Rose Richman Freedman

(Suzanne's mother)

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Born in October 1912 in the Ukraine, Mother came to this country, so far as I can determine, in September 1913. She was one of ten children. Eight survived to adulthood, and Mother is the only one still living, though not really alive. Since I've included the first of my four Mexico journals on this website, I want to make it clear that the Mother Adolph and I brought to Mexico in 1999 was not the Mother I've known all my life. In fact until she was almost 80, Mother was a role model for growing old gracefully. She never missed an opportunity to dance, and she was a pied piper without a pipe. Children seemed to follow her around, and she of course loved them. She had her own nursery school for 25 years, and she taught yoga after she retired. Even as she was losing her memory, she continued to teach yoga to nursing home residents. The last class she taught was in August of 1999.

She was a reporter for the Bergen Evening Record while still in high school in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and later, she was one of the few women aviators in the 1930's.

Rose in 1922

Rose Richman, 1922

This is the earliest picture of Mother I have. The handwriting on the back reads:

Saturday night in the country, June 18, 1922. Mother promised that I would go back to dancing-school if I gained about 12 lbs. or more.

Mother always considered herself and her brother Ben the black sheep of the family. They were both political activists who supported sometimes-unpopular causes. Ben joined the Lincoln Brigade to fight Franco in the Spanish Civil War. He was an adventurer and world traveller. Here's a photo of Charles Lindbergh he sent to Mother and their sister Clara when he was living in Paris in 1927.

Photo from Ben Richman, Rose's uncle
Paris, May 27, 1927

Dear Clara & Rose,

I think it will interest you to see our compatriot with his flying machine, who, as Lindbergh himself has said, have made the famous jump New York to Paris, at Le Bourget the Paris aviation port.

Write what people are saying about the flight. Paris is giving Lindbergh a Royal Reception!

Ben Richman



But in Coach Ahead of Wrecked One.

Speaking of guardian angels that watch over one in times of great danger, take the case of the Misses Rose and Clara Richman, of Main street, Fort Lee.

Not only were they on the ill-fated subway train which was wrecked near the Times Square station in New York, but is was only by a trick of fate that they were in the coach in front of instead of the coach where the carnage and death was thickest.

Getting on at an uptown station, they had tried to enter the ill-fated car, but the automatic doors were shut while for the car in front a kindly fellow passenger held the door until the two girls could get into it.


Subway accident clipping Aug. 24, 1928
Derailment in Times Square
16 killed, 100 injured
Hudson River Bridge construction photo Standing on catwalk of Hudson
River Bridge, looking at
Hudson Day Liner
The Hudson River Bridge
Mother loved to hike. I don't know when or where this photograph was taken, certainly well before she met my father. She met my father when she was 23, and they were married about two weeks later!
Rose in the forest as a young woman

Rose and Challenger Bi-Plane

December 21, 1930, Teterboro Airport, Teterboro NJ.

Rose and airplane Rose with bi-plane Challenger Bi-Plane

Left to right: David Milter, Rose Richman, Nick Vigilante, J. Weinberg.

Rose with bi-plane

Millville NJ

Photos dated July 5, 1931

Rose with bi-plane

Before Mother met Father, she was going out with someone named Bill. Looking through her papers last week [early September 2002], I came upon this photo of her with a poem she wrote for Bill!

Rose photo and poem
We've walked over and talked over many a trail;
We've shivered and sweated in many a dale;
It's been loads of fun I'll not ever forget,
And even bumps and falls I'll never regret.

Let's hope for more of our rambles gay,
Be the skies sunny or be they gray --
A high heart and a wide smile
Reminding me of you, Bill, every mile.

And although Xmas isn't ours
Still it's apropos
To wish you luck and happiness
At any time, you know.

And when you want some cheering
A funny face will do --
So just take out my picture
And I will smile at you.

NJ Department of Aviation letter to Rose

Scan of letter

State of New Jersey
Department of Aviation
Gill Robb Wilson, Director

February 2, 1932

My Dear Miss Richman,

Thank you so much for your nice letter. You happen to be the first woman pilot residing in New Jersey who has ever had any correspondence with the State Department. Fifty years from now, when aviation is as prosaic a method of transportation as is the automobile, this fact will distinguish you from thousands of other grandmothers. May you have many happy landings until that time.


Gill Robb Wilson
Director of Aviation.

Rose with Glider Club

NYU Glider Club

Jersey City Airport

Photo dated October 29, 1933


Rose Richman and David Freedman

Rose and David Rose and David photo
Rose with family

Suzanne was five years old when this was taken.

The Freedman family in 1943

Rose, Jane (in Rose's arms), Suzanne, and David

Rose with family in 1943
Freedman family in 1945

The Freedman family in 1945

More recent photos of Rose Richman Freedman

Eli, Rose, and Josh Eli and Joshua with Rose in New York City, 1989
Rose in 1990 Rose, 1990
Suzanne and Rose at Horizon House
September 1994
Suzanne and Rose portrait
Rose photo Rose, late 1990's

Mother spent her last years in a nursing home, Emaus, asilo de ancianos, not too far from Jane's ranch. She died on July 29, 2003.

Memorial service announcement.

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Copyright © 2002 Suzanne Rosenblatt. All rights reserved.

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