Armella Frances Haverkamp Freeman, 93, passed away Monday, February 20, 2023 at the Mission at Castle Rock in Green River, WY.
Armella was born on the family farm on July 1, 1929 in Kelly, Kansas. She was the first child of Lawrence and Matilda Haverkamp. She attended schools in Kelly, graduating with the class of 1947. Armella didn’t want to become a farmer or a farmer’s wife. She entered a nursing program at a nearby hospital where she became an RN. Armella was the first in her family to earn a post-secondary degree.
Armella began her career working in hospitals in Nebraska and Kansas. After her father refused to co-sign a loan for a car, Armella and her friend Julie hopped into Julie’s car and drove down the Lincoln Highway to Pocatello, Idaho where Julie was hired as a teacher and Armella found employment as a nurse.
Shortly after their arrival, Julie and Armella decided to splurge and went to a supper club for dinner. That night, Armella met Ken Freeman. Ken had recently bought a house and he was short on cash and food. Ken, and his roommate, devised a plan to go hunting for deer without a license in their suit and ties. Being unsuccessful poachers and dressed for success, they too went to the supper club and the romance began.
Armella married Kenneth M. Freeman, in Kelly Kansas on September 22, 1952. They made their home in Pocatello, Idaho. Armella spent 6 months converting Ken’s bachelor pad into a family residence and decided to return to work. Ken declared that his wife didn’t have to work and she wasn’t going to work. After settling that argument with her husband, Armella worked at several nursing positions until their son John was born. Then, she became a full-time mother and wife.
Ken’s engineering career took them to Salt Lake City where daughter Tricia was born. They moved to south-eastern Idaho where daughters Susan and Mary Jean arrived to complete the family. The Freeman family spent 7 years in California. In 1971, they moved to Ken’s home town of Rock Springs, Wyoming where Armella watched her children graduate from high school. Armella liked to tell anyone who would listen that all four of her children earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming. Armella had resumed her nursing career until she retired in 1991.
Armella enjoyed spending her time camping, sewing, China painting, stitching needle art, and hiking. She was an excellent seamstress making fashionable clothing for herself and her daughters. She also enjoyed reading, playing cards, solving crossword puzzles and above all else being with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In 1999, Ken and Armella became snowbirds spending winters in Arizona in their park model trailer. Armella continued to be a snowbird even after Ken’s death in May of 2001.
Survivors include her son John L. Freeman and wife Theresa of Green River, WY; daughters Susan Freeman and husband Barry Reher of Colorado Springs, CO, Mary Jean Penner and husband Gary of Gillette, WY; brother Larry Haverkamp (Lucille) of Kansas; sisters Rosalyn Hermesh, Constance Koelzer (Steve) also of Kansas; brother-in law Lowell Merrell of Rock Springs and sister-in-law Marcina Haverkamp in Kansas. Grandchildren are Kenneth, Joann, Lynn, Jake, Michael, Matthew, Sean, James, Julianne, Amy, Bryce, Blake; great-grandchildren Dylan, Lyla, Conner, Calvin, Stella, Penelope, Demi, and Elizabeth.
She was preceded in death by her: grandparents, parents, her husband Kenneth, daughter Tricia Colpitts, son-in-law Leonard Colpitts, brothers Cletus and Lynn Haverkamp, sister-in law Rita Haverkamp and brother-in-law Fred Hermesh.
Services will be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, May 6, 2023 at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, 116 Broadway St, Rock Springs, WY.
Condolences for the family can be left at www.foxfh.com.