Constance “Connie” Joan Fread Jelinek passed away peacefully at her home in Pequot Lakes on Friday, May 14, 2021. A joint graveside memorial service for Connie and Dick Jelinek will be held at 11 AM on Wednesday, May 19, at the Blooming Prairie Cemetery. A luncheon and time for fellowship will follow at Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church, rural Blooming Prairie.
Connie was born on October 17, 1936 in Manly, Iowa at her grandparents’ farm to Maurice and Mildred Fread. Connie was raised in Garner, Iowa until July 1951 when her parents and brothers, Roger and Gary relocated to Blooming Prairie, MN. She met Dick Jelinek when he delivered furniture to her parent’s home that summer. Connie graduated from Blooming Prairie High School in 1955. She worked for a year at the 1st National Bank in Blooming Prairie.
Dick and Connie married August 18, 1956. They spent 4 years in Newport, Rhode Island while Dick was in the US Navy. Connie worked for the YMCA while living in Newport. They returned to Blooming Prairie where she became a mother and housewife before returning to work at the 1st National Bank as a bookkeeper. Dick and Connie built a house and barn on a farm near Blooming Prairie where they raised beef cattle. They enjoyed camping and traveling in their various RVs over the years. They retired from farming and moved to Lake Smiley near Backus, MN. They spent 20 years in Welton, Arizona. They moved to Pequot Lakes about 8 years ago.
Connie enjoyed sewing and needlework. She designed and made both of her daughters’ wedding dresses. She was also busy with gardening and flowers.
Connie is survived by daughters, Ginger (Mark) Hoffman, Pequot Lakes and Tracey (Bob) Bengson, Litchfield; two grandchildren, Carley (Noah) Neuhaus, Eugene, Oregon and Kyle Hoffman, Rochester, MN; step grandchildren: Renae (Joe) Schlechter, Robin (Tim) Hoffmann, Robert Jr (Michele) Bengson and Bradley (Jackie) Bengson and their families. Other survivors include her sister-in-law, Harriet Fread; Dick’s siblings, Jon (Sandy) Jelinek, Jerilyn (Lyle) Noble; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and brothers, Roger Fread and Gary Fread.
Kline Funeral Home of Pequot Lakes, MN, assisted the family.