Cindy Freeman worked in a job that required excellent networking skills.
Fortunately for her and the people she met, she had them.
The 57-year-old woman, from Land O’ Lakes, succumbed to her battle with esophageal cancer on Aug. 29. Her funeral services were on Sept. 2, at Loyless Funeral Home in Land O’ Lakes.
Freeman worked as the membership coordinator for The Greater Wesley Chamber of Commerce, helping new members become familiar with the community and helping established members make new connections.
She sincerely cared about helping others succeed, friends of Freeman said, during recent interviews.
So, when the 57-year-old woman from Land O’ Lakes became ill, her absence from Wesley Chapel functions was noticeable, said Ghada Jadallah, the chef for Dash of Salt ‘n Pepper, a catering business with a coffee shop at Pasco-Hernando State College.
Jadallah described Freeman as “the kindest person” who would “do anything to help you.”
“She helped me in every possible way somebody could help me,” Jadallah said, noting Freeman often helped Jadallah make connections with people who needed catering services.
Freeman’s help made a difference, Jadallah added.
“I was like, ‘Oh, my God, this woman is such a beautiful creature.’ She really cared. That’s why I loved her so much,” Jadallah added.
When Jadallah learned that Freeman was ill, she wanted to deliver meals to her. But, she found out that Freeman couldn’t eat.
Freeman’s death was a tremendous loss for Hope Allen, the chamber’s executive director.
“Her heart was good — she was an amazing asset to our organization,” Allen said.
“Every member, every day. That was our slogan,” Allen said. “Some days it was just one member, but she went above and beyond to help anyone she could.”
“She was so giving. So giving of her time. Of anything, she was just giving,” Allen said.
“It was a big loss for a lot of people. She definitely was well thought of, and loved.”
Valerie Rudmin, owner of Everlasting Beauty, met Freeman through the chamber.
“She was so caring and so nice to everybody. She made everybody feel at home, when you met her,” Rudmin said.
“She was always there for the ribbon cuts. She was a real genuine person. She wasn’t a phony. Everybody just adored this woman.
“She really felt like it was her job to connect people together and to introduce people,” said Rudmin, who is an ambassador for the chamber.
Freeman’s death was a jolt, she said.
“This is just totally shocking. I can’t believe she’s actually gone,” Rudmin said.
While Freeman was struggling with cancer, a GoFundMe account was set up to help with expenses.
Now, her friends are stepping forward to help cover funeral costs and other expenses.
Jadallah, who provided the food after Freeman’s funeral, said there was talk before Freeman died to host a fundraiser to benefit her and her family.
She hopes that still will happen.
“I hope all of Wesley Chapel comes together and does something (to help),” Jadallah said.
Freeman is survived by her husband, Kenneth Freeman; her son, Aaron Freijomel; her daughter, Morgan Beeler; her brothers, Nelo Jr. and Tony; her sisters, Gale and Kim; and, a grandchild, Brady.
Those wishing to help can do so at Cindy Freeman’s GoFundMe account, at GoFundMe.com/b7z26v5c.
Or, they can drop off donations at the Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce, 6013 Wesley Grove Blvd.
Published September 9, 2015