Leone Betty (Vanderford) Frenzen was born on a farm in Nemaha County, Nebrask, on March 11, 1909, to John Riley and Bettie Elizabeth (Henning) Vanderford. She was the fourth of seven children and the oldest girl. She died peacefully in her home on July 24, 2012, at the age of 103 years, four months and 14 days.
Leone attended Schocky School through fourth grade. The family then moved to a farm 4 1/2 miles south of Peru after her fourth grade year. Leone graduated from Peru High School in 1926. She attended Peru State Teachers College where she enjoyed playing the piano and girls basketball. Leone graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Peru State in 1929.
Leone came to Benkelman in the fall of 1929 to teach high school at the age of 20, where she met Henry Frenzen. They married in Crescent, Iowa, on Nov. 11, 1930. They lived in Benkelman where their two children were born, Bettye Anne and John Henry.
Leone was a homemaker until World War II, when teachers were scarce. She returned to teaching high school English and home economics from 1943 to 1946. She then clerked at the local J. C. Penney store and the Skogmos store. Beginning 1967, she spent several months each year for five years sharing the care of her mother in Auburn, Nebraska, with other siblings. After that, Henry and Leone enjoyed traveling around the United States and Canada, until Henry's death in 1978.
Leone always enjoyed keeping her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, working in her garden and yard, doing crossword puzzles, watching game shows, and playing the piano. She especially enjoyed growing flowers and having bouquets for the church altar from early spring through late fall. She and her friend, Florence Andersen, loved trying new recipes that their families enjoyed. She was encouraged to bring and share her lemon meringue pie on any and all occasions,
Leone joined Zion Lutheran Church in Benkelman in 1944. She was a Sunday School teacher, choir member, Women of the Church member, holding the offices of presidentand secretary for several years. She thoroughly enjoyed the Senior Center during the years she was able to attend and appreciated the Meals on Wheels for many years.
Those preceeding her in death were her parents; her husband, Henry, in 1978; her son, John, in 2007; son-in-law, Jack Pursley in 2010, sister, Irene Johnson and husband, Gordon Johnson; brothers, Austin and wife Connie, Roy and wife, Nell; Everett and wife, Nora; Sterling Vanderford; sisters-in-law and husbands, Emma and True Howard, Suzanne and Lloyd Hall, and Marie and Troy Knapp.
Surviving her is her daughter, Bettye Pursley of Benkelmam; granddaughters, Vicki League of McCook, Nebaska and Darci Newman (Mark) of Andover, Maine; Christy Frenzen of Ashland, Oregon, and Lindsay Frenzen of Lakewood, Colorado; grandsons, Ron Pursley ( Kathy) of Benkelman, Gary Pursley of Greeley, Colorado, and Kevin Pursley (Lynn) of Abilene, Texas; daughter-in-law, Sharon Frenzen of Lakewood, Colorado; sister, Mary Alyce Mullens of Beatrice, Nebraska and sister-in-law, Mildred Vanderford of Auburn, Nebraska; great-grandchildren, Jake (Tracy) Powell, Jasmine (Danny) Hogan, Kaitlin (Buck) Haag, Erik and Alex Pursley; Daniel Vaughn Trevor and Nicholas Newman; two great-great-grandsons, Kelson and Finley Hogan, and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral service will be at 11 a.m. (MT), Friday, at the Zion Lutheran Church of Benkelman, Nebraska with the Rev. George Matthews officiating. Interment will follow at the Benkelman Cemetery, Benkelman, Nebraska.
Viewing will be on day of the service only.
Memorials may be given to the Zion Lutheran Church of Benkelman or the Dundy County Senior Center.
Forch Funeral Chapel of Benkelman in charge of arrangements.