Ethel Freeman

Ethel (Norton) Freeman, 94, was called to her heavenly home on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Jan. 18 at the Dennis Funeral Home in Walker with visitation one hour prior to service. Interment will be in Evergreen Cemetery. 

She was born to Hugh Norton Sr. and Ruth (Hurst) Norton Aug. 29, 1921, and was raised in the Walker, Minn., area — living at the Cyphers train station just south of the Y Junction. 

Ethel was, by all accounts, a vibrant student who loved learning. She attended Teacher’s College following high school and taught first- through eighth-grade in a one-room school house prior to meeting and marrying the love of her life, Maurice Freeman, on Oct. 16, 1945.

The next year she had the first of six children and became a full-time mother. Eventually she became the bookkeeper for her husband ‘M.B.’ when he began Freeman Well Drilling. Over time, all of her sons came back home to run the business after M.B. died in 1978. She continued to work as secretary/bookkeeper in the business until well into her eighth decade. She dedicated her life to caring for her children and her grandchildren.

Ethel was a phenomenal cook and gardener who rarely shared her recipes because she did not rely on them. Nothing pleased her more than gardening in the warm sun and watching both vegetables and flowers flourish under her care. She could often be found tutoring her children and grandchildren in math or working crossword puzzles. She chose to live a simple life and did not place importance on material goods; instead she took pleasure in nature and nurturing. Her strength, optimism, and humor will be long remembered by those she leaves behind.

She is survived by sons, Robert (Mary Ann) Freeman, Jerry (Nancy) Freeman, John (Marcia) Freeman, Joe (Retta) Freeman and daughter, Ruth (Doug) Landt; 12 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; and one great-great grandchild.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Maurice; daughter, Jeanne; grandson, Jeremy Landt; and brother, Hugh Norton Jr.

Arrangements are being handled by Dennis Funeral Home, Walker, Minn. (

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