On September 14, 2022, Luella Bernardine (Guns) Froelich, age 102 of Bellevue, passed away peacefully from a heart attack and reunited with her loving husband Wencil. She was born February 20, 1920, at home in Kaukauna, at only 3.5 pounds to Albert “Al” and Henrietta “Harriet” (Vanden Langenberg) Guns, who fed her barley water through an eyedropper until she could thrive. And thrive she did!
As a teen and the oldest girl in the family, Luella cared for her relatives’ small children when a new baby was born into the family. Later her parents allowed her to work at St. Vincent Hospital where she learned how to make a perfect hospital bed corner, a technique she taught her three girls.
On the happiest day of her life, Luella married Wencil Froelich September 28, 1940, at St. Philip the Apostle Church in Green Bay. Together they raised six children on their Bellevue farm. Life was not easy, especially the years after the barn fire, but Luella persevered, getting through it and putting all in God’s hands. She was an excellent homemaker; she taught us to tie shoelaces, to garden, to share, to pray, and to value hard work and play.
Lou was a founder and general leader of the Junior Jets 4-H Club for 20 years, positively influencing the lives of hundreds of youths. She was an active member of St. Bernard Catholic Church, honored to be President of the Rosary & Altar Society. She was involved in several community organizations, notably being the tireless assistant to her husband, who was Bellevue Town Chairman for 16 years. Among her many achievements, Lou was recognized as Brown County Homemaker of the Year in 2010. Her family received the Great American Family Award in 1983.
Traveling during their retirement with her husband, family, and friends was a highlight of her life, especially a month in London, England with daughter Jeanne. Lou joined the Woodside golf league and enjoyed making new friends and the social time along with the game.
The last nine years she lived at Bellevue Retirement Community, joyfully attending Mass every Saturday with a special treat – seeing her two nieces, Donna Loritz (pianist) and Barb Junio (organist). Lou appreciated the many friendships made with the residents and staff at BRC. Her hobbies included Sheepshead, Cribbage, coloring, word searches, bocce ball, bird watching and tending her plants. (Yes, Lou had a green thumb!) Lou also loved visits with family and friends. Weekly she could count on seeing her dear friend and hairdresser, Marlyce Kaiser.
Survivors include children: Jerry & Judy Froelich, Jeanne & Myles Belke, Richard & Paula Froelich, Steve & Lori Froelich, Cheryl “Cheri” & Bill Chaudoir and Sue & Brad Bessert; sixteen grandchildren: Denise Baeten, David Froelich, Becky & Frank Gallo, Robert & Jodi Belke, Julie & Jim Lamack, Chad & Jody Froelich, Val & Jack Mlnarik, Gregg & Sara Froelich, Marty & Mandy Froelich, Charlie & Lauren Froelich, Johnny & Lindsay Froelich, Michelle Chaudoir & Lanh Nguyen, Dana & Gabe Mattingly, Kristin & Bryan Howard, Holly & Alex Edwin, and Ben & Natalie Bessert; 41 great-grandchildren with one on the way; her dear sister, Carol Brice, brother, Jim & Sally Guns, sister-in-law, Marilyn Guns; nieces and nephews – all whom she loved and cherished.
Lou was preceded in death by her husband Wencil, who passed on August 4, 2011; her parents; in-laws, Charles and Margaret (Kustka) Froelich and recently her grandson-in-law, Mike Baeten. Lou was also preceded in death by siblings & their spouses: Ray & Arleen Guns, Isabel & Rich Puyleart, Gordy & Joyce Guns, Ursula & Ray Puyleart, Bob Guns, Vernie & Don Delaruelle, and brother-in-law Ron Brice. She was also preceded in death by her sisters-in-law & brothers-in-law: Benny Froelich, Albert & Regina Froelich, Emma & Max Koehler, Joe & Ruth Froelich, Eleanor Heimerl, Agnes (Tony Manders and Don Simons), Mary & Johnny Schweppe, Dorothy & Frank Brown, Ceil & Don Vanden Langenberg, and Norbert & Dee Froelich, as well as nieces and nephews.
Friends may call at the Proko-Wall Funeral Home, 1630 E. Mason St. on Thursday, September 22, from 4:00-7:00 pm. The evening will close with a parish wake service at 7:00 pm. Visitation will continue Friday, September 23, at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 2040 Hillside Lane, from 9:00-10:15 am. There will be an opportunity to pray the Rosary in Lou’s honor in the day chapel at 9:45am. Funeral Mass 10:30 am Friday at the church with Rev. Mark VanderSteeg, Rev. Dave Pleier and Rev. Tony Birdsall concelebrating. Her final resting place is Allouez Chapel Mausoleum. Online condolences may be sent to Lou’s family at www.prokowall.com.
Lou was very kind and quick with a smile for everyone, even on the last day of her life. Her final words were, “I love you all!”
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the Bellevue Retirement Community caregivers who provided warm and loving care to Mom. And thank you to family and friends who remembered her with frequent cards, flowers, prayers, and visits.
In lieu of floral expressions a memorial fund has been established in Lou’s name for Our Lady of Good Help or St. John’s Ministries.