Vita Freedman

May 8, 1939June 3, 2019

of Peabody, passed away peacefully on June 3, 2019 at the age of 80, after a brief illness. Born Vita Janice Rothstein to Sadie (Lipsitz) Rothstein and Louis Rothstein, she graduated from Chelsea (MA) High School in 1956.

Vita was a favorite sister, devoted wife, adorable mother, auntie, best cousin, other mother, surrogate aunt, bonus grandma and partner, as well as a cherished friend to many. This probably includes you, Dear Reader. She remained extremely close with many childhood friends from “the old country” (Chelsea), her career and her community until her death.

Vita was a trained secretary who worked on Madison Avenue in New York in the early 1960s (she said it was nothing like “Mad Men,” but photos tell a different story), then took many years off to raise her two children. In 1977, she returned to work, first in the office at Temple Ner Tamid, and later, in 1984, as Executive Assistant to the Manager (not a job title from “The Office”) at Peabody Municipal Light Plant, retiring in 1992.

She lived in Peabody for nearly 45 years, in the only home she ever owned—a “Tiny House” long before that became a Millennial trend. And because of her days at the Temple and the Light Plant, she seemingly knew someone wherever she went.

Vita loved to sit outside in the sun on her deck reading a juicy novel or go for a walk around Lake Quanapowitt in Wakefield with her girlfriends. She always enjoyed the company of her expansive and far-flung network of family, or any party—as long as it wasn’t in her honor.

Vita was predeceased by her beautiful daughter Deborah, and her lovingly facetious husband Warren. She leaves her son Ross, daughter Joy and beloved grand-dog Hoover, of Oak Park, IL, and her devoted partner of the past four and half years, Kenny Coburn of Peabody. In addition, she leaves her brothers and sisters Irving and Rosemary Rothstein of San Francisco, Herb and Elaine Rothstein of Peabody and Alvin and Janet Freedman of Silver Springs, MD. Vita also leaves more extended family members than our word count allows for, as well as many people she considered family.

Services will be held on June 5 at 11:00 a.m. at Temple Ner Tamid in Peabody, with interment to follow at the Jewish Community Center of Chelsea Cemetery in Danvers. The condolence meal will occur following interment on Wednesday evening at the Club House at Huntington Wood in Peabody until 8:00 pm with minyan at 7.

The family would like to thank the Emergency, Neurology, MICU, Palliative Care and Counseling teams at Lahey Hospital Medical Center in Peabody and Burlington, as well as everyone at Care Dimensions/Kaplan Family Hospice House, Danvers, for their abundant kindness, generosity and caring.

Vita gave regularly to approximately 50 charities; if you feel so inclined, please a make a donation in her memory to the charity of your choice.



  • Temple Service Wednesday, June 5, 2019
  • Interment Wednesday, June 5, 2019


Vita Freedman

have a memory or condolence to add?

Rosemary Rothstein

June 10, 2019

Always V.V. , Vivacious Vita to me 💃 .

Roslyn Barr

June 10, 2019

The time we have is never enough. The love we have is never ending. The ones we say good-bye to are never forgotten. With heartfelt sympathy. Vita was such a wonderful woman. ❤️🙏❤️

Jennifer Avers

June 9, 2019

I always looked forward to Vita's visits to Chicago. It was a treat when we were able to pop over and see Ross' sweet momma. Often answering the door with popcorn or some other tasty snack, eager to share her food and a sincere and warm welcome. It felt good and safe being with her. Our heart aches for you all. What a precious spirit. xo Jenny, Scotty & Ainsley

Deb Smith

June 6, 2019

I knew Vita and her family since I was in middle school and they were all such nice people. I was very sad to hear of her passing. My sincerest condolences to Ross and his family, and to her relatives and friends. She was a kind and generous person whom I will always remember with fondness.

maria ellis

June 5, 2019

Ross and Joy,
I am so sorry for your loss. You have Warren, Debbie and now Vita watching over you from heaven. I am sure they are still as united in their love for you as they always were here in this life. God bless you and keep you safe until we meet them again. Thank you for sharing your wonderful mom with us all of these years. She has been a blessing in my life. I have many of her warm notes full of encouraging words that always arrived in the mail at just the right time.