Winifred L. Fravle

Rosewood Heights | Friday, January 17 2014

Winifred L. Fravle passed away Friday night at 6:00 surrounded by her loving family. She was 92 years young. Winnie began her journey on this earth on July 27,1921, as the eldest daughter of Edward and Dora (Cox) McCrite of Tamms, IL.

She loved learning and graduated from Olive Branch High School where she earned a full scholarship to any state college in Illinois. Due to the war efforts of World War II and family needs Winnie placed her college plans on hold and moved to East Alton where she went to work for the Olin Corporation. There she met the love of her life, Gerald (Jerry) Fravle, and they married on December 26, 1941. Shortly after their marriage Jerry, already enlisted in the Army, was stationed in Iceland and they didn’t see one another for more than 3 years. Upon his return at Union Station in St Louis Winnie stated that Jerry “hugged me so tight that he broke three of my ribs”. The two of them were happily married for nearly 66 years before his passing in 2007.

After working at Olin for more than 20 years and in her late 30’s, Winnie was blessed with the first of her 3 daughters. She left Olin to raise her children and when the youngest went to kindergarten she finally went back to college and was thrilled that her scholarship earned many years before was still valid.

Winnie earned her degree in Education and began teaching first grade in the Roxana School district at the age of 50. Before retiring from the profession she loved at age 72, Winnie was able to share her passion for reading and learning with hundreds of first graders.

Winnie was the proud mother of her three daughters who survive her, Kathy Fuesting (Mike), Debbie Lister (Jeff) and Patti McRae (Tom) who she said “kept her young”. She dearly loved her grandchildren, Patrick and Meagan McRae, Ryan (Sara) and Lindsey Lister and Melissa Fuesting and her great grandchild, Claire “little britches” Lister.

She is also survived by her sisters Rosetta Verble, Gustava “Toot” Lawrence; numerous nieces and nephews including area residents Linda and Jim Begnel, Barb Hinson, Betty Ann Gerl and Robert Luken.

In addition to her parents and husband, Winnie was preceded in death by her brothers Farrell and Edward McCrite; her sister Mary McCrite; her brothers-in-law Sam Verble, Ed Lawrence, Francis Fravle, Leonard Leritz, Robert Greise, and Ralph Luken; her sisters-in-law Julia Greise, Helen Luken, Marcella Leritz; as well as family members Faye Blackwood, Elmo Hinson and George Gerl.

Winnie loved traveling with family and friends and truly enjoyed the journey as much as the destination. She was especially fond of their many family trips to Disney World that provided so many wonderful memories. Those who mourn her passing were fortunate to have shared her interesting journey and look forward to seeing her skipping in the halls of heaven preparing for another day of teaching and learning.

In celebration of her life visitation will be held from 4pm to 8pm on Monday January 20th at Pitchford funeral home where visitation will continue on Tuesday from 10am until time of funeral services at 11am. Reverend Robert Beloit will officiate. Burial will follow at Rose Lawn Memory Gardens in Bethalto.

Memorials may be made to Rosewood Heights Community Church, New Beginnings Bible Fellowship, or St Anthony’s Hospice.

Online guestbook available at

Obit Provided By:
Pitchford Funeral Home

Print Version

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