Margaret 'Peggy' Freese
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SCARBOROUGH - Margaret 'Peggy' Freese had two lives, one as a wife and mother of three sons in a marriage that spanned more than four decades, and the other, started later in life, when she found her calling as a dedicated high school teacher.
Margaret Freese died, cherished by many in these varied roles, on Dec. 22, 2013, after a brief illness.
She was born Margaret Alice Turner on Aug. 26, 1944, in Biddeford, the daughter of Lloyd Haswell Turner and Florence E. Turner, both deceased, of Pine Point, where Margaret grew up. Pine Point then was a small fishing village where kids had the ocean practically in their back yards and where their playground was the beach, the marshes and clam flats, and the river where lobstermen moored their boats. In Pine Point, Margaret, along with her big sister Mary and younger twin siblings, Jack and Jill, learned about the seafaring life and developed a deep affinity for the water that never left them.
Margaret attended local schools, graduating from Scarborough High School in 1962. She was married in Sept. 1964 to Wesley A. Freese of Portland, and together they raised their three sons in the same Pine Point community of Margaret's childhood.
Family and home defined much of Margaret's life until her sons were grown, but in 1990, her husband's job transfer prompted their move to the rural town of Mercer in central Maine, and it was there that she began her pursuit of a dream, inspired long before by her high school English teacher, Marguerite Lary. 'Ma' Lary was a woman legendary for her zeal in teaching English to generations of Scarborough High School students (including Margaret's father) and for sparking a passion for literature in many students like Margaret, who never lost it. It was this passion that inspired Margaret's decision at the age of 48 to go to college and become a teacher.
She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Maine at Farmington in 1996, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education and a scholarship to graduate school at the university's Orono campus. So while most women her age were winding down toward retirement, Margaret was gearing up for a new career and
going to graduate school. Commuting on weekends from Orono to her home 75 miles away, she completed her graduate program in 1997, obtaining a Master's degree in Education with a concentration in Literacy.
Margaret then found the role she was destined for. She taught English for more than a decade, first at Skowhegan High School and Middle School and later at Madison Area Memorial High School. She held leadership positions as well, on committees dealing with scholarships, literacy and state curriculum initiatives, and taught adjunct courses in literacy at the University of Maine at Farmington. Her greatest love, however, was teaching literature to both advanced English classes and troubled learners. She inspired countless students with a thirst for great books and good writing, just as her own teacher had inspired her many years before.
Margaret retired from teaching in 2007 and, with her husband Wes, enjoyed a new phase of life and new kinds of learning and discovery through their travels across the country. A second home in the Southwest where they spent their winters brought new friends and a new landscape, but Margaret's heart was always in Maine, connected by her roots, her family and that tie to the sea that stayed with her throughout her life.
Besides her husband, Margaret is survived by three sons, Stephen R. Freese of Scarborough, Richard G. Freese of South Portland, and Wesley A. Freese Jr. of Seattle, Wash.; two sisters, Mary D. Bugenske of Bowdoinham, and Jill Florence Turner of Atlanta, G.A.; and four grandchildren, Emily, Abigail, Colton and Lilah, who amazed and delighted Margaret in her last years.
Friends of Margaret 'Peggy' Freese may join her family at a service celebrating her life on Jan. 25, 2014, at 1 p.m. at The Landing at Pine Point, 353 Pine Point Rd., Scarborough, a venue that was previously St. Jude's Catholic Church, where Margaret and Wes were married in 1964.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following organization devoted to ending domestic violence in Maine, a cause that was
important to Margaret:
Family Crisis Services
P.O. Box 704
Portland, Maine 04101
Margaret 'Peggy' Freese
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Jan. 19, 2014