Fern  Frei

Fern Bartling Frei

Friday, November 28th, 1958 - Sunday, March 29th, 2020
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Fern Bartling Frei

Fern Bartling Frei, 61, of Potter, NE, passed away on March 29, 2020, at her home with her family by her side after a short battle with cancer. Per Fern’s request, no funeral will be held, but only a private family graveside service at Smyrna Cemetery north of Potter with Pastor Leon “Bud” Gillespie officiating. A Celebration of Life will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to NET Nebraska television at, A Night of Hope in Sidney, or a church of your choice. You may view Fern’s Book of Memories, leave condolences, photos and stories at
Gehrig-Stitt Chapel & Cremation Service is in charge of Fern’s care and funeral arrangements.
Fern Bartling was born November 30, 1958 in Sidney, NE, to Mary (Lovell) Bartling and the late Alvin Bartling. Fern was the sixth of seven children. Fern graduated as salutatorian from Lodgepole High School in 1977. Fern went to EWC in Torrington and then transferred to the University of Idaho pursuing her degree in botany with intentions of becoming a forest ranger. Upon returning back to Nebraska, she received her degree in cosmetology from WNCC in Sidney, and worked as a beautician for several years in Sidney and Scottsbluff.
It was in Sidney that Fern met her future husband Jerome Frei and on November 2, 1985, they were united in marriage at St. Patrick’s Church in Sidney, NE. They resided on the Frei farmstead north of Potter where she remained until the time of her passing. To this union, two children were born: Maggie and Jeff.
Fern was an exceptional wife and mother. She was always the first to help around the farm and loved being outdoors. She ran a successful craft business alongside raising her two children. She was infamous for her masterful garden, and prided herself in her zucchini growing and cooking skills and found a way to include it in every recipe! She loved to bake and worked on many sewing/quilting projects. Fern loved the mountains and could out fish everyone in the family! Fern was very knowledgeable about antiques, and garage sales and auctions were a favorite pastime. Fern helped establish two antique stores throughout her time in the Potter community, where she was an active and involved member. “The Farmer’s Wife” along Highway 30, and “A Collective Gathering,” which has been open for 16 years. She also worked at Security 1st crop insurance in Sidney for several years.
Survivors include her husband of 34 years Jerome; daughter Maggie (Luke) Doane of Seward; son Jeff of Potter, mother Mary Bartling of Bridgeport, brothers Allen (Jolene) Bartling of Lincoln, Bruce (Carol) Bartling of DeWitt, Galen (Jill) Bartling of Lodgepole, sisters Cheryl (Pat) Faimon of Lawrence, NE, Delma Bartling of Red Cloud, two grand-children Clara and Cade Doane, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Fern was preceded in death by her father, Alvin Bartling, and brother, Edwin Bartling.
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Service Details

Fern (Bartling) Frei, age 61 of Potter, NE passed away on March 29th. Private family graveside services were held in the Smyrna Cemetery north of Potter. Please join the family for a Celebration of Life, honoring Fern Frei on Saturday, August 8th for a come and go luncheon from 11:00 AM--2:00 PM at the Cheyenne County Fairgrounds, 10955 Lincoln Hwy, Sidney. Gehrig-Stitt Chapel & Cremation Service, LLC is assisting the family with the arrangements.


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Bryce Jorgenson

Posted at 09:03am
So sorry for your loss. I will keep the entire family in my prayers. Such wonderful memories of the entire family during my time in Potter. Take care!

Ann Grinbergs

Posted at 02:30pm
Remember when she was growing up to be a beautiful woman. Our prayers are with the family.

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