 6:45 p.m. and a Scripture service to follow. Visitations will resume one hour prior to the service at the Gathering Place.

Online condolences may be sent at

Paula was born of Russian immigrant parents, Paul and Tofilia (Zezuefska) Sargent, on April 3, 1916 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. After completion of high school, Paula enjoyed performing in Little Theater and sang in Chicago. She attended DePaul University and studied nutrition. This commitment to healthy living continued throughout her life when she prepared meals for her family. As time went on, her favorites of blueberries, dark chocolate and red wine for heart health were important to her and visitors were persuaded to have a piece of dark chocolate because it was “good for you.”

During World War II, Paula felt compelled to help the war effort, so she moved to Washington, D.C. and worked in the Office Chief of Finance. It was in Washington that she met Ted Fremd, a young handsome Marine. They fell in love and were married April 24, 1943. Paula and Ted had a deep love for each other, expressed in love letters sent to each other during the war, and shown each day to their children. Paula loved life adventures and after marriage, lived in North Carolina, Oklahoma, New York and Colorado. She had a variety of interesting life experiences and fun stories that she would share. Her husband Ted passed away in 1993 after 50 years of marriage. Paula then lived in Colorado in her own home until 2004 when she moved to South Dakota.

Paula enjoyed the finer things in life, proper etiquette, candlelight dinners with classical music, painting, her Cadillac and being pampered by her husband. She also enjoyed gardening, fishing and taking trips in their camper. Paula was proud of her children, grandchildren and their accomplishments. She was queen in her world.

Lifelong learning was a passion. Paula had an inquisitive mind and loved learning about different religions, politics, art, nature, health, astronomy, history, music and anything that would allow her mind to grow. Many hours were spent watching a variety of college level courses well into her 90s. She would read magazines with educational themes. She also read books for enjoyment; classics, stories of Africa and the Far East to name a few. To her, reading meant travelling to many locations in her imagination. Mysteries were favorite books in her later years. Paula had a map of the world in her room to keep tabs on where events in the world were occurring. She enjoyed visiting with the staff of Sr. James Care Center and had many pictures of their families on the wall in her room.

Paula was proud of being a three-time cancer survivor, most recently undergoing an extensive oral surgery at the age of 94. She told the surgeons at that time she “had more books to read and sunsets to see.” She had set a goal of reaching the age of 100 and celebrated her huge accomplishment with a fabulous party.

She is survived by her daughters, Peggy Fremd (Judy Casey) of Daleville, Alabama, Teresa Donahue (Patrick) of Wakonda, South Dakota; son, Theodore Fremd (Skylar Rickabaugh) of Mt. Vernon, Oregon; grandchildren: Christine Schelske (Tom), John Donahue, both of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Brian Donahue (Kelli Hartl) of Brookings, South Dakota. Paula is also survived by her caregivers on Riverfront at Avera Majestic Bluffs.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Paul and Tofilia Sargent; her sister, Kendall; her brother, Steve; and her husband, Ted.

The family requests that memorials be directed to Sister James Care Center in honor of Riverfront, 2111 West 11th Street, Yankton, SD 57078.

Yankton Press & Dakotan

February 18, 2017