Recently our once-upon-a-time classmate, Don (Ohanian) Freeman, sent me notice that his wonderful mom, Phyllis, had passed away at the amazing age of 101!
You may remember that Phyllis was the wife of John Ohanian, our erstwhile Superintendent of Music. If you spent 7th grade in Bedford Junior High, you may also recall Phyllis’ son (by first marriage), Donny—a musical talent, himself (and fellow fiddler). Phyllis was very well liked as I recall.
Phyllis was employed in our school system for many years as teacher, (piano) accompanist and school librarian. Before Don sent me this photo I had no mental image of his mom. Once I received the photo I recognized her immediately. That means (to me) she was contemporary with our years at Bedford and Staples—at least as our piano accompanist for the many concerts we put on. Obviously music is fortissimo in Freeman/Ohanian DNA.
From Don (October 13):
Hi, Cliff. Just a quick note to say that my mom died a month and a bit ago at age 101. She had a long and good life and passed peacefully and in no pain.
I thought you might want to run this on the Staples 55 website, since a number of people in our age cohort knew her… The funeral home did run an obit for her in whatever the local paper is there now [Newton, MA]. Feel free to edit it if you want, particularly the paragraph about the memorial service. Unfortunately we can’t accommodate people who might want to come, because her assisted-living place is putting on the service and we’ve already given them a headcount.
Hope all’s well at your end.
Phyllis had been living in Newton, MA, near Boston, a couple of hours away from Don’s home in western MA. Here is the (abbreviated) obit that ran in Westport Now: