LaFrenda E. Fitzgerald of Howell, Michigan passed away on August 27, 2022, at age 84. She was born to G. E. Ebbertt and Ercel Leota Abernathy (St. George) in Anderson, Indiana. LaFrenda grew up in the Anderson community and graduated from Anderson High School in 1956 before attending Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa while earning a B.A. Art Education. She was a member of Alpha Xi Delta and Tri Kappa sororities. After college she moved to San Diego briefly before returning to Anderson to teach in the public schools.
In 1962 LaFrenda married Robert J. Fitzgerald also from Anderson and employed by Ford Motor Credit. For nearly 40 years they moved around the world with Ford while raising their four (4) children in Chicago; Terre Haute, IN; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Plymouth, Mich., and finally Howell, Michigan. After Robert's death in 2001, LaFrenda continued to broaden her life experiences and personal fulfillment through travel. She enjoyed trips to England, Ireland, Thailand, and Honduras in addition to escaping the Michigan winters by spending the warmer months in California and Florida.
Aside from brief employment experiences, she spent most of her life as a homemaker caring for her children. She was active in Plymouth Community events including the Farmers Market and organizing a youth 4-H group. This ultimately led to her being well known in historic downtown Plymouth as the household that raised chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, rabbits, sheep, a goat and even a pony (briefly) to be shown at the local County fair. She also enjoyed bird watching immensely while living on the lake in Howell.
Her greatest enjoyment and personal achievement(s) came through nearly six decades of breeding and exhibiting purebred Pembroke Welsh Corgis. She was active in the American Kennel Club (AKC) and attended shows throughout the U.S., Canada and afar. She achieved great success and recognition through her kennel, Applecor Kennels. She loved the enduring friendships she cultivated through the Club. The exact count is unknown; however, it is speculated she bred, raised, and exhibited 450+ Pembroke's during her career, including "Gailey" (red & white corgi) whom she cared for until her recent passing.
She was an active and spirited woman who enjoyed laughter and lifelong friends. A story of her childhood always included names of friends she adored including Kathryn, David, Barry, Connie, Joan, Richard, Judy, Jim, Janet, Carl and many more. She has been heard more than once stating she had a "good life and certainly interesting!".
LaFrenda was preceded in death by her husband, parents (including stepmother Anna Lee Ravenscroft) and stepsister (Nancy Ravenscroft). She is survived by her four (4) children including daughters Bronwyn Fitzgerald, Shannon (Dominic) Nicita, son's Scott (Anne) Fitzgerald, Sean (Maria Jose) Fitzgerald, ten (10) grandchildren: Ryan, Blake, Luke, Gabriel, Josephina, Julian, Kieran, Caitriona, Fiana and Brenna, her sister Brenda Welker, brother Joel (Nanette) Ebbertt and stepbrother John (Karen) Ravenscroft.
In honor of LaFrenda and her love for nature, donations can be made to the Howell Nature Center which provides wildlife that cannot be released back to the wild a chance to live a happy life. Please use the following address/link to donate to this cause, https://howellnaturecentergiving.campbraingiving.com/. Donations can be directed In Memory of LaFrenda in the notes section of the donation. A celebration of life service will be held at a yet to be determined time and date, in Anderson, Ind., to celebrate LaFrenda's life with friends & family.
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