On Monday, January 25, 2021, Milton O. Froehlich, after battling multiple physical ailments for years, his body finally said, “It’s time” and he passed away peacefully at the Annandale Care Center, Annandale, Minnesota.
Memorial Services will be held 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 26, 2021 at St. John's Lutheran Church, Annandale with Rev. David Nelson officiating. Visitation will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday at the church. A Celebration of Life honoring Milt will follow the service at the home of Cal & Denise Froehlich. Burial will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 27, 2021 at Bethel Cemetery in Willmar. The memorial service will be live-streamed on the funeral home website.
Milt was born at home in Meadowlands, Minnesota on March 4, 1934; the first born of Harold and Dorothy (Thompson) Froehlich. He was later joined by his siblings, Jim, Marilyn and Carolyn. He attended Meadowlands schools and was active in sports, especially football. He really wanted to be a farmer when he grew up, but his grandfather Thompson told him to first get an education and use that education to get a job other than farming. So Milt attended the University of Minnesota and got his degree in Agriculture Education. He first started teaching Agriculture in Sandstone, Minnesota where he met his future wife, Meredith, who taught Home Economics. They were married on July 20, 1957 on “the hottest damn day of the year” (according to Milt) and spent just over 63 years together. From Sandstone, they moved to St Cloud, Minnesota where Milt earned a Master’s in Science from St Cloud State. The next move was to Willmar, Minnesota where Milt taught 7th grade biology until his retirement 33 years later. He also taught Driver’s Education and Hunter’s Education classes, so there were very few kids growing up in Willmar in the 1960’s-1970’s who didn’t have Mr. Froehlich for one class or another. Many of those former students have attested to the family the positive influence Milt’s teaching had on them.
Shortly after Milt and Meredith moved to Willmar, they purchased an 80-acre farm west of town, where Milt could realize his dream of being a farmer, while still teaching. On that farm, his kids Deb and Cal learned about hard work, haying, raising sheep, the freedom to explore, and never to play in a wagon full of freshly harvested grain. It was also on the farm that Milt transformed an old chicken coop into a woodshop, which fostered his love of woodworking. Family vacations centered around camping and many adventures were had exploring the upper Midwest with the “little red camper” in tow. One of his great joys was to take his grandkids on trips and the annual fishing trip to Canada every June was a long tradition.
After retiring from teaching and farming, Milt and Meredith moved to Annandale, Minnesota to be closer to the kids and grandkids. The next 20 years were filled with watching the grandkids, Sean, Calisha, Connor, and Celeste perform in plays and concerts, play sports, and dance line/cheerleading. He was always happiest when he was with his grandkids or telling stories about them. He always had a funny story to tell and the time to share it. Throughout his life, Milt was an active member and volunteer at various local churches. He enjoyed woodworking, and fishing. While Milt did not sew, he was as proud of Meredith’s quilting projects as if he had made them himself.
Milt is survived by his wife, Meredith; son, Cal (Denise) Froehlich; daughter, Deb (Marty) Essen; grandkids, Sean (Heather) Essen, Calisha (Nick) Revoir, Connor Froehlich, and Celeste (Christopher) Strand; great-grandkids, Fiona Essen and Collette Revoir; sister, Carolyn Salo; and many nieces and nephews. Milt was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Marilyn Stauber; and brother, James Froehlich.
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