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Margaret W. Freeman

Date of Death: December 24, 2019

Date of Birth: December 8, 1923


Margaret W. Freeman, 96, passed away on December 24, 2019 in Brunswick, ME, where she had resided since 2010, with summers at her beloved cottage at Pemaquid Point since 1970. 

Margaret was born December 8, 1923 in Westfield, MA, and grew up in Scranton, PA and Newton, MA.       She graduated PBK from Pembroke College (Brown University) in 1944 with a major in musicology.  She received master’s degrees in musicology from Smith College, and English literature from Middlebury College.  

Alongside her husband who was a professor of history, Margaret began her formal academic teaching career at Allegheny College where she taught English literature.  With a move to the College of William and Mary where her husband taught for the remainder of his career, Margaret was Assistant and Associate Professor until her retirement in 1989.  Her love of poetry and music was reflected in her career, first as a member of the English literature department and then of the music department, of which she was chairman for several years.  She also chaired numerous campus-wide committees, and was the first woman president of the first PBK chapter, that at William and Mary.

She and her husband became senior fellows of Robinson College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK, where they spent biannual spring terms.  She continued her affiliation at Robinson following his death, spending spring terms there for many years and considered Cambridge her second home.

Margaret was an experienced traveler who enjoyed travel to unfamiliar places at unseasonable times, visiting New Zealand, India, Japan, the Hebrides, Mexico, Portugal, Italy and many places in between.  She enjoyed the writings of offbeat literary figures and developed an extensive library of those who traveled in foreign lands.

She was the widow of A.Z.Freeman, who died in 1993, and is survived by daughter Sally F. Thompson of Winter Garden, FL, son John Freeman of Bristol, ME, three granddaughters, and five great grandchildren.    

Margaret requested that there not be a memorial service but that she be remembered in the following verse by Samuel Butler (Erewhon):

“I fall asleep

In the full and certain hope

That my slumber shall not be broken

And that

Though I be all-forgetting

Yet shall I not be all-forgotten

But continue that life

In the thoughts and deeds of those I loved….”

The Margaret W. Freeman memorial book fund has been established at the Bristol Area Library (PO Box 173, New Harbor, ME  04554-0173) for those who would like to honor her memory in a tangible way.

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