Karen Schoonmaker Freudenberger, who spent her professional and personal life helping others, died unexpectedly of a heart attack Dec. 1, 2016, at age 60.
Freudenberger graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1978, then worked for a congressman and spent a year in Kenya as a Rotary Fellow before earning an MPA degree from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School in 1983. Then she served in the Peace Corps for two-plus years in Senegal, where she met her husband.
After she worked with him in international-community development in Senegal; Madison, Wis.; and Washington, D.C., they spent 11 years in Madagascar. There she was singularly responsible for resurrecting a railroad after a cyclone destroyed it. The king of Thailand and the Madagascar government honored her for this.
Returning to the United States and settling in Burlington, Vt., she lectured at the University of Vermont. Upon realizing that local immigrants were importing 3,000 pounds of frozen goat meat from Australia, she set up a collaborative farm on which two immigrant families raise goats and chickens for sale, and 60 families grow vegetables of their native countries.
She is survived by her husband, Mark; two daughters; and her parents.
Graduate memorials are prepared by the APGA.