July 5, 1929 - September 28, 2013 SHAWNEE
Freda Belle Lyday-Dimpel was born on July 5, 1929, the middle child of Pearl and Lilburn Denney of Prague, Oklahoma, who owned and operated a local grocery store. She graduated from Prague High School in 1947, where she was a Red Devil cheerleader. She attended Garden Grove Baptist Church and sang alto as part of a quartet at community churches and other events. After high school, in search of a career and her independence, she moved to Shawnee, Oklahoma, where she landed a secretarial job at the Shawnee Milling Company. Once in Shawnee, she met and married Don Lyday, and they had three daughters, Terri, Cindi, and Kelli. She tackled her role as wife and mother with joy, excelled at everything, from assisting her husband in his electrical business to chaperoning school proms, hosting the ladies church auxiliary club, and even designing and sewing clothes for her three girls. Once her daughters were older, she and her husband opened Lyday's Lighthouse, a retail lighting fixture showroom that catered to individual home owners and residential and commercial builders in Shawnee and surrounding cities. Freda, along with her eldest daughter, Terri, ran the successful business for more than twenty-five years, all while still being Mom to her three busy daughters. She was a member of the local Garden Club and volunteered at the Shawnee Rodeo and local Salvation Army. Her life throughout was filled with family, friends, and extensive travel, both in the U.S. and abroad. She was an adventurous young woman, mastering the art of water skiing well before it was a widely known sport and was first in line to embrace the thrill of parasailing in Mexico. She could gracefully two-step around any dance floor, and if you pleaded long enough, she would sit down at the home piano and bang out a hard-hitting rendition of some tune in "boogie woogie" style. In later years, the family lake house became the place for memorable weekends, where she made sure everyone felt welcomed, was well-fed, and had plenty of fun -- all done in style. Holidays at her home were special occasions and always meant there was a house full of family, themed decor, and a lavish food spread served in the formal dining room with all of her finest table settings. Freda's radiant smile was her trademark, and she was beautiful inside and out. Her top performing role was as mother, but a close second was that of an immensely proud grandmother to two granddaughters, to whom she could never refuse the hundreds of requests to bake her infamous "granny cake." After finding herself single after forty years of marriage, Freda, who was never lacking in friends, reached out to others who were in the same situation and joined their singles club, a group that dined, danced, laughed and traveled together while attempting to adapt to their new life's journey. She would later recount how incredibly lucky she was to have had that experience with such wonderful friends and that she would never forget all the fun-filled memories she had as a part of that group. Later, she married Al Dimpel, of San Clemente, California, and they were married for twenty years. When diagnosed with breast cancer
more then seventeen years ago, she never gave up, remained quietly brave and cheerful, traveling monthly to Houston, Texas, for treatments, always remarking how it allowed her the luxury of spending more time with her granddaughters who lived there. Even after surviving breast cancer, her bravery and zest for life was never stronger than in the last three years as she battled other health issues that were beyond her ability to overcome. No surprise to her family, she remained kind, thoughtful and positive throughout and died peacefully at her home surrounded by her family. She is survived by her husband, Al Dimpel, who resides in San Clemente, California; three daughters and sons-in-law: Terri and Mike Clover, of Shawnee, Oklahoma; Cindi and Brad Ellis, of Dallas, Texas; and Kelli and Tom Sax, of Houston, Texas; granddaughters: Sara and Mason Stevens, of Houston, Texas; as well as her brother and sister-in-law, Bobby and Betty Denney, of Prague, Oklahoma. She was preceded in death by her parents; and sister, Reba Nichols, of Prague, Oklahoma. The family will be at Walker Funeral Service Chapel on Monday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. to receive friends. There will be a public service at Walker Funeral Service on Tuesday, October 1 at 2 p.m. A private family burial will be held in advance of the service at Garden Grove Cemetery. The family asks that instead of flowers, donations be made to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston by going online to mdanderson.org
or to the Shawnee Salvation Army.