A Tribute to Irene LaFrenz

On March 19, 2003 Mrs. LaFrenz will be 100 years old.

"I had a nice afternoon yesterday, interviewing mother for the Class of '56 website. I'm not sure she understand what a website is, but she was pleased with the attention. Here are the basic bio details:"  Martha (LaFrenz) Kay   January 7., 2002

Irene Froman was graduated as valedictorian from LHS in 1921, then went on to be among the first women admitted to William Jewel College, from which she graduated three years later in 1924.

She first taught math at Independence, where she lived around the corner from the Truman Home. Then from 1927 until 1932, she taught English and mostly math at LHS.

She married Daniel Vern LaFrenz in 1932 and moved with him to Dover and later Miami, MO, where he was a teacher and coach. Martha Rose's first home was in Miami. The LaFrenz's moved back to Liberty when Vern was called to teach in the Navy Flight School at WJC. That job turned into a lifelong career for him and kept the family in Liberty until Vern and Irene retired.

As soon as Martha Rose entered Miss Coffman's first grade, Irene began teaching again at LHS and was for many years the only math teacher; so her influence was felt by freshmen in Algebra I, sophomores in Geometry, juniors in Algebra II and Trig, seniors in college prep math.

Irene's extra curricular activities included sponsorship (with Kenneth Moore) of the National Honor Society and the senior class. She remembers Thom Weddle as president of the class of '56. She and Vern accompanied the senior class on their trip to Branson (that was before the Andy Williams and the rest of the world discovered Branson) and remembers the sunburns with which Martha and Larry Elliott came home to Baccalaureate. Irene was for many years the faculty editor of the Spectator, and she remembers Sharon Rotsch as the excellent student editor her senior year. Irene has respectful memories of Mr. Paluska, the principal she was working for in 1956.

Irene retired in the 60's and devoted herself to church work, women's clubs, and gardening. She and Vern moved to Danville to be closer to Martha in 1995. She now resides at the Hawthorne Inn, 3220 Independence Drive, Danville, IL 61832.

Memories of Mrs. LaFrenz From 2002 Birthday