Hetty Freeman o”h

Hetty Freeman and her late husband David Freeman were well-known and much respected members of our Congregation. Sadly, Hetty passed away during Pesach 5778 and was laid to rest at the Throop Cemetery on 5 April 2018.

These are the two eulogies read at the funeral by by Dina and Loraine Berlyn. Dina’s ‘She is gone’ is courtesy of David Harkins.

She is Gone

You can shed tears that she is gone

Or you can smile because she has lived


You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back

Or you can open your eyes and see all she has left


Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her

Or you can be full of the love that you shared


You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday

Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday


You can remember her and only that she has gone

Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on


You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back

Or you can do what she would want: open your eyes, love and go on.


Loraine Berlyn’s Eulogy

We will remember Hetty as someone who was a close-knit member of our family and not just a friend.

We know she worked tirelessly for the Bournemouth Jewish Community but she was also generous with her time, supporting my mum (zichron livrachah) after dad (zichron Livrachah) died and then us after mum’s tragic death. She considered our house in St. Leonards as her country residence and was always so happy to stay with us particularly at Yomtovim and especially Pesach.

We loved having her to stay, as she was so easy natured and no problem to care for. Even our cats that ran away and hid from everyone accepted her as part of the family and regularly sat on her lap purring and sleeping.

Hetty was highly intelligent and sociable and she often regaled us with stories of her time in the Women’s Royal Air Force and her early family life including her dogs.

To us she felt like a mother and grandmother and in the last year our granddaughter Heidi adored her saying

‘ Hetty ‘s my best friend”.  When she was flat bound in January Heidi missed her so much I took her on a visit to the flat. We stopped first at ASDA to buy flowers and Heidi insisted on white, so we bought chrysanthemums.

When Heidi gave the flowers to Hetty the love between them was evident and Hetty reciprocated with chocolate money. Heidi after a tour and inspection of the flat proceeded to chat for the next half an hour with poor Hetty hardly getting a word in.

Hetty became techno savvy as we taught her how to use a laptop, the Internet despite BT home hub efforts and colour printers and also took her to purchase a tablet. She could do all her shopping on line from groceries to clothes, started a family tree with one of the heritage sites and then joined Facebook.  She loved playing games and magic puzzles and frequently asked me what level I was on. I was normally the first port of call when technology broke down which sometimes proved difficult over the telephone and wasn’t helped when she kept forgetting her passwords.

She loved sitting in our garden and contributed to fruit bushes and plants which she taught me how to look after as she had accumulated a lot of knowledge on caring for plants over the years when having her own garden. I can even remember her helping me prepare my summer hanging baskets.

Through her later years Hetty had numerous health problems but she never altered her sunny and positive outlook on life. She just got on with things and was determined to remain as independent as possible. The last few weeks were very challenging as she dearly wanted to return to her flat but sadly that wasn’t to be.

She was a very brave person and I admired her courage through all the adversity she faced.

We will cherish our memories of her and hope she knew how much she was loved.