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Friedel W. Sharadin

Friedel Wilhelmina Sharadin, 97, of Newport News, VA, previously of Hendersonville, NC, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Friday, October 6th due to complications of a mild heart attack the previous Tuesday .
She was surrounded by loving family in the days prior to her passing.
Friedel was born in Frankfurt, Germany to Johann and Helene Hartmann. Though she had a relatively carefree childhood with many friends, times were tough due to a struggling economy. She had three older brothers, Fritz, Joseph and Phillip, and also a younger sister who became ill and did not survive childhood. As the Nazis took over Germany, all three of her brothers were called into service and all three were lost on the Eastern Front with Russia, with their bodies never recovered. Despite times taking refuge in a bomb shelter, Friedel completed high school and then was employed by a pharmaceutical manufacturer in Frankfurt when the war ended.
It was in Frankfurt that Friedel met her husband, James Sharadin. Jim came from a Franco-German family of farmers in Pennsylvania, and had 5 brothers and 5 sisters. He joined the Army Air Corps right out of high school in 1944, and was initially sent to Clemson University to take classes, while awaiting Air Corps flight training. When the war in Europe ended, Jim’s flight training was cancelled, he was promoted to Corporal, and deployed to Frankfurt with U.S. occupation forces. It was there he met and fell in love with Friedel as well as her parents, who treated him like a son. He stayed on as an Army supply contractor during their courtship. They married on 4th of July 1948 in a well-attended church service. After a lengthy honeymoon trip to the Alps and France, they boarded a troop ship to New York, and settled in eastern PA, where Jim attended Bucknell University. Their first-born son, Ellis, was born in Apr 1949.
After college, Jim landed a teaching job in Scotch Plains, NJ, and they moved. In 1960, their second son, Roger was born in Middlesex, NJ. While raising their boys, Friedel worked as a doctor’s receptionist and Jim taught school while working advanced degrees to become a school principal. He eventually left Education altogether and went to work for Ford Company in Metuchen, NJ. During their time in NJ, the couple often took time to travel, showing their boys many sights in the U.S., and took occasional trips to Europe to savor the many sights and food specialties to be found there, while getting to know cousins from Friedel’s family. They also enjoyed participating and filling leadership positions in a German Club, the Gesang Und Turnverein club of Plainfield, NJ. They were especially proud to see both sons attend service academies and become Air Force pilots, fulfilling Jim’s earliest dreams.
In 1990, Friedel and Jim relocated south of Asheville, NC to retire. Jim succumbed to stomach cancer at end of 1991 at the young age of 64. Friedel moved to a retirement community in Hendersonville, where she lived until 2022. She happily maintained many friendships and held frequent “kaffeeklatches” with her neighbors and a large group of former German widows who enjoyed the Bavaria-like atmosphere outside of Asheville. She also volunteered time supporting Hospice Care and serving Grace Lutheran Church ministries, took trips to see family, enjoyed annual trips to Myrtle Beach with friends, and opened her home regularly to family and friends from out of state. In April 2022, our family moved her to assisted living at Warwick Forest Retirement in Newport News, to be more accessible to family: her 5 grandchildren (Marcie, Nate, Kevin, Danny and Andrew) and 5 great-grandchildren (Rebekah, Matthew, Aiden, London and Chase). Over her final 18 months of life, she enjoyed the company of family members in attending plays (CATS and Sound of Music), band concerts, outings, a week in the Outer Banks, a trip to her old home in Middlesex, NJ, a family reunion in PA, etc. By God’s grace, she lived an enviably long and fruitful life and would have turned 98 after Christmas. We all have much to be grateful for in the love she showed all of us as we observe this Celebration of Her Life and memories of a life well lived. Her legacy of love of family lives on with her sons, Ellis and Roger, their wives, Rosemarie and Robin, and her extended family of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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