Cover photo for Nancy Freedman's Obituary
Nancy Freedman Profile Photo
Nancy

Nancy Freedman

d. April 15, 2019

Nancy Freedman (nee Murdock), on April 15, 2019 passed peacefully at Masonic Village of Lafayette Hill, PA where she had lived since 2016.  She was 92 and passed away from complications of dementia.      She was born on February 16, 1927 in Philadelphia, the daughter of Mary Helen Williams Murdock and James Roland Murdock. She attended West Philadelphia High School and worked at the original Lit Brothers in Center City, Philadelphia as an accounts receivable clerk.  At 18, Nancy undertook an examination of her Lutheran upbringing.  After an extended exploration she eagerly prepared and converted to Catholicism. Later, she worked as a bookkeeper at Robinson Chrysler where she met Arthur Freedman. He was an outstanding dancer who swept her off of her feet.    They were married for 39 years until his death in 1990, raising four children in East Oak Lane.  She was a devoted wife and mother. In addition, Nancy was a second mother to many of her children's friends.  They became her "surrogate" children and called her "Ma."    Nancy was actively involved in St. Helena's Parish, serving as a parent volunteer in the grade school, in the Catholic Youth Organization and as a leader in fundraising efforts for the parish.  She was a proponent of the Civil Rights movement, active civically in local politics and served as a poll worker for her voting district for many years. She quietly organized and held dinners to benefit Cardinal Dougherty High School sports, even washing the jerseys of the basketball team.   Surviving breast cancer in 1974, Nancy began volunteering at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Fox Chase, PA. She was one of the original volunteers and, later, was the first staff person hired by the Cancer Information Service, which provided a toll-free information hotline for cancer patients. Nancy became the supervisor and, according to her boss Christine Wilson, was the program’s heart and soul. Christine noted recently that Nancy “brought courage and dignity to everything she faced and did.  She made a real difference in so many lives, including thousands of people who never even met her… She supervised other staff, represented us with the National Cancer Institute and other organizations and held us all together.” In 1992 she received the Marion Morra Award for commitment and compassion.    In 1994, Nancy moved to Oreland, PA.  She quickly became involved in the community, socially and politically.  She developed many wonderful friendships and was in a book club and a prayer group.     Nancy was a talented decorator, gifted party planner and hostess who threw countless events. She reveled in the Christmas Season, her Irish heritage, NPR, opera and classical music. She enjoyed crocheting, completing the NY Times crossword puzzle, reading, especially history, and delighted in cooking incredible feasts for her children and grandchildren every Sunday and holiday. She cherished being with her family who were her greatest pleasure.    In her work and personal life Nancy was naturally giving, helping others without consideration for herself.  She donated to numerous charitable organizations.  She gently shared her understanding and love for God in ways that touched and helped many. She held Advent services for large groups in her home, loved St. Joseph and made St. Joseph's Day a special holiday with her family. Nancy was an active member of St. Vincent De Paul Parish in Germantown for many years. She organized and facilitated the All Souls service, was instrumental in the Bereavement Ministry and regularly made home-cooked meals for the Dining Room (Soup Kitchen). Her deep faith was evident in her caring and loving of those in need.   Nancy was an active, passionate member of Voice of the Faithful and The Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests (SNAP). For SNAP's annual conference she lovingly prepared an entire luncheon, including homemade baked ziti with sausage, for 150 attendees. She advocated for victims of childhood sexual abuse by Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals.    Though life confronted her with great torment and adversity, her courage, strength, faith and dignity sustained her. Everyone who knew Nancy experienced her vitality. She had endless energy. At the same time, she was quite refined. She had an indomitable spirit and carried warmth, optimism and a pervasive sense of the spiritual with her.  Even as she suffered cognitive decline, she continued to have a twinkle in her eye and looked beautiful.     She taught many valuable lessons, especially, that everyone is equal.  She modeled this by welcoming and befriending people of different races, religions, and sexual orientations into her life.  Nancy was the source of inspiration for many.    Nancy is survived by two children, James Freedman of Oreland and Diane Drinker (Ned) of Conshohocken, and by three grandchildren, Daniel, William and Emily Drinker. Nancy was devoted to Daniel, who has Down syndrome.  Nancy was predeceased by her eldest son, Tom, daughter, Patricia, granddaughter, Mary Elizabeth Drinker, grandson, Paul Freedman and sister, Patricia Schipani (Louis).  Nancy was very close with her nephew and nieces.  She was a positive force and supportive of her son, Jim's, stepchildren, Laura Curcio (Mark), Susan Eagan (Thomas), and Kathryn Donadio (Michael), and the late Sherry Latshaw and Ben Alger.   Friends and relatives are invited to attend her Funeral Mass on Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 10:30 A.M. in the auditorium at Masonic Village, 801 Ridge Pike, Lafayette Hill, PA 19444 where Visitation will begin at 9:00 A.M. Interment private.     Memorial donations in Nancy's name may be made to Melmark, a service provider for children and adults with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities, 2600 Wayland Rd., Berwyn, PA 19312 or https://ecomm.melmark.org/make-a-donation
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, May 4, 2019

9:00 - 10:30 am (Eastern time)

The Masonic Village at Lafayette Hill

801 Ridge Pike, Lafayette Hill, PA 19444

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Funeral Mass

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

The Masonic Village at Lafayette Hill

801 Ridge Pike, Lafayette Hill, PA 19444

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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