Official Obituary of

Barbara L. Freed

May 16, 1930 ~ March 21, 2024 (age 93) 93 Years Old

Barbara Freed Obituary

Barbara Hai Freed of Menands, NY passed away peacefully at St. Peter’s Hospital Hospice Inpatient Care Unit on March 21, 2024 at the age of 93 after a brief illness and remarkable life.

Born on May 16, 1930, daughter of Mae (Doling) of Albany, NY and Joseph Hai of Damascus, when it was part of Turkey, Barbara was a lifelong resident of Albany, with the exception of eight happy years spent in Marion, Ohio.

A graduate of the St. Agnes School in 1947, she earned her BS from Cornell University in 1951where she was a member of the Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority.

Married for forty years to Bertram Freed, starting their family in Marion, Ohio, the Freeds moved to Albany, NY to run the high fashion Flah’s Department Store following the death of her father and founder, Joseph Hai in 1959. At a time, when women in management were almost unheard of, Barbara ultimately became President of Flah’s.

In addition to family and business one of her other lifelong passions was travel. Barbara travelled to every continent except Antarctica. She photographed blue footed boobys in the Galapagos, mountain gorillas in Rwanda, pyramids in Egypt, the iconic Rolls Royce Fleet at the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong, the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro from base camp, an autumn vista on an Adirondack hike, the view atop Mt. Mansfield in Stowe while skiing, her beloved Mets at a Citifield game with all of her children on her 88th birthday, huge family gatherings of cousins in Israel, performances at the Metropolitan Opera over many decades and the Atlantic Ocean from the deck of The Queen Mary Ocean Liner on her 1949 transatlantic trip.

Barbara earned numerous accolades over the years as a woman in business. Being the second recipient of the Helen Bull Vandervort Alumni Achievement Award from the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University in 1983 was the one of which she was most proud.

Barbara had an expansive and inclusive definition of family. She welcomed hundreds of friends, family, business associates and friends of friends to gather for a meal or stay for a time while studying, passing through, recovering from illness or just needing a place to regroup, in the home where she lived from 1959 until her death.

Barbara is survived by her children Marc (Aileen Leventon), David, Jamie (Jeff Brody), and Reuben Samson and fourteen grandchildren, Benjamin, Sarah, Roddy and Nina Freed, Steven, Katie, Emma and Sophie Freed, Mordechai and Malcolm MacWilliams, Shirley, Rebecca, Rachel and Danielle Samson, niece Bonnie Davis of Voorhees, NJ, cousin Amalia Snyderman of Tel Aviv, Israel and numerous family and friends who loved and will miss her forever.

She was pre-deceased by her sister in law and brother in law Betty and Jerry Davis of Marion, Ohio, nephew, W. Keith Davis, Sunny and Shirley Samson of Hong Kong, daughter in law Karen Samson of Newtown, PA, Bette Coe and her beloved son Ross for whom she cared fiercely from his first illness in 1964 until his death in 2019 and next to whom she will be laid to rest.

In lieu of flowers or tree planting Contributions may be made in Barbara’s name to either, Team Billy which promotes awareness and support to find a cure for brain tumors or The Community Hospice Foundation specifying the Hospice Inpatient Care Unit at St. Peter’s Hospital.

Barbara’s family would like to thank the incredible staff on the fourth floor Cardiac Critical Care Unit at St. Peter’s Hospital as well as the outstanding, warm and loving staff of the St. Peter’s Hospice Inpatient Care Unit for making her last days as dignified and comfortable as possible.

Funeral services will be held at Congregation Beth Emeth, 100 Academy Rd. in Albany at 10:00 am, Monday, March 25, 2024. The funeral will be live streamed and can be viewed here: Beth Emeth Live Stream. Burial immediately following at Beth Emeth Cemetery, 58 Turner Lane in Loudonville, after which we invite you to join us at Barbara’s home 15 N Sage Hill Lane, Menands, NY where we will receive friends and family to honor and remember Barbara between 1:00pm and 6:00pm. Family and friends are also invited to gather on Wednesday, March 27, 2024 from 4:00pm-8:00pm at the home of Marc Freed and Aileen Leventon 42 Sunset Ave. Kinderhook, NY 12106.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Barbara L. Freed, please visit our floral store.

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