Elisabeth Freeman is the daughter of John and Blanche (Bishop) Freeman. She was the fourth of five children in that family and was raised primarily in Binghamton NY. She attended Cortland Normal School (now SUNY- Cortland) studying education. She became a teacher and ultimately a much beloved and compassionate guidance counselor in the Paramus NJ school system. She joined the Women’s Army Corps during WWII and then returned to teaching. After retirement she moved to Wolf Creek to be close to her nephew Carl Wittman, and later to Durham NC to be near Carl and his partner Allan Troxler. While in Oregon she came out as a lesbian and joined an active community of women and supported the women’s land trust movement. In North Carolina, she started an older woman’s housing coop and enjoyed this experiment in living until a stroke made it difficult to manage. She was very active in the LGBT and women’s communities and the Sun Assembly dance group that Carl and Allan started.
Elizabeth (or Betty as she was known earlier in her life) was engaged in many progressive causes, including the anti war movement, Women’s Land Movement, lesbian and gay pride, fighting ageism, and founded, with others, Old Lesbians Organizing for Change (OLOC). She started a housing co-op for elderly women. She founded a small publishing company called Crone’s Own Press with a catalog of older women’s prose and poetry.
Local press coverage on Elizabeth’s founding of a housing coop for elderly women:
An article on housing coops and alternatives for old women:
A flyer for Crone’s Own Press Elizabeth’s publishing house:
Elizabeth Freeman Obituary: