Freta Toensing was born Addie Seaton in 1904 St. Louis, MO. Her mother was employed by Charles Drake Alexander, who adopted her (for $1 consideration) and changed her name to Freta Alexander. Freta married Gustave Dietrich Toensing in 1925.
Freta and I were pretty good friends while I was growing up. I could always count on her for a little cash for a date, or a shoulder to lean on when I felt down.
In 1925, a terrible tornado swept through Illinois, destroying homes along a track many miles long. At the time, Freta was a newlywed, riding the bus into St. Louis to see her husband Gus. When she arrived, she learned that her house had been destroyed by a tornado and all their belongings were gone. (A little research revealed that the Great Tornado of March 18, 1925 was the one she referred to. That tornado killed nearly 700 people in 3.5 hours.)
Because Gus was employed, the Red Cross would only give her two blankets and she said that they smelled so strongly of moth balls that she could not use them. I don't think she ever forgave the Red Cross.
Freta and Gustave
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