Freda Berger, 99, of Sandy Springs, passed away on Mon., July 22, 2013.
She was born to Ida and Charles Greenberg, of blessed memory, on March 1, 1914 in Rochester, N.Y. The family moved to St. Catharines, Ontario when she was two-years-old. She graduated from St. Catharines Collegiate High School in the mid-1930s, during the depths of the Depression. Unable to attend college, she worked as a bookkeeper (she was a math whiz) until 1940, when she married Julius “Julie” Berger, also of Rochester.
They took up residence in Rochester until Julie died in 1990, a few months short of their 50th wedding anniversary.
Their sons, William and Michael, were born in 1943 and 1947 respectively. Freda was a homemaker most of her life, but in the 1970s she went to work at Sibley’s Department Store in Irondequoit, N.Y., where she thrived as a salesperson. When the family moved to Irondequoit in 1953, Freda and Julie were among the founding families of Temple Beth David, where they played a prominent role at the synagogue for over 50 years.
They initially organized and then ran a weekly bingo game for many years. After Julie’s death, Temple Beth David became Freda’s extended family until she moved to Buffalo, N.Y. in 2007, where Michael, his wife Joanne and their three children, Alon, Jennifer, and Aliza live. She moved to Atlanta in March 2011.
In Atlanta, Freda is survived by William, his wife Rhea, their two children, Corey and Danielle, and her four great-grandchildren, Evan, Lindsay, Jared and Jace. Freda is also survived by two sisters, Sylvia Gerowitz of Rochester and Shirley Diamond of Toronto, Ontario.
Freda was very family oriented and kept in close contact with all of her relatives, particularly in Canada. There were many family visits each year. She had a passion for cooking and will be remembered for how good she was at it. She also had a gift of gab – when on a plane, by the end of the flight the person next to her knew her whole family history.
After Julie died, the most striking aspect of Freda was her independence. Although she never learned to drive, she always got to where she needed to be – even if it meant walking. In fact, while in Huntcliff, the assisted living facility in Atlanta where she lived, she was always out of her apartment, either participating in activities like bingo or mah jong, or just sitting in the foyer with the other residents.
At 99, the staff at Huntcliff affectionately called her “Grandma” and viewed her as one of the more viable and lovable residents. An online guestbook is available at www.edressler.com. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to either Temple Beth David, 3200 St. Paul Blvd., Rochester, NY 14617, or to Temple Emanu-El, 1580 Spalding Dr., Atlanta, GA 30350, ot to Congregation Shir Shalom, 4660 Sheridan Dr., Williamsville, NY 14221. Graveside services were held July 24, 2013 at Vaad Hakolel Cemetery in Rochester with Rabbi Rachel Smookler officiating. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care of Atlanta.