Hearts Love 24

Jennifer L. Freeman

April 12, 1952 ~ June 14, 2021 (age 69)


Jennifer L. Freeman

KITTERY. By the time you read this, I will have gone to Glory. Or maybe I went in the other direction. Maybe I’ll come back as your dog. Or dissolve into nothingness. I think I’ll just let the mystery be. I have an obituary to write.

I was born at York hospital in 1952 to Leonard (Lennie) Freeman and Marion Edythe Hawkins (Freeman) Ackerman. I drifted through the York school system, an indifferent and rebellious student. Upon graduation and with concerns that college might interfere with my education, I headed to secretarial school so I could learn a skill and gain my independence fast. Turns out, I was the most unhappy little secretary. Several years later, reeling from a broken heart and armed with a year of high school German that I’d slept through, I took a job as an au pair in Munich, Germany. That didn’t work out great either, but I did find a job in an office that wanted an American speaker. I couldn’t get a green card for that job and I overstayed my visa (yes, I was an illegal alien!), but I was treated and paid fairly in the office, got to do a lot of traveling, and made lifelong friends. I’ve had lots of jobs doing many different things but my favorites were my last ones: teaching jazz tap dance and running my gardening business.

Music has been a constant source of pleasure, inspiration and solace throughout my life, starting with seeing the Beatles on their first US tour at Boston Gardens. I saw wonderful bands at Paul’s Mall and at the Jazz Workshop on Boylston Street, Boston, and at Lennie’s on the Turnpike in Danvers . . . and somehow managed to get to high school the next day. Discovering percussive dance, which gave me both movement and sound, combined my love of dance and music. Oh, those rhythms! There was nothing more exciting than the trips to NYC with my tap pals for classes with the greats. For years I hosted my weekly show on WSCH-FM, “Soul Vaccination”, playing music and telling stories about the music, the artists, and about my own life. For two hours in that quiet, darkened studio, it was just me and the unseen listener; it was a time outside of time. When the show was over, I’d hang up my headphones and walk out, blinking and disoriented, back into the ‘real’ world. Now I play in PMAC’s (Portsmouth Music and Arts Center) Wednesday night ukulele jams for evenings of strumming, singing, beer and good times. I’m so grateful for the music and for the wonderful friends I’ve made there. I’ll be raising a glass to you from on high.

I met my husband Gary twenty-two years ago at the boat launch on Pierce Island. We paddled out to the ocean and watched the sun set in the west while the moon rose in the east behind Whaleback. Then we went to Izzy’s for ice cream. I thank the gods I met and married this lovely guy. We’ve had a great run of it. Throughout this illness, Gary has stood by me, taken care of me, loved me, and done everything within his power to keep me safe, happy and comfortable. Thank you, my love.

I want to thank my siblings Sally, Tim, and Missy for keeping me laughing, for their love, and for stepping up to the plate without hesitation during this rough time. And I want to thank the legion of friends and neighbors who have supported us. I am humbled and my faith in

humanity is buoyed up to the sky.

I leave behind my husband Gary Mitchell, siblings Sally Pachulski and her husband Dennis of Raymond, ME and Galveston, TX; my brother Leonard (Chip) Freeman and his wife Marianne of HI, my brother Tim Ackerman and his wife Edith of Melrose, MA, and my sister Missy Ackerman and her partner Laura Hebert of Cleveland Heights, OH. I also leave behind assorted nieces, nephews, and cousins. And last but not least, I leave behind my adored pets: my dog Connor and my cats, Tooxsie and Miss Ada Mae.

I also want to thank the doctors and staff at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, at New England Cancer Specialists, and at Cornerstone Hospice, for their exemplary care and compassion.

In lieu of flowers and if you have extra cash floating around, please consider making a donation to the aforementioned Dana Farber Cancer Institute, New England Cancer Specialists, and Cornerstone Hospice, or PMAC. And do something unexpected and kind for someone once in a while. It will do you both good.

Jenny died at home on June 12, 2021. 


September 19, 2021

1 - 3 PM

Kittery Community Center (outside)

120 Rogers Road

Kittery, ME


Family and friends are invited to celebrate Jenny’s wicked sense of humor and her  passion for jazz and dance. Join us for tributes, music and a New Orleans style funeral parade. There will be a tent for shade, so feel free to bring a chair. Bring a photo if you like. Jenny asks that those attending please be fully vaccinated against Covid 19. And she WILL be watching you…



Celebration of Life
September 19, 2021

1:00 PM
PM Kittery Community Center (Rogers Road Kittery)

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