Carroll Freeze, ex-Newsday assistant, dies

Carroll A. Freeze, a longtime administrative assistant for

Carroll A. Freeze, a longtime administrative assistant for public affairs at Newsday, died Friday of esophageal cancer at her Babylon home. She was 80. (Credit: Scott Freeze)

As a longtime administrative assistant for public affairs at Newsday, Carroll A. Freeze helped orchestrate a plethora of events on Long Island and in Manhattan, including sailboat races and dinners at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

It was a job that suited her, friends and family say. Freeze was described as an easygoing perfectionist with a warm, yet reserved, demeanor and an air of sophistication.

She died Friday of esophageal cancer at her Babylon home. She was 80.

"She was so proud of the work that she was able to do and the people that she worked with," said her daughter, Allison Freeze Major, 52, of Winchester, Va. "She loved the newspaper industry. She loved it -- that was who she was."

The former Carroll Schuh was born April 4, 1932, in Mineola. Her father was a boilermaker at the Brooklyn Navy Yard who died of prostate cancer when she was about 13, prompting her mother, who never remarried, to take up work in a bakery.

An older sister, Eleanor Ross, died about six years ago.

Freeze graduated from Mineola High School in 1949 and received a degree from the Packard School, a secretarial school in Manhattan, and soon after landed a job at an entertainment booking agency.

She met Harold W. Freeze Jr. on a double date (they were not each other's dates). They married in 1955 and had two children. Freeze put her career on hold to be a stay-at-home mom. The Freeze family home was a sort of neighborhood hub, with her children's friends visiting frequently, relatives said. After school most days, they arrived home to freshly baked cookies or brownies.

"She really was devoted to her children," said Harold Freeze, 83. "We always had a house full of kids. They loved coming over here. They were treated nicely. She always accepted them for who they were."

But work life beckoned and, as her children grew older, Freeze began working at Newsday in the late 1970s, then at New York Newsday until the early 1990s. Later, she worked as an assistant at a publishing house before retiring at 68. Occasionally she did contingency work at Newsday when other administrative assistants were out on personal or medical time.

"All the executives wanted her," said Pery Michalakis, a former executive assistant to the publisher at Newsday for 30 years. "They would say, 'Call Carroll Freeze first . . .' She was top of the line. They all really liked her."

In addition to her daughter and husband, Freeze is survived by a son, Scott Freeze, 49, of Mooresville, N.C., and seven grandchildren.

There will be a private cremation ceremony. A memorial will be held at her home on Aug. 12. 

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