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Marilyn R. Frens died on July 22 at her home in Florence, Alabama. She was 90. A memorial service will be held in the chapel at Woodmont Baptist Church, Florence, on Sunday, August 4, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. The Rev. Chad Hess will officiate. The family will receive visitors in the chapel for one hour prior to the service. A private entombment will follow at North Wood United Methodist Church.
Mrs. Frens was born in Detroit, Michigan in April 1929 and was adopted by Derk and Jennie Alkema in 1932. In 1949, she met Raymond Frens, while they were both working at a grocery store in Muskegon, Michigan. They married in January 1951, two weeks before Mr. Frens left to serve in the Korean War. Over the years, the couple lived in Ludington, Michigan, Miami, Florida, Metairie, Louisiana, and Florence, Alabama.
Mrs. Frens worked as a secretary for the chairman of the music department at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and then at John Calvin Presbyterian Church in Metairie. “I like working with people and helping them,” she said in an interview with The Times-Picayune in 1987. Her work often extended beyond typical secretarial tasks. “Sometimes you have to do plumbing,” she laughed. “Then there are times when you have to be a good listener. I’ve even worked in the nursery when the nursery worker didn’t show up. I know some secretaries might take offense to this, but I see this all as part of my work” and “I have a sense of fulfillment in the work I do.”
In addition to her husband of 68 years, Mrs. Frens is survived by two daughters, Laurie Clement (Chris) and Cynthia Ferson (David); five grandchildren, Corrie Lambert (Casey), Jennie Moe (Timmy), Chris Ferson (Bessy), Martha Ferson, and Russell Ferson; and seven great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alabama Baptist Children’s Home in Decatur.