Lois Freedlander, Wooster philanthropist, deceased at 104
WOOSTER Nina Freedlander Gibans wrote about her cousin in a poem in 2019.
Lois Freedlander was 103 years old.
“Looks over his 103rd / Still plays bridge, does daily crossword puzzles / And watch baseball.” Lifetime Sports / Bets on Math Skills / Keeps the roots alive on a tree that begins to lean. / The vibrant and green guards / In spring and winter. “
Gibans, an artist from the Cleveland area, called the poem “Lois Freedlander: 103 Years of Youth” in a collection called “In the Garden of Old Age.”
Freedlander, a Wooster philanthropist whose husband’s family owned the iconic H. Freedlander Co. department store, died on May 25. She was 104 years old.
“Lois has been a loving and loyal cousin for many, many years,” Gibans said.
Help at the Freedlander Co.
Although she studied civics and sociology in college, Freelander helped her husband, Harold, keep the books of the family department store, which the Freedlanders owned from its inception in 1884 until it was sold to a group of private investors in the 1980s.
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Lois Freedlander told the Daily Record in 2017 that they “loved watching Wooster go from a small town to a pretty good size. And it was a pleasure to be a part of it.
After the sale of the department store, she and her family loved it and continued to call Wooster as they often volunteered and contributed to many community and civic groups. She was a member of the AAUW, Knesseth Israel Temple and Sisterhood and a board member of the Ohio Light Opera in the theater that bears the surname.
Big supporter of the Ohio Light Opera
Those involved with the Ohio Light Opera are saddened to learn of Freedlander’s passing, said general manager Laura Neill.
“His charm, elegance, intelligence and humor will be missed by so many of his friends,” said Neill. of the generosity, care and love of his family.
“I’m going to miss saying hello to Lois at the theater door,” added Neill. “We are very grateful for the time we spent with her.”
Steven Daigle, artistic director of the Ohio Light Opera, said he has known Freelander for 30 years.
“We worked together on the Ohio Light Opera Advisory Board, where I discovered the importance of the Freedlander family, not only to the early years of OLO, but to the entire community of Wooster and Wayne County. Said Daigle. “What I remember most about Lois is her kindness, her passion, her persistence and her wisdom. For the past few years, I have enjoyed seeing Mimi and Lois in the lobby of the Freedlander Theater. Lois has never wavered in her commitment to OLO and her unwavering generosity.
Married to Harold Freedlander for 63 years
Before Freedlander called Wooster home, she lived in Cleveland, where she was born.
In 1939, while attending Flora Stone Mather College for Women in Cleveland, she married Harold, who was president of the Freelander Co. department store from 1974 to 1989.
The couple were married for 63 years until their death in 2002. They had two children, Ann and Mimi.
A private funeral will be held for Lois Freedlander and there will be no hours of public calling or service, according to her obituary.