Jeanette Fruen, 87, of Wharton, passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020 at a local nursing center in Wharton. She was born in Evanston, Ill. on Feb. 21, 1933 to the late Kenneth Fruen and Lona Christianson.

Jeanette was raised in Minneapolis, Minn. and graduated from Washburn High School in Minneapolis. She later earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota. She taught elementary school for several years; she later became a campaign manager for ballot measure campaigns around the country. She won 22 of the 23 campaigns she managed!

She made a difference in her community, wherever she lived, fighting for rights for women, minorities and children. The Wall Street Journal profiled her on the front page, “Part agitator, part organizer, … Jeanette Turk … has emerged as the canny leader of a new breed of political strategists” (1991). Jeanette is also the author of two books, “Power in the People” and “Joy in Russian Teacakes.” 

Jeanette’s faith was integral to her life. She was active with the Orange County Friends Meeting until her move to Portland, Ore., when she returned to her Episcopalian roots and was active in St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church. 

She enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren, watching sports, especially basketball, and was an avid UCLA fan. Jeanette loved classical music, traveling, especially to England, and reading; she played the piano and enjoyed preparing special meals. She treasured her cats!

Jeanette is survived by her daughters: Christine Stransky and husband Bill of Wharton, and Carrie Turk of Cincinnati, Ohio; and her grandchildren: Elizabeth, Nicholas and Sarah Stransky.

Memorial services will be held on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021 at First Presbyterian Church in Wharton at 2 p.m. with Pastor Debbie Cenko officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Planned Parenthood or League of Women Voters.

Funeral services are under the direction of Wharton Funeral Home. Condolences may be left at