Born in Orlando, Oklahoma in 1911, Gus Friedemann was one of 12 children. The Friedemann family moved to the Stillwater area where Gus attended school. Gus used a variety of transportation to get to school. He usually rode his bicycle and on rainy days rode his horse Ribbon!
He graduated from Stillwater High School in 1930 at the age of 19 and a year later started teaching. Over the years, Gus received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oklahoma State University by taking classes during the summer. His first teaching assignment was at Quay and he later moved to Stillwater schools where he taught typing, shorthand and bookkeeping. He initiated the Distributive Education program in Stillwater High School in 1949 and was the first and only teacher-coordinator until his retirement in 1976.
In addition to providing guidance and wisdom to Stillwater High School Distributive Education (now Marketing Education) students he also aided Oklahoma State University’s teacher education program by assisting student teachers. Many of Gus’ former distributive education students went on to become administrators in the state CareerTech system. His protégés include the late Bruce Gray, former superintendent at Francis Tuttle; Dr. Tom Friedemann, superintendent at Francis Tuttle; Dr. Leo Presley, former assistant state director at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education; John Friedemann, former coordinator of the Curriculum and Instructional Materials Center at the state department; and Leon Linton, former assistant superintendent of Moore Norman Technology Center.
After retiring, Gus practiced the principles he learned in marketing education. He logged many miles on his car selling pre-arrangement burial policies for Strode Funeral Home of Stillwater. Gus never really retired, he just redirected his priorities.
Mr. Friedemann was inducted to the CareerTech Hall of Fame in 2001.