Michael Freda was born on July 1, 1947 to Michael and Theresa (Mauriello) in Newark, NJ. He passed away at home in Moline, IL on June 25, 2021. Michael was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, cousin, and friend.
Michael grew up in Newark, graduated from Barringer High School, Newark, and received a Degree in Special Education at Kean College, Union, NJ. He taught at Montgomery Street School for boys. Later he was a counselor at the Essex County Welfare Department in Newark. He earned his Master’s degree in Social Work at West Virginia University.
Encouraged by friends from grad school, he moved to the Quad Cities in 1980. He became a real Midwesterner, but part of his heart and his accent never left New Jersey. He became Assistant Director of the Rock Island Department of Children and Family Services, and later he was the Assistant Director of the Child Abuse Council in Moline. He found his calling when he joined Robert Young Mental Health Center where he worked as Director of Operations for 26 years until his retirement in 2014.
Michael served on the development board of Humility of Mary, the Illinois Human Rights Authority, the Alzheimer’s Association, and was the Board President and Member of NAMI of Greater Mississippi Valley. He was always an advocate for persons with mental illness.
He met his wife, Karen who was also a Social Worker, through community committees. They wed in 1984. Michael became a great stepfather to her children, Melissa and Greg.
Michael was a dedicated gym rat and devotee of Les Mills fitness. He enjoyed traveling and exploring the world with his wife and friends, cooking and trying new recipes, baking cookies with his grandson, watching the Food network, drinking coffee (latte to expresso), running and biking with friends, and listening to music. But mostly, he loved the company of family and friends around the dining room table, catching up, drinking wine, and enjoying a meal together.
Michael is survived by his wife, Karen; his daughter Melissa Brandt, Moline, IL; his son, Greg Brandt (Lori) and grandson Ian, St. Paul, MN; his sisters Anne Kostoulakos (Dennis) and Maria Wioland, both in New Jersey; his brother-in-law, Bob Whitmore (Marcia), Coal Valley, IL; his sister-in-law, JoAnn Whitmore, Moline, IL; his nephew Brad Whitmore, Cincinnati, OH; many cousins, nieces, and nephews; and many dear friends. Michael was preceded in death by his parents.
In remembrance of Michael’s life and dedication to mental and physical health, the family asks that in lieu of flowers, charitable donations be made to NAMI Greater Mississippi Valley.
A memorial service for Michael will be held July 1, 2021, at 4:00 pm with a Celebration of Life with refreshments and drink to follow until 6:00 p.m. at Trimble Funeral Home, Moline. The service will be livestreamed on his tribute page at TrimbleFuneralHomes.com.