Friemel, Christine Cate
October 9, 1947-February 22, 2017
Christine Cate Friemel, a longtime resident of Fullerton, passed away unexpectedly, following surgery, on February 22, 2017, at the age of 69. Chris was born in Fullerton; a third generation member of the extended Cate family, realtors who sold homes and properties throughout the Sunny Hills area.
She attended elementary, middle school, and Sunny Hills High School before her family moved to Placentia in 1962, where she graduated from Valencia High School (1965). Following graduation, Chris attended Fullerton Junior College; then began work at Warner Lambert as the personal secretary to the Western Division Manager.
In June 1968 she married Larry Friemel, a Valencia classmate, who became her lifelong partner in multiple home remodels, hobby work, card games, and RV travel. After Warner Lambert, Chris headed the computer lab at Raymond School until their daughter, Cassandra was born in 1974. She believed providing a nurturing home environment was important and focused her attention on being a mother. After Cassandra was in school, Chris re-entered college, completing her elementary teaching credential at Cal State University, Fullerton. She then worked at numerous schools in the Fullerton Unified District, where she was known for her dedication to the children she served, until her retirement in 2004.
As a teacher, she did not just educate her students, but also provided enrichment activities, donations, and other support to their families. All those who knew Chris, knew what energy and enthusiasm she brought to her life.
Along with Cassandra, she bred, raised and showed Tibetan Terriers, delighting in the huge number of new friends she made in that community. She was particularly noted for the extensive work she did in creating art and craft work that financially benefited the group or was used to reward entrants. A talented artist, she always had a million projects in the works, delighting family and friends with her creative offerings.
In 2012, Chris and Larry turned their vacation home in Henderson, Nevada, into their permanent residence. To escape the hot summers, they bought an RV and crisscrossed the country during the last four summers, completing a goal, started earlier, of seeing all fifty states. They were often joined on these excursions by friends from Henderson, and always, by the resident Tibetans of the time. During these trips and others, Chris was able to expand on her developing interest in genealogy, visiting the Mormon archives in Salt Lake City, as well as sites in other states where Cate ancestors were clustered in family plots.
Chris was preceded in death by her parents, Claude Clifton Cate, Jr. and Elizabeth Hermsdorf Cate. She is survived by her husband, Larry of Henderson, NV; daughter, Cassandra Basgall (Michael) of Torrance, CA; sister, Claudia Cate (Branden Bickel) of Piedmont, CA; nephews, Greg (Barcelona, Spain) and Jeff (San Francisco, CA) Bickel; and numerous Cate and Hermsdorf cousins in California, Florida and Texas.
As Chris had wished, no services will be held. A private family gathering will take place in Tennessee later this year at a site where numerous early relatives. who settled the area are buried. Those wishing to make a donation in her memory may contact the Tibetan Terrier Health and Welfare Foundation or the American Cancer Association.
Published in Orange County Register from Apr. 8 to Apr. 9, 2017