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Dolores Theresa Freeman
May 21, 1926 ~ January 21, 2024 (age 97) 97 Years Old
15 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Dolores's family - View on Tribute Wall
Dolores Theresa (Kraus) Freeman has many accomplishments in her life, but she always said family was the most important. And she lived that; she always made time for her large extended family. She is the beloved daughter of Frank Bernard Kraus and Irene Veronica Brinker; the sister of Francis (Buddy), Mary, Irene, Marguerite, and Gertrude; the wife of Robert Francis Lafferty Jr. and Peter Alan Freeman; the mother of Robert, Michael, Irene, Patricia, Anna, Richard, and Francis Lafferty and Michael, Tina, Amy and Leslie Freeman; the grandmother of 23; the great grandmother of 60+ and still counting, the great-great grandmother of four; and the aunt to many nieces and nephews. She was the true matriarch of our family.
She lived a life of service. She became a registered nurse as a young woman. Besides being employed as a nurse in hospitals or nursing homes, she helped and nursed many loved ones when she was needed. She had a prodigious aptitude for working very hard. In her later years, crocheting was a major outlet for giving service. She donated hundreds of hats, scarves, and lap blankets to those in need. On her last day on this earth, she started out working on a lap blanket for someone who is wheel-chair bound. Her afghans were works of art and she blessed many of her family and friends with beautiful and warm blankets.
Dolores adopted a “live and let live” attitude and accepted people where they were regardless of their choice of partner, the faith they adopted, or political views that may differ from hers. She loved people.
She was an accomplished artist. She attended art classes as a teenager for three years at the Maryland Institute of Art. She worked with oils and pastels. Most of us have a picture she painted hanging in our homes. She mastered the art of counted cross-stitch. All who have seen her “ballerina” can attest to this.
Dolores started gardening when she was 10 years old and had just moved to Baltimore. She grew a huge vegetable garden every year for her family. She was an avid gardener throughout her life with an amazing green thumb. She had a large greenhouse for many years on the eastern shore of Maryland. She was famous for her orchids.
Let’s not forget about playing cards. She loved to play cards! And following in the footsteps of her mother, she was not about to “let” anyone win regardless of whether they were 5 years old or 50 years old. And how about those insanely difficult jigsaw puzzles she would do with her husband, Pete!
She lived in Maryland for most of her life. Just before her 90th birthday, she packed up and sold her house in Maryland and moved across the country to live with her daughter Pat and her husband John. She remained there for the rest of her life. Dolores made dozens of good friends through the Parker Senior Center needlework group. They met every Friday afternoon; there was a little bit of needlework going on and a lot of laughing and carrying on. The senior center had them move to a room downstairs because they were so noisy! They used any excuse for a party and had one every month. After she stopped driving, her good friend, Dee, picked her up every week to take her there. Her Friday afternoons at the Parker Senior Center became the highlight of every week.
And Dolores loved a good party…enough said!
Dolores was no stranger to the trials of life. Throughout all, she was filled with grit and grace and was sustained by her great faith in God and the Lord Jesus Christ. She trusted the Lord to help her and bring her through these trials. As a little girl she experienced the Great Depression. As a teenager she lost her big brother, Buddy, unexpectedly to an undiagnosed illness. At the age of 36 in 1962, she lost her husband, Bob, and was left to raise seven children on her own. She managed to feed them, cloth them, shelter them, and keep them together. It was miraculous and a testament to her determination and strength. She married Peter Freeman in 1969 and took on the job of a blended family consisting of 11 children, most of whom were teenagers. That wasn’t easy or fun! But she stuck it out and did the best she could. Peter died in 2000. She went on to lose her mother and father and all her siblings. Three of her sons; Bob, Mike, and Francis; and one daughter, Leslie, preceded her in death. She was literally the last one standing in a very large family. Dolores was a master at rolling with whatever life brought her and she was a great role model to all who watched how she rode the waves of life.
Many think that the measure of our lives is in the things that we do, or how many friends we have, or how smart we are, or how much money we have. We think the true measure of a life well lived is in how we have learned to love and serve others. The true desires of Dolores’ heart were to love, bless, and serve others. We think she did that in spades and then some!
Instead of sending flowers, please make a donation to Volunteers of America in Dolores's name.