Merla Freng was called home to the heavenly father on April 3, 2023, peacefully in her sleep.
Funeral Services will be on May 13th, 2023, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls, MN at 11:00 a.m. Visitation will be from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. the same day, at the church with Merla’s final resting place be at Trinity Lutheran Church in Odessa MN next to her loving husband Bernie. Interment will be later on the 13th of May.
Merla P. Freng was born on August 30, 1929, to Herman Pansch and Melinda (Gerber) Pansch in Ortonville, MN. She lived on the farm until she was 18 years old attending school at Odessa and Ortonville High School. She was baptized and confirmed in Odessa at Trinity Church.
She married Bernie Harlan Freng at Trinity Lutheran Church in Ortonville, MN, on June 30, 1957, and they lived in Pelican Rapids, MN, and then moved to Fergus Falls, MN, until Merla retired from teaching after 38 years, 32 years of which was in the Fergus Falls school system. Merla always said that she would remember all the students she had as a teacher. It was so much fun for Merla. She loved Kindergarten the best- as the kids were so happy to be in school and not old enough yet to get much attitude.
She will always be remembered for all the plays, skits, and shows she did with all the kids. The amazing thing was all these were handwritten by Merla every year and different for each class she had.
She was a founding member of the Barbershop Bells, Sounds of Faith Men's Singing Group, Kitchen Band, Tea Pot Hummers, as well as many other small groups.
She was active in Faith Lutheran Church, Trinity Lutheran Church and Immanuel Lutheran in Fergus Falls and later at the Church as Casa Del Sol RV Park and Zion Lutheran in Weslaco TX.
Before retirement, Merla and Bernie would always take their kids on Christmas time trips: Arizona, Southern California, Texas and Florida. Their kids thought these were cool times, but they were looking for a place to retire to for the winter months and they decided on Southern Texas.
After Merla and Bernie retired, they relocated to Texas for the winter months. Merla then started on 35 more years of Christmas, Veteran’s Day, Hobo Days, Mass Memorial, and various other programs. Again, all handwritten by Merla. Each one separate from any other show she would write. Merla and Bernie spent 35 years in southern Texas until Bernie passed away on December 26, 2006. Merla continued to make the trip each year as Texas was home “1B” for Merla.
The years after Bernie passed, Merla wrote five books. They are not going to be published. They include things about things in her life and day-to-day adventures. Merla would always write stories when Kael and Kennedy (Stephanie) would visit in the summer months. They will only be cherished by the family.
Merla is survived by two sons: Merlan (Jolene) Freng of Wahpeton, ND; and Hadley (Kimberly) Freng of East Grand Forks, MN; four grandchildren: Nathan (Chelsey) Freng of Fargo, ND; Cody Freng (Jenn) of New Hope, MN; Stephanie (Jordan) Haugtvedt of Grand Forks, ND; and Austin Freng of Grand Forks, ND; six great-grandchildren: Kael and Kennedy (Stephanie) Haugtvedt and Avery, Auden, Alder, Addison (Nathan) Freng; a special friend, Paul of Casa Del Sol RV Park (IA), and Jan Sieckert of Casa Del Sol RV Park; and numerous cousins and friends- too many to name.
Lastly Merla is survived by her two favorite pets and family members. The dog’s name is Goldie and the cat’s name is Calico. They will remain in Texas with loving homes until they can see Merla again.
Merla was preceded in death by her husband, Bernie Harlan Freng; her parents, Herman and Melinda (Gerber) Pansch; and numerous aunts, uncles, and other family members.
Merla will be forever missed and never forgotten. She fought the good fight right up until the end and left this world exactly the way she wanted to. She is no longer in pain anymore.
In closing, the family wants to thank everyone for all the help given to Merla over the last few months. I am sure that right now she is already organizing her first choir and is telling all of them what to do and where to stand. We love you and miss you so much mom and rest in peace until we meet again. We would request that any donations be directed to Circle of Friends Animal Shelter 910 S Washington St., Grand Forks ND 58201 under Merla Freng