Barbara “Bobbie” Freer passed away peacefully, age 96, at Shorehaven in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin with family at her side
She was preceded in death by her parents Maynard and Edna (Heaton) Keiser, brothers Donald and Clayton Keiser, and her husband Herbert Freer.
She is survived by four children: Jay, Barbara Wing (Jim), Maynard, and Cindy Freer (Paul Muzzey); nine grandchildren: Dan (Sara), Jenny (Sam), Matt (Mandy), Emily (Joel), Caroline (Dave), Jack, Troy, Hannah, Steven; and eight great-grandchildren: Henry, Mac, Ellery, Avery, Eloise, Cassie, Dylan, and Theo.
Bobbie was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. Growing up she was an accomplished pianist, horseback rider, dancer and ice skater. She attended Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. She left college after her sophomore year to marry her sweetheart Herb Freer. Fond family memories of life in Massachusetts include Sunday morning breakfasts and swimming at Bass Pond.
Bobbie approached life with a steady, calm, can-do attitude. Family loved her twinkle-eyed mischief and wry smile. She was creative, curious, independent, brave and loving.
In 1956, when Herb started a job in Chicago, she traveled by herself with her children to an island in Georgian Bay, Ontario. After a week on the island, she drove to Glen Ellyn, Illinois to move into a home she had seen only in photos.
Settling into life in Glen Ellyn she continued to serve as a troop leader for her children’s scout troops. She enjoyed golfing, birding, tennis (through the age of 86), bridge and entertaining. A longtime member of The First Presbyterian Church, she served as a deacon and an elder.
She was an excellent seamstress. She made and designed clothes for herself, her daughters and granddaughters. Always seeking to learn new things, she started quilting, making quilts in varied styles from traditional to abstract. Her techniques were refined in classes. These creations continue to be enjoyed by friends and family.
Knitting was another talent. Along with sweaters, mittens, hats and baby blankets beloved by the family, Bobbie volunteered to make hats, sock puppets, and lap quilts for the hospital auxiliary to distribute.
Bobbie was widowed 33 years ago after providing 3 years of loving care to her husband. Herb declined with dementia and became bedridden during that time. This major physical and emotional commitment demonstrated her personal strength and steadfast love.
Her most profound gift to her family has been annual vacations to Door County for the past 28 years. This brought the family together to share joy, food, games, friendly disputes, and laughter. This tradition has created very strong family bonds among her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
After living in Glen Ellyn for 60 years, she moved to independent living at Three Pillars Senior Living Community in Dousman, Wisconsin, to be near her children. She continued to pursue knowledge, be active and made new friends. Grandchildren’s flute concerts, soccer games, tennis matches and graduations were joyful events she was able to share.
In 2017 she moved to full care at Shorehaven in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.
The family is most grateful for the care Mom received both at Three Pillars and Shorehaven. During her three years at Shorehaven, the staff was a second family to her. They treasured her wit and the interest she took in their lives. We treasure and learned from the respect, kindness and care they gave her. Thank you to all her caregivers.
A private graveside service was held on August 4, 2020 at Forest Hill Cemetery in Glen Ellyn.
In lieu of flowers memorial gifts may be made to: Parkinson’s Foundation, parkinsons.org; Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, themmrf.org; or a church or charity of your choice.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Barbara (Keiser) Freer, please visit our floral store.