Valerie M. Freer of Ellenville went to be with her Lord on September 10, 2020. She was an active member of Ellenville Reformed Church, singing in the choir and, if needed, playing the piano.
Valerie had a long career in education that began at Ellenville Central School where she taught 2nd and 7th grades and Biology. She went on to earn a PhD from Harpur College of Binghamton University and was a Professor of Biology at Sullivan County Community College (SCCC). She was awarded the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. She completed her career at SCCC as Chair of the Division of Science and Mathematics.
A superb birder, Valerie was extremely active in the field of Ornithology. As a licensed bird bander with the US Fish and Wildlife Service for over 50 years and member of the Eastern Bird Banding Association, Valerie banded over 6000 songbirds and over 300 Saw-whet Owls on her property. A member of Sullivan County Audubon Society, she served as president, newsletter editor, and field trip leader for decades. She established the database of county bird records and co-authored “Birds of Sullivan County, NY, A Checklist and Summary of Records”. On the state level, Valerie served as president of the New York State Ornithological Association and she chaired the steering committee of the Second Atlas of Breeding Birds of New York State.
She is survived by a daughter: Emily Freer Arter & her husband Joseph of Saugerties; two grandchildren: Camille & Isabel; a brother: Robert Misner & his wife Donna of Las Vegas, NV; a sister: Diane Bunting & her husband Rick of Bainbridge; her good friend: Mary Collier; and several cousins, nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, Milford Misner and Lillian Lawrence Misner, she was predeceased by two siblings: Judith Johnson and Fred Misner.
Memorial visitation will be held on Tuesday, September 15 from 5:00 to 7:00pm at the VanInwegen-Kenny Funeral Home, 111 Sullivan Street in Wurtsboro. A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, September 16 at 2:00pm at the Ellenville Reformed Church, 188 Canal Street in Ellenville. Interment of her ashes will follow at the Fantinekill Cemetery in Ellenville. Social distancing guidelines must be met - a limited number of people at one time will be allowed in the funeral home and at the church, and facemasks are required.
Memorial contributions may be made to Ellenville Reformed Church, 188 Canal St., Ellenville, NY 12428; or give to the church online at givebutter.com/GBRuH7; or to the Sullivan County Audubon Society c/o Charles Hyden, Treasurer, 187 Debruce Road, Livingston Manor, NY 12758.
Arrangements under the direction of the VanInwegen-Kenny, Inc. Funeral Home of Wurtsboro. For additional information or to send an online condolence, please visit www.kennyfuneralhome.com .