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Published: Sunday, 11/20/2005

Activist headed Henry Co. Democratic women

NAPOLEON - Evelyn I. Freet, 88, a former president of the Henry County Democratic Women and an avid community volunteer, died of a heart attack Friday in St. Luke's Hospital.

Ms. Freet was president of the Henry County Democratic Women and was on the Henry County Board of Elections for many terms during the last 30 years.

Ms. Freet, who was a deputy registrar for the Henry County Bureau of Motor Vehicles in the mid-1960s, also was chairman of Napoleon's civil service commission from 1976 to 1988.

"She was a true politician. If she could've run for president of the United States, she would've," her son, Frederick Freet, said. "She cared about anybody she possibly could. She was a helping hand."

A Hudson, Mich., native, Ms. Freet, whose maiden name was Hamden, graduated from Adrian High School about 1935 and married Burton H. Freet of Adrian in 1937. They moved to Napoleon in 1959. Mr. Freet died in 1988.

Ms. Freet volunteered for numerous organizations, including the Henry County Visitors Commission, where she was a past board member; Henry County AARP as a member and past president, and Henry County Hospital Auxiliary, as past president. She also was a "gray lady" for the former Heller Memorial Hospital and then for Henry County Hospital, volunteer posts she held for 36 years until she fell ill several days ago.

Other memberships included the Napoleon Elks Lodge 929, of which she was a past ladies' president; Bert Taylor American Legion Post 300 Auxiliary, as secretary; Luther R. Kolbe VFW Post 8218 Auxiliary, and American Red Cross Disaster Team.

She also enjoyed playing cards, visiting friends, and traveling.

Surviving are sons, Frederick Freet and Richard Freet; daughters, Patricia Barton and Deborah Wachtman; brother, Robert Hamden; sisters, Myrna Etter and Phyllis Hargrave; nine grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday in St. Paul United Methodist Church, Napoleon. The body will be in the Walker Mortuary, Napoleon, after 2 p.m. tomorrow

The family suggests tributes to St. Paul United Methodist Church, the American Red Cross, or a charity of the donor's choice.

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