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Barbara Frees, Wilton Zoning Board Member, Dies

WILTON, Conn. – Barbara Susan Frees, 65, of Wilton, died April 5 after a long battle with cancer. 

A resident of Wilton since 1996, Frees served on the Planning and Zoning Commission  from 1999 to 2007. She was currently serving on the Zoning Board of Appeals, which she joined in 2007.  

She was born on May 29, 1946, in the Bronx. She received a bachelor’s degree in Russian area studies from Fordham University in 1968 and a doctorate in 1975. She also received a master’s degree in Russian area studies from Yale University in 1970.  

Frees worked as a teacher in the Bronx and then as an attorney in White Plains. She was employed by Andrew O’Rourke’s firm and later served as acting village justice for North Tarrytown, N.Y. Frees then began a career as  public defender in White Plains Family Court, representing clients in juvenile delinquency, custody and support matters. 

In Wilton, she served on the zoning commissions for over 12 years, striving to maintain the character of the town she loved. Frees was married to Donald Grunewald for 31 years. They met in 1980 while she was teaching as an adjunct professor at Mercy College. She enjoyed skiing, fashion, cooking and walking. Travel was a particular joy, as she visited all six inhabited continents, all 50 states and most of the countries in Europe. 

In addition to her husband, survivors are a son, Donald Frees Grunewald, of Wilton; a daughter, Susan C. I. Grunewald, of Wilton; a brother, Louis C. Frees III, of Manlius, N.Y., as well as a niece and nephew. She was predeceased by her brother, John H. Frees. 

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Our Lady of Fatima Church. Arrangements are by Collins Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to student scholarships at Iona College, Mercy College, Fordham University or TCI College.

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