Josephine Freeman

Josephine Freeman of Greenport departed this life on March 13, 2012, at San Simeon by the Sound Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation in Greenport, N.Y.

Josephine was born July 24, 1927, to Katie Mae and George Gray in Aurora, N.C., where she attended S.W. Snowden Elementary and High School. She married Elijah Freeman in 1951 and later moved to Greenport. She was a very hard worker.

She served on the Board of Directors of the North Fork Housing Alliance Inc. for over five years and was a strong advocate for the people of her community. Josephine was a member of Clinton Memorial AME Zion Church. She was an extraordinary Missionary. In her early years of church work, she would go around in the community to visit the sick and shut in, bringing good tidings to those in need. Josephine was a religious listener of the late Rev. James Cleveland, her favorite gospel singer.

She was a connoisseur when it came to opening scallops, talking junk and preparing soul food, especially her collard greens. One of her favorite lines was “With your ugly pretty self.” She was an avid gardener who loved growing her own vegetables. Josephine loved her “hats;” she “broke it” to the side.

Josephine was a great listener to all who came to her. She was always clear and concise with her advice when anyone asked her. She said what she meant and meant what she said, and if you did not want the truth you should not ask.

She always said family was first; never overlook anyone, especially your family. We are all God’s children.

Josephine leaves to mourn her and cherish her memory her beloved sister Katherine Bonito-Gray of New Haven, Conn.; four children, Matilda Palmore and Mary Diane Bennett (Emmett), both of Greenport, and Frank Freeman and George Freeman (Theresa), both of Riverhead, N.Y.; 14 grandchildren: Sylvia Bennett, Tanya Palmore, James Lawrence, Theresa L. Freeman, Terrence Pope, Crystal Anderson, George Jackson, Charmaine Freeman, Shannon Welch, Samuel Smith, Ebony Freeman, Jasmine Freeman, Latonya Jackson and Kelly Coleman; 14 great-grandchildren; a godchild, Patrick Parks; daughter-in-law Beatrice Freeman of Greenport; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, family and friends.

She was predeceased by siblings Nettie Woody (her twin sister), Mary Louise Saunders, William Henry Gray, Walter Gray, Johnny Gray and Leroy Gray; step-siblings Sadie Smith-Cobb, Johnny Smith and Mahue Smith; and three grandchildren, Stephanie Ann Palmore and Josephine and Corey E. Freeman.

Viewing was held Sunday, March 18, at DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home. Homegoing services were held on Monday, March 19, at Clinton Memorial AME Zion Church in Greenport, the Rev. Nathaniel Heyward officiating. Interment was at Southold Presbyterian Cemetery.

This is a paid notice.