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Barbara Frees, 65, Ex-White Plains Public Defender

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Barbara Susan Frees, 65, of Wilton, Conn., died Thursday, April 5, in Norwalk, Conn., after a long battle with cancer.

Frees was a former public defender in White Plains Family Court representing clients in juvenile delinquency, custody and support matters

She was born on May 29, 1946, in the Bronx to Louis C. Frees II and Irene Nord Frees, both schoolteachers. Barbara Frees 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 was acting village justice for North Tarrytown.

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.

Frees was married to Donald Grunewald for 31 years, whom she met while teaching as an adjunct professor at Mercy College in 1980. 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.

Frees is survived by her husband; a son, Donald Frees Grunewald, and a daughter, Susan C.I. Grunewald, both of Wilton; a brother, Louis C. Frees III of Manlius, N.Y.; and a niece and nephew. She was predeceased by her parents and her brother, John H. Frees.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Wilton. 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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