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The sorrow seems like yesterday that Heaven gained our angel!
Mary Lois (Freiberger) Haney was born February 10, 1963 in Kokomo, Indiana, the daughter of Ronald D. and Anne C. (Owens) Freiberger. On February 9, 2020, Mary gained her heavenly wings at her home in Dacula, Georgia.
Mary graduated from Northwestern High School in Kokomo in 1981. She earned an Associate’s degree at Indiana University Kokomo, an Associate’s degree in Applied Science at Purdue University in 1985, and then a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Technology at Purdue University in 1986. In January, 1988, Mary married Eric Haney, and they divorced in December, 1990. Early in life, Mary attended St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church and St. Patrick Catholic Church in Kokomo.
After college graduation, Mary worked at Merchant’s Bank, Indianapolis, before moving to Georgia. In Georgia, over 25 years of Mary’s career was spent as a pioneer in electronic banking software. She helped write, install/convert and teach the use of the “PEP+” program to banks and trust companies, often traveling throughout the country and world. The original company, Stockholder Systems, Inc., was a small company of about 350 people. That same company is now known as FiServ, the largest electronic banking platform in the world. Every banking transaction that occurs in this country is largely because of the writing of the PEP+ program, and the efforts of Mary and all of her co-workers. Mary was truly “Passionate for PEP+” and her accomplishments in the bank software industry are legendary. Throughout many years of diabetes, and then breast cancer, Mary’s focus was always on work. She loved her work, and lived it 24×7, even when she was truly too sick to be working. Mary was an extremely hard worker all of her life.
Mary had a huge heart for all people and animals, and very often cared for others before herself. She was an amazing cook and loved to feed her family and friends. She loved to attend and host parties, and always spent long hours planning and preparing all the food. Mary had a great sense of humor. She had a kitchen trivet that reads: “Many People Have Eaten My Cooking And Have Gone On To Lead Normal Lives.” In the Spring, Mary loved to buy 10 to 15 gallons of strawberries at a time from Washington Farms. She loved to make strawberry (and blueberry) jam, and then pass it out locally and ship it to loved ones all over the country. She thus earned the beloved name “Strawberry Rabbit.”
In her mid teens, Mary got into all aspects of photography. She left behind a treasure trove of photographs for her family, friends, and even some unknown people that she found interesting, or doing interesting things. Mary never met a stranger. She loved everyone, and treated every person she encountered with kindness, love and respect.
During Mary’s high school senior year spring break, her art teacher, Malcom Black, took Mary and some of her dear high school friends on a long trek of the Appalachian Trail. In high school, she was also a member of “The Flying Squirrels” at Kokomo Airport. In the early 1990’s, Mary went on a long and epic trip in the Caribbean aboard a fine sailing yacht. She also enjoyed her own boat on Lake Lanier with friends. Mary loved her friends and the music festivals at Chip’s, and many of the new, up and coming bands that played there.
During her life, Mary dearly loved her dogs Riley, Amos Ashley, Halfmoon Haley, and Comet, and was “Auntie” to many other dogs, cats and horses. At the time of her death, Mary had a beloved cat, Alfred Francis Freiberger, who now lives with family. Mary also loved flowers and gardening, boating, beach life, music, traveling, socializing, and was always game for any other fun adventure! Most of all, Mary loved her family and friends with all of her heart. She loved her work, and the many friends that she made throughout her career.
A very heartwarming Celebration of Life dinner was held in Norcross shortly after Mary’s passing by Mary’s dear friends and co-workers, Belinda, Tami and Doug. Another Celebration of Mary’s Life will be held in Indiana in June, 2022, following a private cremains Christian burial service.
In addition to many friends and former co-workers throughout, those who are mourning the loss of Mary Lois are her family in Indiana. Grieving are her mother, Anne Head, sister Eleanor Ridge, sister Rhonda with husband Louis Wagner, brother James Freiberger, sister Lisa Freiberger with partner Beau Yakel, as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. Mary was pre-deceased by her father, Ronald Freiberger in 2007, as well as her step-father Melvin Head, Sr., and step-brother Hank Head.
Mary is also missed by her step-mother, Martha Freiberger of Florida, her step-sisters Vicki Ryckman, Penny with husband Dr. Dwight Stauffer, Jennifer Cheek, Julia Nevins, Peggy Drury, and step-brothers Mark Taylor and Melvin Head, Jr. Mary is also missed by friends Jean, Frank, Larry, Libby, and so many others, too numerous to mention.
Though her life was way too short, Mary lived each day with dignity, grace, love and positivity. This world is a better place because of Mary’s many accomplishments, and the love that she bestowed upon her family, friends, and anyone she met! Mary Lois Freiberger Haney will forever live in our hearts!