Sandy Freeman will be remembered at her funeral today as an unsung hero of the Gifford Park neighborhood, her home since 1965.
She delivered the neighborhood association's newsletter and fliers.
She planted, watered and weeded the flower beds in Gifford Park and the community garden. She picked up litter and trash and recycled.
She reported graffiti and maintained a one-woman neighborhood watch from her home.
She was involved from the start in the Gifford Park Community Garden, said her husband, Roger D. Freeman.
She helped plant and maintain the neighborhood's identity garden, added Chris Foster, garden chairman of the Gifford Park Neighborhood Association.
Fridays meant movie night for the Freemans. While driving home after a movie on April 5, she slumped in the passenger's seat, her husband said. He drove her to Creighton University Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. She was 73.
Brook Bench, acting director of the city's Parks and Recreation Department, noted her work in an email to the neighborhood group: “She will be missed dearly by the Parks Department. She was always my second set of eyes. We regarded her and Roger as our neighborhood Gifford Park caretakers.”
Her death is “a huge loss to the neighborhood,” Foster said.
She was a hard worker who cared about the details and got things done, he said. “Roger and Sandy did a lot of community volunteer work.”
Sandy Freeman grew up in Omaha and graduated from Central High School. She worked as a secretary for 27 years in the Omaha Public Schools' human resources and administration department.
She enjoyed spending time with her family and playing the piano.
Freeman was noted for her cooking and baking and for sharing her recipes. At potluck dinners, her husband said, “she better show up with the lemon bars,” or people would ask where they were.
Foster said her recipe for the bars will be printed in the next neighborhood association newsletter.
Besides her husband of 31 years, other survivors include son Greg Hansen of Omaha, daughter Kristi Shaw of Minneapolis, five grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
Funeral services will begin at 1 p.m. at the Heafey-Heafey-Hoffmann Dworak-Cutler West Center Chapel at 78th Street and West Center Road.
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