Maxine Karlsen

Santa Rosa native Maxine Karlsen died Nov. 3 from kidney cancer at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, surrounded by her two daughters. She was 84.

Karlsen was born Maxine Bohn on Sept. 16, 1928, to Mabel and William Bohn.

Her family has long ties to California and Sonoma County. Her father built many homes in Santa Rosa. And her distant relative Eliza Gregson left behind a memoir that chronicled the family's journey to California, arriving just ahead of the ill-fate Donner Party and building one of the first homes in Sonoma County's Green Valley.

Karlsen primarily grew up in the Roseland neighborhood.

She graduated from Santa Rosa High School and earned a secretarial certification at Burbank Business College.

Karlsen was working at Grace Bros. Brewery when she met Corky Freitas, who drove a truck for the company.

"Dad was just smitten, they just knew," said their daughter Karen Freitas of Chico.

They married Nov. 19, 1950, at the Church of the Incarnation in downtown Santa Rosa.

By that point, Karlsen was working for the prominent Santa Rosa law firm Spridgen, Moskowitz, Barrett and Achor.

She stopped working around 1953 when her first daughter was born. In between raising two daughters and caring for her father, Karlsen spent considerable time volunteering at schools and her church.

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