Remembering Margaret Freeman

by Arthur E. Flegel

While several beautiful expressions of appreciation for the life of Margaret Freeman have already appeared, I feel constrained to add my recollections and significance of both Margaret and Bob in the history of the Germans from Russia.

As I recall, it was during the early1980's while attending a gathering of the Southern California Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia that my late wife, Cleora, and I were introduced to Bob and Margaret Freeman, two most winsome personalities. At this special occasion, we were also introduced to an item of equipment brought to the meeting by Bob and Margaret which was identified as a personal computer on which Bob demonstrated the computerization of genealogical information. This was of supreme significance to those of us present who were engaged in the procuring and preservation of our ancestral records. We are all well aware of the impact that has made on this most meaningful hobby and avocation.

During those years, the Freemans were living in Santa Monica where Margaret was active as an elementary school teacher. Some time afterwards Margaret retired from her teaching position and they moved to their resort-like residence on the beach some distance to the south at Redondo Beach. Here Margaret became more deeply involved with her personal German-Russian ancestral research. This also brought her into the influence of our famous Gwen Pritzkau and the seeds of the Glueckstal Colony Research Association (GCRA) were sown.

The expanded activity prompted the Freeman residence in Redondo Beach to soon become the Southern California Headquarters for the AHSGR which attracted visitors from all over California as well the entire USA, Canada and other foreign lands. Moreover, throughout the years of German Russian research activities in their home Margaret and Bob always displayed themselves as the most gracious and generous hosts under every circumstance including the accommodation of numerous overnight guests.

Now that Margaret has left this world for her heavenly abode, we cannot avoid deeply missing that lovely lady with the winsome personality who had become like a sister to many of us. Moreover, we can feel assured that the seeds she has sown will continue to flourish as her personal legacy for the Germans from Russia.

With deepest appreciation for the life of Margaret Freeman.

Arthur E. Flegel

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