Freda Lillian Trulson Bryson, the oldest child, of August and Florence Hamilton Trulson, passed away April 2, 2019 in her home. She was born July 31st, 1932 at the Hamilton Family Farm, near Mirror, Alberta. Freda grew up in Red Deer, Alberta where she attended school at the St. Joesph’s Convent-boarding school. In 1949, at age 17, she moved to Shelby, MT with her father.
In 1950, she met and fell in love with Lyle Owen Bryson; they married a year later on February 17, 1951. Of their union they had eight children. The couple lived in many small towns across the Hi-Line of Montana and North Dakota. These towns include: Shelby, Saco, Trenton, Gilford, and Warland; before settling in Chinook in 1961. Just five days before Christmas, they moved into their current home with their children.
In 1969, Freda realized her eldest son would graduate from high school and would earn his diploma in May of 1970. This realization encouraged her to work diligently, to get her GED before he graduated. She then went on to take college courses through Northern Montana College. This was very difficult since she had seven children at home. However, she told her children that if she could do this; they had no excuse not to finish their education.
During her first years in Chinook, she began the Neighborhood Welcome Wagon for newcomers. Freda was an active and passionate person within Saint Gabriel’s Catholic Church, where she taught CCD. In the 1960’s & 70’s, she participated as an outreach person for family planning through HRDC because she was passionately devoted to women’s rights.
Wherever she saw a need in the community she worked extensively to get her community the things they needed. When her community was in need of advanced Ambulance services, she took classes and became an EMT. Later, she worked as the Activity Director at the Sweet Nursing Home where she made sure the residents were able to participate and interact. She worked tirelessly, on the Chinook City Council for 26 years, and the Rural Development Council across the Hi-Line to ensure services and funding were available for everyone.
Children always came first, for her. While watching her sons and the neighborhood children, she became extensively involved with the AAU wrestling club. Freda worked concessions and raised funds for the club. She was an amazing seamstress and sewed clothing for all her children. Every year her daughters received dresses for special occasions such as: First Communion, Easter, Christmas, and their weddings.
Her home was always open to those who needed a safe place to stay, a listening ear, a warm embrace and words of encouragement to life their soul and spirit. Her parting words were: “Be safe, Be happy, and God Bless”.
She is preceded in death by: Her parents, August Trulson and Florence Hamilton Trulson; Her sister, Patricia Binches; Brothers: Ernie Trulson, Dick Trulson, Robert (Bob) Trulson; Her husband, Lyle Bryson; and her sons, John Greenup, Teddy Bryson, Grandson Billy Munson; Daugther in law, Linda Stephen Bryson.
She is survived by her four sibilings: Marji Yellowicki, Ted Trulson, Dave Trulson, Bill Trulson. Her seven children: Mike Bryson, Carol Munson, Lou Ann Paulsen, Gary Bryson, Sharon Campbell, Karon Emmert and Joseph Bryson. 21 Grandchildren: Billy Greenup, Jeff Greenup, Kimberly Greenup, Krista Hertz, Laura Stephens, Theron Paulsen, Dirk Paulsen, Shannon Search, Landin Gwynn, David Campbell, Amanda Bryson, Jon Solonar, Josh Solonar, Kallison Tuscano, Kimberly Rolfson, Marcus Campbell, Holly Guenther, Rebecca Paulsen, Kendra Bryson, Jake Bryson, Annika Emmert. Her 19 Great Grandchildren: Dominic, Cassie, Mary, Jonathan, Emma, Zach, Westen, Rachel, Hunter, Hayden, Tyler, Nora, Parker, Liam, Ella, Leah, Gia, Harper, Enzo. Four Great Great Grandchildren: Abigail, Joey, Jace, and Adelyn.
Funeral services will be held June 21 at 11 a.m. at St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church in Chinook, MT. With a Celebration of Life to follow the service. In lieu of flowers, Freda’s family suggests donations in her memory to St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church, Blaine County Ambulance, or the Chinook Food Pantry.