Funeral Details


Funeral Details

Understanding Shiva

Gina Pearl Freed

January 22, 1944 - January 22, 2022

Entombment - Private

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We invite you to record a video, sharing a story or memory of Gina Pearl Freed. Your private recording will only be shared with the family.

Memorial Contributions

Ronald McDonald House Charities
1301 W. 22nd Street, Suite 905
Oak Brook, Illinois 60523


Gina P. Freed, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend, and nurse passed away on January 22, 2022 (her 78th birthday) after a difficult, year-long battle with leukemia. She was a lifelong “super nurse”, nursing professor, charity volunteer, cook, painter, artist, lover of animals and plants, health advocate, and enthusiast of travel, music and theater. Her passing leaves a massive and seemingly insurmountable hole in many lives. She will be dearly missed and mourned by friends and family alike.

Gina was born in Brooklyn, NY, to parents Henrietta and Isaac, and moved to Laurelton in Queens at an early age with her younger sister, Julie. Gina attended Hunter College where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nursing at age 20. There she met the love of her life, Karl Freed. They married shortly after graduation and moved to Chicago, where Karl took a position as Professor of Chemistry at the University of Chicago. They raised two daughters, Michele and Nicole, while Gina worked as a visiting nurse. She later went back to school for a master’s degree in public health nursing, graduating in 1977, and worked diligently afterwards as a visiting nurse, a nursing professor, and finally as a geriatric nurse practitioner at the Memory Center at the University of Chicago before retiring (very reluctantly) at age 70. She was a passionate health advocate for friends and family and a highly skilled diagnostician, oftentimes diagnosing family and friends’ health problems before their own doctors were able. She volunteered for fourteen years at the Ronald McDonald House in Hyde Park, was a fervent supporter of their cause, and considered the people there part of her extended family. Finally, a piece of her heart will always live on in the memory of the three cats she lovingly mothered: Isosceles, Cleo and Kaboodle.

Gina is survived by her husband of 57 years, Karl Freed, her loving daughter, Michele Freed, her dear sister, Julie Berkey and her pride and joy, her granddaughter, Cambria Chou-Freed.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Ronald McDonald House Charities, 1301 W. 22nd Street, Suite 905, Oak Brook, IL 60523, To keep everyone safe and healthy, the funeral service will be private. To attend the funeral live stream, please visit our website. Arrangements by Chicago Jewish Funerals - Skokie Chapel, 847.229.8822,


We encourage you to share your personal
condolences and stories of Gina Pearl Freed below and
we will share them with the family.
In loving memory of a wonderfully kind woman.

Andrea Goldberg
January 28, 2022
Gina was a dear friend to three generations of the Kleppa family. As a member of the third generation of that friendship, I will never forget her warmth and generosity.

When I was in college, Gina and Karl would have me over for dinner. To her, I was never eating enough, inspite of my obvious"freshman fifteen." At the begninning of each term, the dorms on campus opened on Sundays, but the cheapest flights back to Midway tended to be Fridays and Saturdays. Gina always offered to put me up, so I stayed in their place on Ingleside at the beginning of every quarter for the first few years of school.

That was fifteen years ago now. Since then, she always delighted in catching up during little trips to Hyde Park and our annual bbq at Kleppa cabin in Indiana. It was very special to have Gina and Karl at our wedding in 2018. By that point, my grandparents were long gone. They were, however, there in spirit--carried on in memory by friends like Gina, who had become our friend and occasional surrogate grandmother. We will, in turn, carry on her memory now. Much love to Karl, Michele, Julie, and Cambria.

Karl Haraldsson
January 28, 2022
I met Gina as we were walking to the first day of school in 1954. She was a year ahead of me but we became the best of friends and remained so until she passed on her 78th birthday. Her house was my second home, her sister, Julie like another sister...her mom taught me the facts of life. Although sometimes states and countries away from each other, we always had a connection through letters, phone calls and eventually email and Facebook. I will miss her dearly as there can be no one else like Gina "GG" in my life.

Marlene Zagon
January 29, 2022
There are many things I could say about my and my wife's experiences with Gina, but I think, in sum, that most everyone Gina touched soon learned that she was just a wonderful human being.

Don Heller
January 31, 2022
My deep sympathy to Karl and all the family. Gina was a nurse colleague at the Five Hospital Homebound Elderly Program and at The Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center. She was such a generous mentor- Many memories of shared meals and hospitality at their Michigan Shores home.

Mary Peranteau
January 31, 2022
I remember so vividly how Gina welcomed me and my wife Renee when we visited with the Freed family and when they visited with us in Israel. I am so sorry for your loss. May G-d comfort you among all the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Yehuda Band
February 1, 2022
I feel as though I have known Gina and Karl most of my life. I remember -somewhat cloudy as my recollection may be- their arrival to Hyde Park and Chicago. They attended a picnic at our family cabin in Indiana shortly after their arrival and Michele was still recovering from the major car accident they had been involved in a few weeks or months before. I remember a hot greenish yellow car that they drove in order to have a highly visible car. A few years later Gina & Karl, and another U of C Chemistry Department family used the house in Indiana for a few weeks one summer. A long remembered story arose when one or two of the small children locked themselves into the bathroom. Gina and the other mom engaged the local fire department to help them open the door to get the kids out. From then on great care has been take to avoid locking anyone into or out of the bathroom at The Clearing.

During high school I babysat for Michele and Nicole off and on. Even after I moved from Chicago, Gina and Karl were always on the Chicago visit list with my parents Ole and Joy Kleppa. Sometimes we would meet at Dairy Queen in Michigan City, sometimes at Panera. I recall one time meeting Gina and Karl with my mom and dad at the Casino’s restaurant. We visited Gina and Karl for several summer visits at their house in New Buffalo.

Every year Gina & Karl attended our Weekend-before-the-4th Picnic at The Clearing. For many years the picnic included my parents and their friends and colleagues from U of C. Photo albums at our cabin in Indiana feature photos of Gina & Karl – they are there, year after year. For some 5-6 years after my father passed away, when my mom was chief hostess, there are Gina & Karl. During the last 9 years since my mother passed away,(save the last 3 pandemic years), Gina and Karl are always present.

Through the years Gina wore many hats with our family. She guided my mom when my dad was a client at the Memory Center. She helped guide me and my mom through my mom’s final months with cancer. I know that she has been a sounding board for other retired faculty and their children when they were beset by difficult illnesses. Gina was a regular “nurse to the stars” -an invaluable resource and role model. In the late 1980’s, Gina was one of my nursing instructors at Rush.

In addition to hosting my son when he would come to Chicago a few days early every winter quarter, Gina and Karl hosted my husband or myself when we were passing through as well. Gina also hosted my daughter several times during her college years.

During the last 10 years of so, Gina and Karl were my connection to Chicago and Hyde Park. We would regularly speak on the phone and catch up on people, news and things. During the summers when I was in Chicago, I would stop by sometimes for lunch, and always for coffee. Stopping at Gina & Karl’s became a very regular thing when I was in the area or passing through.

Gina and I had a new interest together. Gina was taking art classes at the HP Art Center, most recently taking a hand building ceramics class. After years away from pottery, I took it up again about 5 years ago. The last time I saw Gina -in late December- she showed me her newest creations and spoke of how satisfying and calming it was to work in clay. She was looking forward to taking another class in the New Year. In 2022, Gina will be on my mind whenever I dig my fingers into a new pug of clay. I will miss you so very much!

Abbie Kleppa
February 3, 2022
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