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My Mother Died

My mother died in a tragic accident Tuesday night 4/5/05. We remember her and try to be better people in her honor.
From the Legal Intelligencer:
Partner-Pilot Killed in Air Crash
New York Lawyer
April 8, 2005

By Asher Hawkins

The Legal Intelligencer

Barbara Freedman, a Duane Morris partner who was an expert on tax law and ERISA and was an avid pilot during her free time, died at age 57 when the single-engine aircraft she was aboard crashed Tuesday night in South Jersey.

Friends and colleagues said yesterday the details of the crash are not yet clear. According to media reports, Mrs. Freedman was in a Piper Arrow along with a certified pilot from Marlton, N.J., when the crash occurred; a cause has not been identified.

Duane Morris chairman Sheldon Bonovitz said the firm’s members “were shocked and saddened to learn of Barbara’s untimely death.”

“She was very, very well liked and admired, and it is a great loss for us,” he said. Bonovitz noted that Mrs. Freedman, who had been at the firm since 1996, was a firm leader in the area of employee benefits, setting up employee benefits programs for some of Duane Morris’ biggest clients and for the firm itself.

Mrs. Freedman was active in the Philadelphia Bar Association. She had year-long terms on the bar’s Board of Governors twice in the past decade and, at the time of her death, was chairwoman of its tax section.

“Barbara Freedman was one of those people who did a lot without demanding a lot of attention,” bar association Chancellor Andrew Chirls said.

“What was really wonderful was, she never said, ‘I want attention, I want credit.’ She just wanted to make sure that the right thing got done.”

Joan Arnold, who heads Pepper Hamilton’s tax group, said she first met Mrs. Freedman in 1986 and credits her friend with bringing her into Philadelphia’s tax lawyer community.

“She was an incredibly gracious woman and always wanted to give more than she received,” said Arnold, whom Mrs. Freedman had recently convinced to join her in co-chairing the Philadelphia Tax Conference later this year. “She had an incredible trength about her – an iron fist in a velvet glove. She always got what she wanted, and you were always happy to give it to her.”

Mrs. Freedman and Jim Brengle, a Duane Morris partner, shared an interest in flying. Brengle, a former Navy pilot who has logged several thousand hours’ flight time, aid that when he first met Mrs. Freedman in 1996, she was just getting started as a pilot. Over the years, Mrs. Freedman would frequently stop by Brengle’s office in the evenings, and the pair would discuss flying.

“She was professional in her approach [to being a pilot],” Brengle said. “We talked about the concept of flying and she always impressed me as being a person who could follow the rules and not take chances. She respected the flying and the airplane.”

At the time of her death, Brengle said, Mrs. Freedman held FAA private pilot certification for single-engine land-based aircraft, and she had also received instrument rating, qualifying her to pilot a plane in inclement weather.

“You don’t go get your instrument rating unless you have a genuine interest in and love of flying, which she did,” Brengle said.

Mrs. Freedman graduated from Temple University School of Law in 1977. She was on the faculty of the graduate tax program at her alma mater from 1981 to 1999, though she spent much of that time as an adjunct professor.

Before joining Duane Morris, Mrs. Freedman had her own firm, Freedman & Associates.

She is survived by her husband, Allan Freedman of Elkins Park; sons Avraham, of Philadelphia, and Noam, of Boston; and daughter Reena, of Boston.