Jeana Barbara Friesen, age 79 years of Niles, Michigan, mother, grandmother, sister, baker, cook, and lighthouse fan died unexpectedly, but peacefully at 3:44 p.m. on Friday, October 22, 2021 in her recliner at her home following a week-long illness.
She was born on May 31, 1942 in Paw Paw, Michigan to Herbert C .and Letha A. (Loveland) Friesen, and was graduated from Paw Paw High School. She came to Niles in the 1960’s and was a production employee at the former Foret Plastics in Niles. She was later employed at the former Buchanan, Michigan plant of Gordon Plastic, Inc., and eventually retired after many years of employment at the South Bend, Indiana plant of PEI Genesis.
Jeana liked lighthouses – as many folks do – but she had visited every lighthouse on the coast of the lower peninsula of Michigan. She followed the formal tours offered at many lighthouses, and created her own “tours” at the less-welcoming facilities, sometimes using unconventional and un-sanctioned methods.
She was a great cook, and was well-known for her crockpot roast beef with carrots, potatoes, and onions, and her special comfort food recipe for mac-‘n’-cheese. She also enjoyed baking, especially Christmas cookies, but the focus of all of her baking and cooking was a display of love for her family.
Surviving family includes her son, Garrett Edward-Friesen Sallee (& his wife, Candy) of Niles; grandchildren, Vincent Sallee, Garrett Sallee, Jr. (& fiancée, Cassandra Rhodes), Emily Sallee, Zoey Sallee, and Sophia Sallee; and Jeana’s brother, Edward Smith of Florida.
The family of Jeana Friesen has gathered privately to share memories and honor her life. Contributions in memory of Jeana may be made to her favorite charity, Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, Tennessee, 38105, https://www.stjude.org/
Arrangements were made at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles. Online condolences may be left at:
Jeana’s childhood was challenging, sometimes including more institutions than family, but she persevered and used her 79 years well. She was a productive member of society, and appreciated the lighthouses perhaps in-part because they represent a strong guide to a safe harbor. Jeana loved her family, and provided a beautiful home that was a safe harbor for them.