Amber Sue Freimark, 60, of Spring Valley, died Nov. 23, 2022, at Spring Valley Living Memory Care.
Amber was born Jan. 27, 1962, in Rochester to Erhard and Frances Freimark. She was welcomed home to rural Wykoff by her siblings, Avery, Allerd and Aleta.
Although born with Down syndrome, Amber’s family — and especially her mother — made sure she had every opportunity to thrive. And thrive she did.
She was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Wykoff. She attended and graduated from the special education program at Lanesboro High School. Growing up, Amber took piano lessons every Saturday from Barb Mosher in Spring Valley.
As Amber’s parents aged, they wisely decided to move Amber into her own home in Wykoff, which she shared for several years with a friend who also had developmental disabilities. They received daily assistance from several people, but most importantly, longtime caregivers Rosie and Jodi. Amber took a minibus to jobs in Preston and Spring Valley for several years until her retirement.
Amber enjoyed competing in Special Olympics bowling and was awarded many trophies in the sport. She was also a longtime, avid fan of WWE wrestling. It was the love of that sport that earned her the nickname “Hollywood” among her bowling friends.
In more recent years, Amber became the world’s biggest fan of WWE wrestler “Big Dog” Roman Reigns and rarely missed the weekly wrestling “throwdown” on TV. Daytime game shows were another passion in her retirement. And she was always surrounded by books, papers, wordfind-magazines, coloring books and crayons. She loved colorful clothes, especially if they were Christmas-themed, and she was never without her trademark necklaces.
Amber was the highlight of many family holiday meals, never allowing a family picture to be taken without adding “rabbit ears” to someone’s image, even if it was her own. She also loved her annual “Ranger Ride” with her brother-in-law Ralph. And she never failed to talk Ralph into giving her a full-sized chocolate bar that she gobbled down before the meal. And oh my gosh, did she love cheesecake and her drink of choice, Diet Pepsi.
Another highlight of family Thanksgivings in recent years was singing “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Amber took her assigned line from that song: “Four calling birds,” very seriously, always drawing much appreciated laughs from the rest of the less-dedicated singers. She loved tickling her nieces’ kids when they were babies and calling them “little Butterballs.”
In 2019, Amber left her longtime home in Wykoff to live at Evergreens Assisted Living in Spring Valley. Due to dementia, she later moved into Memory Care.
Amber is survived by her sister, Aleta Capelle; nieces Autumn (Brad) Hoag and their daughters, Kennedy and Cadence and Amanda (Nils) Wahlander and their children, Isla and Anders; as well as several cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Erhard and Frances Freimark, her brothers, Avery and Allerd Freimark and her brother-in-law Ralph Capelle.
Funeral services for Amber will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Wykoff, with Pastor Michael Harman officiating. Burial will take place in the church cemetery. Visitation will be held from 10-11 a.m. on Monday at the church. Hindt Funeral Home in Spring Valley is handling arrangements.
The family wishes to thank everyone who touched and loved this beautiful soul though the years. She was a joy to many. A special thanks for the care and love given her at Spring Valley Living, both Evergreens and Memory Care.
Memorials are preferred to Fillmore County Developmental Achievement Center (DAC) in Preston; St. John’s Lutheran Church in Wykoff; any nonprofit organization that supports developmentally disabled individuals or to the donor’s choice.