Floral 07

Florence "Winky" Chesnutt Friedrichs

November 17, 1925 ~ September 3, 2022 (age 96)

Obituary


Florence “Winky” (Andrews) Chesnutt Friedrichs, 96, of Pleasant Green, Missouri, passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, September 3, 2022.


She was born on November 17th, 1925, in El Dorado, AR, daughter of Florence Venita Cox of Pettis County, MO. and Col. Stanley Andrews of Moniteau County, MO.  She was married in England to John Christy Chesnutt, M.D. (deceased) of Little Rock, AR, and much later in Covington, LA to Carl Chaleron Friedrichs (deceased) of New Orleans, LA. 


She spent her childhood and attended high school in Little Rock where her father had a newspaper and radio station. He had served in World War I and also as a colonel in World War II. The family then moved abroad for Col. Andrews’s post-war foreign aid projects with the U.S. government. In these travels, Winky reunited with John Chesnutt, also from Little Rock, whom she married in 1949. 


She began college at Ward-Belmont College in Nashville, TN and earned her Bachelor of Arts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1947, and also studied in London, Frankfurt, and New York City. Along with her fine art inspired by nature, human expression, and spirituality, she also worked in fashion illustration and commercial art, painting and drawing portraits and many historic homes.


Her years in Iowa (as her young family expanded) were artistically prolific and she maintained a studio and participated in art exhibits. In addition to supporting her growing family and physician husband after his career move to Louisiana, she was instrumental in starting the still-thriving St. Tammany Art Association in Covington, LA, an art teaching program for schoolchildren at the city hall in Mandeville, LA, and was very involved in historic programs and events in the area. 


In 1986 she moved to Pleasant Green to live with and help care for her father, and continued the renovation work well underway on the antebellum Walker home. The original structure (ca. 1820), additions, and outbuildings of Pleasant Green became her final home and beloved project. Fascinated by American history and genealogy, and as a descendant of the original settlers of the area, she conducted tours well into her nineties with help from her wonderful circle of friends and volunteers. She also co-founded the Cooper County Historical Society and helped create the CCHS research center, co-authored many publications and mapping projects, and contributed countless hours toward historical projects and events in Cooper County. An early supporter of the Katy Trail State Park, she also raised funds with her art for the Save the (KATY) Bridge Coalition. For decades she hosted Black visitors looking for histories on their families or information about Missouri’s historic plantation culture. She also welcomed numerous Black history tours, school groups, and was a sponsor for the nationally recognized “Slave Dwelling Project.”  


In 2013, she was given the Boonville Tourism Hall of Fame Award. She was honored with the National Daughters of the American Revolution Historical Preservation Medal in 2018, and that same year received the McReynolds Award by the Missouri Preservation Honor Awards at a ceremony at the Missouri State Capitol.


Florence “Winky” Chesnutt Friedrichs will be remembered as an artist and historian with boundless enthusiasm and curiosity. Her southern-style storytelling and hospitable nature delighted many, and she very much enjoyed her friends and neighbors and local happenings. She never stopped wanting to be “of use” as a resource, as a skilled artistic hand, and as a hub of community connection. 


She is survived by her sons John “Jack” (Pam) Chesnutt II of Evergreen, CO; Stan Chesnutt of Los Altos, CA; Alan Chesnutt of Boulder, CO; and Sarah Chesnutt (Alan Reisman) of Boulder, CO and Pleasant Green, MO; grandchildren Drew, Hays, Jonathan, Madison, Elizabeth, and James; great grand-daughters Iley and Alyza; and stepdaughters Linda Farrell and Mary Friedrichs, stepson Carl “Fritz” Friedrichs (deceased) and many stepgrandchildren and step great-grandchildren.    


Friends may pay their respects and sign the guest book after noon Thursday, September 8, 2022, at the Meisenheimer-Page-Dady Funeral Home in Pilot Grove, where the family will receive friends from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Thursday. 


As a member of the Episcopal Church, her faith was a source of great strength. She also attended and supported the Pleasant Green United Methodist Church upon whose grounds she will rest in peace near the family home. 


A funeral service will be held at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, October 8, 2022, at Christ Church Episcopal, 524 4th St., Boonville, MO. The service will be livestreamed on the church's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/christepiscopalboonville.


Memorials are suggested to the Cooper County Historical Society or to the churches mentioned above.
 

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