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Memorial for Bob Freiberg

longtime and long loved Kismet resident


                                  by Jeannie


It was at once the most beautiful and the most sad event.

 Arlene did a great and thorough job culling the guest list  from an array of friends over the years  as far back as his college classmate and as recent as his new neighbors across the street. The one common theme was their devotion to him.

Among the 70 plus guests in attendance were: Larry & Joyce, Marsha & Art, Gary & Dawn, Lou & Patty, Rudy & Patty, Helen, Regina, Frank,Dorothea, Mike & Marge, Phyllis & Charlie, Volleyball players Robin, Linda L, Mosse & Fred, Joe & Joanie, Frank & Heather, Christine H, Roz, Helene, Bradlee and Marilyn, Joe & Joanie, Elaine & Bruce, Cheryl and Mark R, Michelle & Peter, Cody & Bridget, Colette & Art, Sam, Rusty & Judy, Binnie, the Hellers. I apologize for any left out – as guests milled through the house and on the deck filling every crevice, it was hard to chronicle accurately.

Even though Arlene has previously confided she was having difficulty getting focused on planning the event it turned out beautifully.

It was a festive time for old acquaintances to meet newer ones. The hostess was gracious, the food marvelous, the company great. Bob would have loved it.

Arlene said knowledgably “Bobbie” was known for his eye for women “if there was an attractive woman around, Bobbie knew her”. Arlene and Bob were married Oct. 10, 2008.

Bob we hardly knew ye…

Bob’s rich and varied 85 year life came as a surprise to many here after reading his bio left for all to take. He studied Law and Finance, clerked for a Federal Judge, was a stockbroker, edited articles on real estate, banking, law and corporate affairs but also had jobs as a photographer and cab driver “the job he loved the most” according to Arlene. His genuine interest in people often took much of his time wherever he was. He was my champion at times when I needed one and his compliments on my endeavors were cherished.

For many years he was keeper of the Volleyball net, which meant no one played until he did. And was a stickler for the rules – as he saw them.

Such was his love of the sport he formed a Thursday night game for locals from the mainland whom he fed at his house on Thursdays. They were here for the memorial as well.

He eventually retired to Kismet in 1990. “This was his favorite place on earth, where he should be”.

Fittingly a tree was planted in front of the house “not the back as someone suggested. Bobbie would have hated that” said Arlene, and blessed with his ashes.

Too bad he couldn’t be there …or was he?



This amazing spread came from Marie's Tea in Manhattan - Arlene hired a private car to get it to the ferry. 

some of the Volleyball team some 30 years ago

Frank, Elaine & Bruce

Marilyn, Regina, Helen, Lou

Sam and longtime friends

Cody and Dylan

Cheryl, Frank & Phyliss


Roz, Helene & Dorothea


Jane and Joyce


Binnie, Mosse, Fred, Joe, Charlie




Art, Rusty, Dawn & Gary, Patti L


Bridget & Larry


The Hellers


Mike & Marge


Peter & Mark


Jane & Patty


Mosse, Linda & Robin  


                                                              by Bradlee



As we gathered around the Cherry tree where Bob's ashes would be scattered, someone suggested we sing "Happy Birthday" since the Memorial was deliberately held on his birthday.  The crowd of thirty or forty people belted out the traditional song in tribute.


Arlene asked for anyone who wished to share a memory to step forward.


Frank and Heather, staying in “Forbidden City,” admired the house and one night, Frank said “let’s go see.  Bob invited them in, offered them drinks and “sort of adopted them.”


Arlene with Frank and Heather


Guests listening to tributes


Elaine and Bruce Weinstein came up from Marco Island to pay tribute to their old friend Bobby.  Elaine referred to his well-known housekeeping skills and told how she taught him a "like goes with like" system of organization that seemed to take.



Years ago, Bob joined a group of mainland guys who came to Kismet for Volleyball on Thursday nights.  The game became a tradition with dinner following at Bob's House.



Joan McKeehan, their neighbor, said Bob was always on the front deck in the morning when they passed by on their way to work and again, in the evening.  She also alluded to the Volleyball ritual.  Arlene would came in on the late ferry, and they would sigh "thank goodness, Arlene's home.



Others who spoke included Cal, a fellow Alumnus from Hamilton College who spoke of Bob's subtle, off-beat sense of humor, some from Fair Harbor who came to Bob for help with writing a press release, Roz, Michelle and Sam Wood, whose mother designed the home where he spent his childhood, was always grateful for Bob and Arlene's care and "good stewardship."  Sam did the renovations which "would be even be difficult for me today."


Arlene, Sam and Cal


Roz Sackoff talked about seeing Bob in a Hawaiian shirt with a feather in his hat - when asked why the ensemble he said "to attract women's attention".


Michelle Schlecter


Once the tributes were done, Lou gently placed the ashes around the base of the tree and the guests lined up to take turns adding a shovel ful of dirt over the ashes, following a lovely Jewish gravesite tradition.


Lou Romanzi


Bruce Weinstein


Collette Weisser

Gary Leone


Maureen Kaley