Freda Marie Wright, affectionately known as Mom, Nana and GG, was born in Springfield, Missouri to the union of George Wilson and Margaret (Maggie) Givehand on March 3, 1936. She was a lifelong Christian attending Morning Star Baptist Church (Kansas City) and later Second Baptist Church (Kansas City) where she was active in church ministry including playing piano, working in children’s ministry, singing in the choir, and serving in the Willing Workers club. Freda understood firsthand the importance of education, graduating salutatorian from Lincoln High School in Springfield, MO. Upon graduation, she was the first African American, along with her sister Betty Scott (nee Thompson) and two other young women, to be granted admission to Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University) in Springfield, Missouri. Freda continued her education in Minnesota two years later receiving a certificate to work as a lab technician. Not afraid to be independent and a trailblazer, Freda was one of few African Americans in her field and was the only to work at an American Indian reservation in Minnesota and South Dakota at the time. Returning to Kansas City, Freda worked for Queen of the World Hospital and later Baptist Medical Center where she retired after more than 35 years of service. Freda’s deep faith was evident in many aspects of her life, but most especially in her love for her husband, Wendell Wright whom she married on November 22, 1963 and in the love for her three daughters, Candace Marie Thompson, Cynthia Ann Allen (Donald), Wendellyn Sue Perez (Michael), eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren. On September 6, 2020 in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, Freda went to be with the Lord where she was met by those who preceded her in death—her parents, her uncle James Givehand, her husband Wendell, brother Robert L. Wade (Vivian), sisters Mable Thomas and Beatrice Scott (Buford), and grandson Xavier Perez. Freda is survived by her sister, Betty A. Scott of Blue Springs, MO, her three daughters, eight grandchildren, four great grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews, and many family and friends.
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