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Deborah Freedman, 1918-2001

Obituary for Deborah Selin Freedman, 1918-2001

November 5, 2001

Deborah Selin Freedman, a long-time researcher at the Population Studies Center and faculty member in the Department of Economics, died on November 3, 2001 after a valiant struggle with Alzheimer's disease. Memorial services were held on Tuesday, November 6 at the Beth Israel Congregation, Ann Arbor.

Deborah Freedman was born in Iron River, Michigan in 1918. She is survived by her husband, Ronald, Professor Emeritus of Sociology and formerly Director of the Population Studies Center; a daughter, Jane Davidson; a son, Joseph; and three grandchildren.

Deborah was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate (1940) of the University of Michigan. After her children were in junior high school, she returned to the University for M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics with special emphasis on population problems in developing countries. She collected important data for her Ph.D. dissertation on such issues with field work in Taiwan.

She taught for many years in the University's economics department and was also a Research Associate of the Population Studies Center. She published 27 scientific papers in leading economic and demographic journals.

She was known as an effective, feisty person and, therefore, was sought as a committee member who got things done. For example, she served the University as a member of such committees as those on Budget Priorities, The Honors Program, and Student-Faculty Policies.

Ron Freedman describes Deborah as a superb mother, wife, housekeeper, scholar-teacher, and public citizen.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Jewish Federation of Washtenaw County, CARE or some other worthy cause in Deborah's name.