In Memory and Appreciation of Nancy Hebb Freeman
Creativity. Nature. Light.
These are the ideas that drove Nancy Hebb Freeman to seek out Forest Park on her almost daily walks with her partner, Ray Siderius. Together, they would explore the trails, observe the changes of the season and connect with nature.
Nancy passed away in August of 2015. She named the Forest Park Conservancy in her will and her generosity will help us restore even more land and improve even more trails in the park she loved so much.
Nancy grew up on the east coast and studied art in college. Graduate school in special education took her to Arizona where she fell in love with the light, colors and the land. Nancy moved to Portland, Oregon after the death of her husband in 1999 and continued her painting of the Northwest and travels to wherever her adventures took her. In recent years she enjoyed going to Mexico to travel, hike and relax. Her camera and paints were always close by to capture the magic of the light, nature and the people of Mexico.
A big part of Ray and Nancy’s relationship was Forest Park. Ray lived in Portland for 40 some years and was familiar with Forest Park. Nancy and Ray would regularly take walks in Forest Park. If they were going to do an outing and had time, even in bad weather, Forest Park was their first choice. Even in snow, this was the place they’d go.
“For Nancy, Forest Park was refreshment, contemplation, exercise, and a sanctuary. Often, when she wanted a break, even when I or others were not available, she would head for one of her favorite stretches on the Wildwood Trail,” said Ray.
Nancy was a generous woman. In Oaxaca, where she visited each year, Nancy provided support to women to improve their sewing technique to make their wares more attractive to tourists. She and Ray were active in a nonprofit that bought a used ambulance and brought it down to Oaxaca so remote villages would have a way to transport people to the hospital.
And locally, with her legacy gift to the Forest Park Conservancy, her vision for a community that can enjoy nature will be fulfilled. We are grateful that her generosity extended to the community she so appreciated in Portland.
If you'd like information about how you can leave a legacy to ensure Forest Park is restored and protected for future generations, please contact Sheryl Sackman.