Freda Mae McKinnon, 95, of New London, passed away on November 26, 2018, at New London Specialty Care surrounded by her family.
Born May 23, 1923, she was the daughter of Walter and Loren Elliott Preuss. She was a 1940 graduate of New London High School and a 1944 graduate of Mercy Hospital's Nurses Training in Burlington, Iowa. Freda joined the United States Cadet Nurses' Corps. during World War II and was stationed in both Chicago and Boston. She received a Quilt of Valor on September 17, 2017.
She married Jerry Norton McKinnon on May 11, 1944, in New London.
Freda worked at both the Mt. Pleasant and Burlington Hospitals. In the 60s, she was the New London School nurse. When she was in her 50s she returned to college and received her teaching degree from Iowa Wesleyan. She substitute taught at Mediapolis, Yarmouth, Huron, Sperry, and New London.
She also taught at SCC in the medical assistant program. She continued nursing part-time at the New London Care Center well into her 70s. She sometimes worked at Primary Oil Company, the family business, along side her husband and son until it was sold in the 1990s.
Freda was a Boy Scout Den Mother and accompanied contest soloists and groups on the piano. She was a member of the Ricordo Club, T.T.T., and Eastern Star. She was a 50+ member of the New London Presbyterian Church and played the piano for services for many years. She and her husband delivered Meals on Wheels.
Freda loved New London and her home. Endowed with the gift of hospitality, she was a terrific cook. She was a beloved member of the community and was Citizen of the Year and Grand Marshall of the New London Day Parade. She was always the first one to volunteer to help someone in need. She and her husband enjoyed the theater and Burlington Civic Music.
She is survived by her daughter, Connie (Paul) Koehler of Sun Lakes, Arizona and her son, Jerry (Irma) McKinnon of New Braunfels, Texas; one grandson Ken (Julia) Koehler of Glenview, Illinois; and five great-grandchildren, Olivia and Grant Koehler and Christian, Justin and Ryan Tobar; two brothers Ted of West Burlington and Don of Table Rock Lake, Missouri; several nieces and nephews; and a special friend, Mervin Raines.
Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband on March 25, 2008, her son Greg, and two grandsons, Phillip and Michael McKinnon.
Services will be Friday, November 30, 2018, at Elliott Chapel, New London. The family will receive friends from 9:30 - 11:00 a.m., with the service at 11 a.m. There will be a private family burial at Burge Cemetery later in the day.
Memorials have been established for the New London Veterans' Memorial, New London Specialty Care, Dover Museum, and Great River Hospice House.
"To the entire Pruess and McKinnon families. I am at a loss for words. Walter and Loren took my father in when he had no place to live because of his friendship with Ted. I referred to Loren as Grandma and spent hours at Freda and Jerry's home growing up as a child. Freda was such a giving and loving person. She was a servant just like God intended for all of us to be. She was full of joy and love for all of those who came into contact with her. I am so sorry to hear of her passing and my deepest condolences go out to her family. She was loved by all who knew her. Heaven is a better place because Freda is there now. She lived a full life and touched lives beyond what all of us could ever imagine."
"Freda is one of the sweetest ladies I've ever met. She not only made a huge impression on me, but my 3 children as well. We were members of the same church and my kids would light up when Freda walked into church. She loved everyone unconditionally and made me want to be a better person. We'll love you forever, Freda. I look forward to seeing you again in heaven. "
"Jerry, during the past years I have seen your mother a number of times and she was always a joy to be with. A beautiful woman inside and out. She will be greatly missed by so many in Henry County and all of southeast Iowa. "
"Freda's love and kindness is woven into the fabric of nearly every person who is from New London. She treated me as if I was her own daughter, or at least that is how she made me feel. Total acceptance and respect. I used to tend to her plants when she and Jerry traveled out of town. She loved it when we all stopped by to visit, just to chat. She opened her home for our out of town wedding guests and housed us during my father's funeral. I never heard her say a bad word about anyone, but she could stand her own ground. I loved this woman so much!! She greatly influenced me in my formative years. When we worked together at the Care Center (my college summers), she took me under her wing to make sure I had all the knowledge I needed to do my job well. She is most certainly with the angels! My sincerest condolences. "
"We were so very fortunate to visit with Freda on one of our visits to the facility. What a delightful individual who has contributed so much to the facility and given so much of herself to others. Our deepest sympathy to her family."
"Freda saved my life. She taught a class on breast self exam. Later, I found a lump because of the time she took to share her knowledge. "
"Freda was one of the best! Wish I could be there. Her family, Freda, Loren, Walter, Don and Ted were my second family and always will be. Prayers for all. I know she will be missed."
"Fond memories of Frieda and send condolences to the family"
"Sending prayers to you all. Freda was one of the kindest ladies I knew. "