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Joan Friederich

Joan Friederich
Joan was born June 12, 1932 in a humble two-story farmhouse located just west of Leonardville, Kansas and was raised in a family rich in Swedish tradition. She was an accomplished pianist who could play “by ear”, and served for many years as church pianist at the Leonardville United Methodist Church.

As a young girl she attended a one room school completing two years of education in a single year, which enabled her to graduate from Leonardville Rural High School at the age of 16 and embark on a remarkable life of love for and service to others.

In 1956 Joan married Robert William Friederich and as a young mother raised and cared for her three young children. She then accepted a part-time job with the Kansas State University Athletic Ticket Office in 1971. Shortly thereafter she filled in at the Kansas State Football office while they were in the process of hiring a new full-time secretary. Her success as a fill-in landed her the full-time position as secretary to the assistant football coaches and she was later promoted to Administrative Assistant to the Head Football Coach.

Her career started in the Vince Gibson era and spanned through Coach Bill Snyder’s second term. For nearly half a century Joan built impactful and lasting relationships with hundreds of coaches, student-athletes, staff members, and boosters. The number of former coaches and players who continued to stay in contact with her following their time at K-State is evidence of the meaningful relationships she established.

In 1998 the "Joan Friederich Award" was created to honor the individual, who through their unselfishness, leadership, and commitment best represents the team concept. In 1999 she was presented with the Admiral U.S. Grant Sharp Trophy in the Holiday Bowl to honor her display of "unselfish dedication and teamwork."

Following a second hip break Joan was forced to retire in 2017 at the age of 84. Had it not been for the second hip break there is no doubt she would have continued working. She loved her job, and most importantly, the people around her.

She was preceded in death by her father V.R. “Bill” Rosell, mother Laura Marjorie (Anderson) Rosell, and brother Bruce Neal Rosell. She is survived by her son Rick Friederich (Joni) of Bonner Springs, KS, two daughters, Nancy Friederich (Sherry) of Lee’s Summit, MO, and Janet Duncan (Kenny) of Westmoreland, KS, her granddaughter Laura Van Kirk (Kyle), two grandsons, Brad Duncan (Stephanie), and Will Friederich, and 5 great grandchildren.

A visitation is scheduled from 6:00 to 7:30 PM, Wednesday January 5, at the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home.

Funeral services will be at 10:00 AM, Thursday January 6, at the First United Methodist Church, 612 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan. Graveside services will be held at noon at the Leonardville Cemetery.

Online condolences may be left for the family by clicking on "Send Condolences" on this page.

Her family asks that contributions be made in her name to the Kansas State University Athletic Department. Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502.

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