We love you and miss you so much, Mom!
  • 83 years old
  • Born on June 28, 1931 in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, United States.
  • Passed away on May 22, 2015 in Naperville, Illinois, United States.

Betty Gordon Fries, 83, passed peacefully from this life on May 22, 2015. She was born on June 28, 1931 to Dr. Roderick and Margaret (Stedman) Gordon in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Despite hard economic times, she and her sisters were raised with love, surrounded by cherry orchards in that charming Door County community. "B.G.", as she was affectionately called, attended Sturgeon Bay H.S. and was a cheerleader, member of the orchestra, pep club, and the varsity volleyball team. She graduated in 1949.

After completing secretarial school, Betty returned to Sturgeon Bay and met and married Don Fries, a WWII Navy officer who attended Marquette University and was stationed at the local shipyard. They settled in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and had eight children, born between 1954 and 1965. Betty devoted the early years of her life to loving her children and raising them to be kind, hardworking and independent men and women.

She began working outside the home in the 1970s and enjoyed successful careers at College of DuPage and Waste Management. Following her divorce and faced with an empty nest, Betty felt a strong call to return home to her beloved Sturgeon Bay. She retired, packed up her things, rented a small apartment and lived a quiet life with grace and dignity.

She would talk to anyone about how much she loved Door County, but her later years were marred by cognitive issues. When she could no longer live alone due to Alzheimer's, she returned to the Chicago area and was lovingly cared for by her daughter and son-in-law, Lisa and John Wilson, to whom the family is forever grateful.

Betty was preceded in death by her former husband (Don), her mother and father, her stepmother Mabel Gordon, her sister and brother-in-law (Jean and Dick Derenne) and a grandchild (Jeff Seidler). She is survived by two sisters: Georgiana Bourgouin (Joe) and Mary Gordon; two half-sisters: Nancy (Phil) Roberts and Judy (Lew) Juadis; eight children: Cindy Seidler (Ken); Peter (Mary Pat); Tim (Carol); Lisa Wilson (John); Patty Holmes (Greg); Robert (Laurie); Mark (Curt) and Louanne; sixteen grandchildren: Tim (Madison) and Sara Seidler; Christopher, Patrick and Jamie Fries; Lauren and Douglas Fries; Beth, Kelly and Johnny (Nikki) Wilson; Brandon (Marissa) Holmes; and Aubrey (Rick) Vargas, Lane (Alexi), Kelsey, Jasmine and Abigail Fries; four great-grandchildren: Cohen and Sloan Seidler; Noah Vargas and Maxwell Wilson.

A graveside committal service will take place at the Bayside Cemetery (http://dcbaysidecemetery.com/location.html), 3890 Bay Shore Drive, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235 at 12:30PM on Monday, June 8th, followed by a luncheon in the Bayside Cemetery Chapel from 1-3PM to celebrate Betty’s life.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be considered for the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (http://www.wai.wisc.edu).

You can see a narrative and pictures of Betty's life and legacy on Shutterfly (https://inmemoryofbettygordonfries.shutterfly.com/).


Posted by P&G Holmes on 28th June 2016
Happy Birthday Maude. We left you some coffee. Miss you. Love P & G
Posted by P&G Holmes on 30th May 2015
When Maude lived with us for a time in Glen Ellyn, we would have long conversations into the night about her adventures at Waste Management, a "start-up" company that no one had ever heard of. Her passion and commitment were obvious as she helped them step toward the giant organization they eventually became. Maude loved being part of all of that and I will always remember her for the honest, emotional stories about her great days at a company that she helped build. g

Leave a Tribute