MARGARET ANN FREER (née O’Neil), passed away peacefully at age 89. Adored wife of the late Harry M. Freer; dearest mother of Harry M. III (Nancy Dowling), Mark G. and Neil O. (Kathie); beloved grandmother of Emma, Christian and Mia; fond sister of John Philip O’Neil (Mary Karen) and the late Mary O’Neil, Robert O’Neil (Margaret), James O’Neil (Mary Helen), Patience O’Neil, Donal O’Neil (Barbara) and Alice Gaffney (Frank); daughter of the late Augustin F. and Marie K. O’Neil; cherished aunt of many nieces and nephews; and a beloved friend to those she treasured.
Margaret Ann was born and raised in Akron, Ohio, and was the seventh of eight children. She attended St. Sebastian and St. Vincent schools. She graduated from Washington D.C.'s Trinity College, where her mother, aunts and sisters also attended.
Margaret Ann met her husband Harry in 1951 at the Portage Country Club during Christmastime. Harry loved her smile and spirit. He affectionately called her “Red” for the 64 years they were married—and “Big Red” when the occasion called for it. Margaret Ann and Harry loved adventuring.
Margaret Ann raised her three sons to be gentlemen with a strong work ethic and was devoted to her grandchildren. They fondly recall a trip she took them on to visit her alma mater in Washington D.C., traveling via Amtrak and visiting her dear friends and relatives in the capital city.
For more than six decades, Margaret Ann was a dedicated volunteer for many organizations, including the Cleveland State University Foundation, Catholic Social Services, Gesu Church & School, the Women’s Committee of the Cleveland Orchestra, Family Transitional Housing, United Appeal, the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court’s Citizen’s Advisory Board and the Cleveland Art Institute.
Margaret Ann enjoyed a career as real estate appraiser after much continuing education, including at John Carroll University and Harvard University for Real Estate Investments. She culminated her career as an analyst and department head at Cleveland Trust/Ameritrust Bank.
Margaret Ann will be remembered as an independent woman of great faith; deeply devoted matriarch; world traveler; gourmet cook; consummate hostess; lifelong reader; community, cultural and charitable volunteer; career woman; and civic board member. “M.A.” was also a kind, generous, fun, loveable and most memorable force to be reckoned with. A beloved friend and treasured relative, she will be missed.
A private family Mass in celebration of her life will be held on Saturday December 26 at 11 a.m., Church of the Gesu, 2470 Miramar Blvd., University Heights, OH. Those who wish may view the service virtually and find a complete obituary and guestbook at www.Brown-Forward.com/obituary/MargaretAnnFreer. Private Interment at All Saints Cemetery in Northfield, OH. A Celebration of her life will be announced in the summer of 2021.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to: Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Tri-Province Development Program, P.O. Box 157, Stevenson, MD 21153, Trinity-Washington Univ. Development Office, 125 Michigan Ave., Washington D.C. 20017 or The City Mission, 5310 Carnegie Ave., Cleveland, OH 44103.