Mary Alice Nesler

Posted 4/2/18

CHICAGO — Mary Alice Nesler was born on April 28, 1926 in Chicago, to Clarence and Mary Godshalk.

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Mary Alice Nesler


CHICAGO — Mary Alice Nesler was born on April 28, 1926 in Chicago, to Clarence and Mary Godshalk. 

She and her younger brother, Jim, were raised in the unique setting of the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, as their father was the director there for many years. Mary Alice grew up a lover of horses, and never tired of riding and teaching tricks to her pinto, "Queenie." M.A. as she was known, loved the out-of-doors and enjoyed swimming, ice skating, hiking, fishing, golfing, horseback riding, hunting, and gardening.

In 1946 M.A. married Ted Fredenhagen, of Naperville. Together they raised five children: James (Victoria) Fredenhagen, of Anchorage, Alaska, Laura (Don) Schaefer, of Amboy, Gary (Sue) Fredenhagen, of Boulder Junction, Wis., Jane (Dale) Herron, of Newburg, Mo., and Debra Zellhofer, of Amboy. 

Summers for the family were spent at "Singwakiki," the cabins and lake in northern Wisconsin. Mary Alice's adult life focused on raising her children and enjoying family activities.

After raising her five children, Mary Alice began an antique furniture and refinishing business. Her skill became will-known and she enjoyed developing personal relationships with her clients.  During this time, she met and married Bill Nesler, and the couple moved to a home in Wisconsin. Over the course of 20 years they traveled and lived in Florida, Louisiana, and Missouri, but always returned to their beloved north woods of Wisconsin where they sang in the choir at the United Methodist Church in Mercer.

After Bill's death in 2002, Mary Alice began enhancing her fishing skills. No longer satisfied with catching the elusive Muskie, she went after Sturgeon, the giant of northern lakes and rivers.  For the last 20 years of her life, M.A.'s favorite times were those spent with her beloved George Brien, of Park Falls, Wis. Each year they traveled together to Shonto Ranch in Texas to hunt big game and fish the lakes. Family and friends enhanced their lives together in Park Falls before Mary Alice's passing.

A family memorial will be held in June near the north fork of the Flambeau River in northern Wisconsin to celebrate Mary Alice's life.

Arrangements by the Mihm-Jones Funeral Home in Amboy. Condolences may be sent online at