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Sun., Oct. 4
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Josephine Freer


Josephine (Jo) Freer, 74, passed away from cancer on April 22, 2014, at her home in Potsdam, New York, under the compassionate care of Hospice with family in attendance.

She is survived by her husband James, three children and their families: Carrie (Tom) French (Potsdam, NY), grandchildren Daniel and Emma; Jason (Kristie) Freer (Erie, PA), grandchildren Allison and Grace; Timothy (Christina) Freer (Hamden, CT), grandchildren Olivia and Lauren. She is also survived by three brothers and their families: Boake and Marian Sells (Florida), Greg and Barbara Sells (California), and Tim and Melinda Sells (California).

Jo was born in Estherville, Iowa, in 1939, the daughter of Lyle and Louise (Gadd) Sells, and spent most of her childhood in Fort Dodge, Iowa. She graduated from the University of Iowa and worked for a time at Bell Telephone in Chicago, and General Mills in Minneapolis prior to marrying James in Fort Dodge, Iowa, on July 22, 1967. Jo raised the family while following Jim’s Alcoa career through stops in Minneapolis, Cleveland, Akron, Pittsburgh, and Atlanta before winding up in Massena, NY. During that time she enjoyed being a substitute teacher in the North Country. Throughout her adult years she was active in religious instruction. She was a lifelong avid reader, loved music especially jazz, proficient knitter, and was totally devoted to her grandchildren. She is fondly remembered by many for her unselfish and thoughtful attention and concern to others, old and young, in need of a listening ear or a helping hand.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, April 28th at 11:00 am at St. Mary’s Church in Potsdam with Father Garry Giroux and Msgr. Robert Aucoin concelebrating the Funeral Mass. Calling hours will be held on Sunday, April 27th from 3:00-6:00 pm at Garner Funeral Home in Potsdam.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate contributions to Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley or Catholic Relief Services. On line condolences may be made at

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