Agnes Evelyn Frederic obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Agnes Evelyn Frederic

February 16, 1919 - November 26, 2016

Obituary


Agnes Evelyn (Wunderley) Frederic
1919-2016
Hers Truly Was A Wonderful Life

It was 1919. Woodrow Wilson was our 28th president, Felix the Cat made his debut in a newspaper cartoon, Boston suffered the Great Molasses Flood, and on February 16, Agnes Evelyn was the eighth daughter born to Anna and Willie Edgar Wunderley. Little Aggie experienced tragedy early. Her father died when she was just four years old, but not before her mother had finally given him a baby boy, and Aggie's beloved younger brother, Willie aka Bill.

Weathering The...

Agnes Evelyn (Wunderley) Frederic
1919-2016
Hers Truly Was A Wonderful Life

It was 1919. Woodrow Wilson was our 28th president, Felix the Cat made his debut in a newspaper cartoon, Boston suffered the Great Molasses Flood, and on February 16, Agnes Evelyn was the eighth daughter born to Anna and Willie Edgar Wunderley. Little Aggie experienced tragedy early. Her father died when she was just four years old, but not before her mother had finally given him a baby boy, and Aggie's beloved younger brother, Willie aka Bill.

Weathering The Great Depression, Aggie's older sisters and their husbands moved back to the family home and worked odd jobs. Aggie and her brother, Bill, would tell stories of a county truck delivering saltines and peanut butter every Friday. The Boy Scouts brought them a decorated Christmas tree one year. Little did the scouts know, no matter how poor the Wunderley family was, they always had the best looking Christmas tree in town. So, after thanking the kind-hearted scouts, Aggie and a couple of her sisters carried the tree across the street to Moanie who, with even less means than the Wunderley clan, had to wait until the day after Christmas to get her tree.

Aggie graduated from Bell High School in 1937. She was popular, fun, and athletic. She married and had her first baby, Tommy, in 1938. World War II began and, like most women, she did what she could to help. She served Coca Cola to servicemen on leave at the Trianon Ballroom in South Gate. To every serviceman, she would pose the same question, "Are you in the Navy?" You see, Aggie's little brother, Bill, was a sailor on the USS Caldwell and she missed him greatly. One day, as Bill was in the torpedo room heading to what would become known as the Battle of Tarawa, he received a call to come up to the bridge. He knew that couldn't be good, but he did as he was ordered. When he arrived at the bridge, he saw a ship coasting nearby with a Naval officer yelling through a megaphone. "Are you Bill Wunderley?" Bill hollered back, "Yes, Sir, I am." "Your sister, Aggie, wanted me to tell you that she says hi." That was Aggie. You loved her so much that you would stop the war just to deliver a "hi" in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Agnes also worked at Owens-Illinois during the war and represented the company in the women's leagues for basketball and for softball. She wasn't a professional, as in League of Their Own, but she definitely was good enough. Her photograph covered the sports page of the Los Angeles Examiner on August 8, 1943, while she led O-I's softball team to victory. She would later reveal that she was the shortest player on O-I's basketball team and the highest scorer.
She divorced her first husband and met Tony Frederic (previously Federico/Frederico) at a dance hall during the war. He danced his way into her heart and in 1943, Aggie married Tony. Exactly three years to the day of her marriage, Agnes gave birth to her second child, Peggy Lynn. Peggy was intrigued by the Catholic religion and, in fourth grade, she introduced Agnes to Our Lady of the Rosary Church. Agnes converted to Catholicism, enrolled her kids in Catholic school, and embarked on 21 years of volunteerism at Our Lady of the Rosary Elementary School in Paramount and at Pius X High School in Downey.

Agnes worked at Safeway, wrapping cheese, while Tony tried his hand at different jobs - a Fuller Brush Salesman, a Culligan Man, an insurance salesman, and others long forgotten. Agnes gave birth to her second son, Gary, in 1951. The family bought a home in Hollydale and eventually moved Agnes's ailing mother in with them. Agnes loved and cared for her mom but couldn't stand the thought of her kids taking care of her in her old age. She made her kids promise that they would never move her into their home.

Unintentionally, Agnes was a pioneer in her day. At the age of forty (way before it was fashionable), she gave birth to her final child, Deborah Maria, in 1959. Around 1964, Agnes and Tony sold their Hollydale home, borrowed money from a family friend, Henry Van Ruiten, and purchased a flower shop operating out of the garage of a home in Bellflower. Agnes was now CFO, COO, and chief bucket-scrubber at her own business. She and Tony made a go of it and in 1967, they had saved enough money again to buy a home, this time in Paramount. Unfortunately, working side-by-side took its toll on Agnes's and Tony's marriage and, in 1975, they divorced.

Agnes once again found herself without any money. She put in an application at Sears Catalog and started all over again at minimum wage. She turned out to be such a stellar employee that, when JC Penneys opened its catalog department, they recruited Agnes away from Sears. Agnes loved working at Penneys and would show up on her days off to help the girls "bin" the orders for pickup. The bins reached as high as 20 feet and the girls (half Agnes's age) hated hauling the heavy appliances and TVs up the ladder to get them in the proper bin. So, Agnes gladly would do it, even on her days off.

Agnes and Tony reconciled and he rented a room from her for a while. She retired from Penneys at the age of 72 and helped care for her younger grandchildren because, unlike herself, her kids couldn't seem to manage everything on their own. She enjoyed watching baseball and golf, working the crossword puzzle in the daily paper, and snacking on York mints and sliced Milky Ways. She cried over every card, every school-project gift, and every photo of a grandkid given to her. She was adored by all her kids' friends. At the age of 86, Agnes fell and broke her hip. The family worried that she was a goner, but, to no one's surprise, she had an amazing comeback. Agnes lived just shy of 98 years. She had a truly wonderful life and leaves behind a legacy of love.

All of her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren know, without a doubt, that she loved each and every one them. Each believes to this day that he or she is secretly her favorite. (She made all promise not to tell the other ones.) Agnes's family will miss her strength, resilience, and unconditional love. Agnes is preceded in death by her parents: Anna and Willie Wunderley; sisters, Katie, Mildred, Edna and an unnamed twin, Esta May, Vera, and Margie; her brother, Bill; her ex-husband Tony Frederic; her granddaughter, Kiley Frederic; and her niece, Linda (Wunderley) Reitz. She is survived by her son, Tom Frederic, and wife Lana; her daughter, Peggy Kollen, and husband Richard; her son, Gary Frederic, and wife Laurie; her daughter, Deborah Parker and husband Brian; her nephew, Michael Wunderley, and wife Letty; her nephew Richard Kearns; her niece Roberta Adcox; her 12 grandchildren; 20 great grandchildren; a great niece; 2 great nephews; and 8 great great grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, please donate in Agnes' memory to Our Lady of the Rosary Elementary School c/o Mrs. Vanessa Rivas, 14813 S. Paramount Blvd.,
Paramount, CA 90723.
Viewing at White's Mortuary, 9903 Flower St, Bellflower, CA 90706 on Wednesday, November 30 from 6-8pm
Funeral at Our Lady of the Rosary Church, 14815 S. Paramount Blvd., Paramount, CA 90723 on Thursday, December 1 at 11am