Frieda Birkle

by Jared Jost | September 1, 2017 11:49 am

Hillsboro – Frieda Birkle, 95, passed away August 31, 2017 at Salem Home in Hillsboro.  She was born January 19, 1922 Rural Lehigh to George and Hattie (Guhr) Martens.  She married Jake Birkle December 13, 1941 in Lehigh.  Survivors include: daughters, Betty Medley and Rich Schlehuber of Hillsboro, Barbara and Richard Ollek of Wichita, Patty and Tom Mitchell of Punta Gorda, Florida; 7 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren, and 16 great great grandchildren.  Preceded in death by her husband, Jake Birkle in 1984 and 11 siblings.  Celebration of Life Service 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at First Mennonite Church in Hillsboro officiated by Pastor Susan Jantzen.  Family will receive guests from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday at Jost Funeral Home in Hillsboro.  Interment at Lehigh Mennonite Cemetery.  Memorials to the Church or Salem Home in care of Jost Funeral Home P.O. Box 266 Hillsboro, KS 67063.  Online condolences at

Life Sketch Taken from the Funeral Bulletin

Frieda was born near Lehigh, Kansas on January 19,1922 to George and Hattie Martens and went to meet Jesus on August 31, 2017 at the age of 95 years, 7 months and 13 days.

Frieda was one of 12 children and at the time of her death was the only one of the 12 still living.

She attended grade school at a country school (Waldeck) near Lehigh and after completing the 8th grade she did what many children in that era did. She stayed home and helped with the many chores of keeping a large family functioning. With eight brothers, Jake, George, Herman, Alvin, Elmer, Albert, Harvey and Hank Martens and three sisters, Anna Smith, Linda Covey, and Elda Pschigoda, there was always plenty to do for each of the siblings.

On December 13, 1941 she married Jake Birkle and they lived in and around Lehigh throughout their married life. Not to be outdone by Frieda’s large family, Jake was one of 16 children. He preceded her in death on September 30, 1984 and it was at that time she made the decision to sell their property in Lehigh and move to Hillsboro where she lived at the time of her death.

Frieda often spoke of her love for her three daughters saying that next to Jesus and her husband Jake, the most important thing in her life was those three girls, Betty Medley, (Rich Schlehuber) of Hillsboro, Barbara Ollek (Richard) of Wichita, Kansas and Patty (Tom Mitchell) of Punta Gorda Florida.

Not to disappoint, these families also grew and provided Frieda with 7 grandchildren, Denise Kostelac, Rick Medley, Terry Medley, Robyn Gruenwald, Rich Ollek, Ron Ollek and Chris Mitchell. These grandchildren then produced 17 great grandchildren, Russel Medley, Carol Fickes, A.J. Medley, Avery Kostelac, Colby Kostelac, Tasha Kostelac, Jake Medley, Abigail Medley, Brooke Medley, Shanda Thornberg, Emily Schrant, Heather Knight, Rebeka Stanley, Alyssia Andra, Ryan Ollek, Andrew Ollek and Holden Ollek.

But wait…we’re not done, Frieda also had 16 great, great, grandchildren, Annabelle Medley, Bennette Medley, Adylynn Fickes, Jace Fickes, Carson Schrant, Emmett Schrant, Greyson Schrant, Hayley Knight, Lexey Gruenwald, Braxton Stanley, Ryker Stanley, Derek Ollek, Liaden Andra, Conner Andra, Carter Andra, Logan Andra.

During Frieda’s lifetime she held several jobs but the most important one she had was her love for helping others. Until she entered the nursing home, it was not uncommon to see her driving someone to the doctor in Wichita, or helping someone put together an estate sale or cleaning someone’s home when they were ill and the list goes on and on. She just loved helping other people and she was good at it.

Another pride and joy of hers was her love of her brothers and sisters. She prominently and proudly displayed a picture of her five brothers in uniform, serving in the military during World War II. She was just as proud to say that all five of them returned safely from the war and served their country with distinction.

It is safe to say that Frieda Birkle left a large footprint on this earth and if you listen closely, you might just hear her talking to Jesus asking how she can help someone in Heaven.




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