Freda Belle Nordstrom
Last updated 10/28/2020 at 3:16pm | View PDF
Freda Belle Nordstrom, 98, of Willowbrook, passed away from natural causes Oct. 8, 2020, after a long life well-lived.
Freda was born in Ozawkie, Kansas, in 1921 to Sherman and Bertha (nee Anderson) Michael, and was the fourth of six children. In addition to helping out on the farm, Freda liked quilting and played on her high school basketball team.
The day after Freda graduated from high school at the age of 17, she boarded a bus with $50 in her pocket and moved to Washington, D.C., with her brother and sister-in-law. Here she went to secretarial school, and in the early days of World War II, accepted a full-time position as a secretary at the U.S. Treasury. Freda recounted frequently using her lunch break to purchase an apple and climb the stairs to the top of the Washington Monument to enjoy the view. She also led an active social life, and, during Amelia Earhart's rise to fame, reveled in the unique opportunity of flying over the nation's capital a number of times.
Freda met her husband, John W. Nordstrom, while working in Washington, and they were married in Kansas City in December of 1942. She was proud of the accomplishments of her three children and her grandchildren.
In addition to raising a family, Freda pursued a career as a real estate agent in Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills, building a successful business with Thorsen Realty and later Coldwell Banker. Freda was also a deacon at Union Church in Hinsdale for several years.
Freda loved to travel to places near and far, such as Bishop Hill to see the Nordstrom family. She frequently attended her annual high school reunion in Ozawkie and went to Europe with John on several occasions. Later in life she looked forward to her annual trip to Hawaii with her long-time companion, Burt Barnard. She read the Chicago Tribune each morning, was a voracious reader of books, and was devoted to watching the Wheel of Fortune every evening.
Freda was preceded in death by her husband, John W. Nordstrom; her son-in-law, Richard Warnky; her grandson, John Richard Warnky; and her five siblings, Orville, Merle, Melvin, Elmer and Leila Delle.
She is survived by her three children, Jean Nordstrom Warnky, Peter J. Nordstrom and Steven B. Nordstrom of Hinsdale; and her five grandchildren, Suzanne and John Warnky, Sarah Nordstrom, and Katherine and Abigail Nordstrom.
Interment is private.
Sullivan Funeral Home Hinsdale handled the arrangements.