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Retired and On the Go; Fredaberyl (Moyer) Zettlemoyer ’49

Bob Jones
Photo courtesy of The Reading Eagle/Ben Hasty

Fredaberyl “Freda” Zettlemoyer ’49 sits at her kitchen table on a cold December morning, sharing her life’s stories—her joys mostly—and giggling like a school girl.

Weaving together her favorite memories—attending Albright, working in food nutrition for daycare centers in Berks County, raising two children, becoming a grandmother, and traveling with friends—it’s certain this “retiree” has had a life well-lived.

When Zettlemoyer arrived as a freshman, she knew she was home. A Selwyn Hall resident, she became fast friends with several of the girls on her floor (seven of whom still get together annually to catch up and eat good food).

After graduation, she began working for Consumers Gas Company in Reading, Pa. For 11 years she gave food demonstrations and facilitated cooking classes. With a twinkle in her eyes, she remembers the early days of her career:“Everyday brought something different to the table and I was constantly on the go. I just loved it,” she says.

When her children were young, Zettlemoyer took time off from full-time work to raise them. However, she remained connected to her career by teaching adult cooking classes in the Reading School District. And, when her children hit their teen years, Zettlemoyer went back to work for Berks County Intermediate Unit’s daycare centers.

But two children, a full-time job, and volunteer work still weren’t enough to keep Zettlemoyer busy. She also began traveling with former college roommate, Sylva Burd ’49. Together the two visited London, Ireland, Paris and Italy, just to name a few.

“We were in Paris one year around Easter and discovered that the French don’t sell traditional chocolate bunnies or eggs, but chocolate fish instead,” Zettlemoyer says. She laughs as she remembers trying to communicate to a non-English-speaking salesperson that she wanted to buy chocolate fish to take back to America. “She didn’t know what I was trying to say, and I didn’t know what she was trying to say. Everyone back home just had to take my word for it.”

“Retiring” in 1995 didn’t slow Zettlemoyer down either. Instead, it helped pick up the pace on her travel plans. She went to Germany and Hawaii, and took a six-week trip across the U.S. with Albright friend, Helen Benner ’49. The two classmates also visited Australia, New Zealand, the Scandinavian countries, and toured the capitals of Europe, including Prague, Budapest and Vienna. Other than Russia and Africa, Zettlemoyer says she’s been almost everywhere she ever wanted to go. “I love to see new things and be on the move.”

Today, while Zettlemoyer’s knees have slowed down her traveling a bit, she still attends water aerobics three times a week and has breakfast once a month with other retired home economics colleagues. And, she maintains her Albright roots as the 50+ Club member-at-large, and as a volunteer. Most recently, Zettlemoyer helped plan the Class of 1949’s 60th Year Class Reunion. “I love Albright. My sister-in-law, brother, niece and her husband are Albrightians also. When we get together, there’s always Albright talk involved.”

Politician and diplomat Adlai Stevenson once said, “It’s not the years in your life but the life in your years that count!” Zettlemoyer agrees. “I definitely didn’t want to retire to sit in front of the television all day,” she says. “I enjoy life too much for that.”

– Jesica L. Morris

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