Alison Dwyer

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 3:40 pm

Alison Dwyer, 55, of Decorah, died Wednesday morning, Oct. 14, 2015, at her home in Decorah. Memorial services were at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18, at First Lutheran Church in Decorah, with Rev. Chad Huebner officiating. There was no visitation. Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah served the family. Online condolences may be made at Organist was Lindsey Lund. Congregational hymns were “Borning Cry,” “Now the Green Blade Rises” and “Amazing Grace.”

Alison Dwyer was born Nov. 19, 1959, in Concord, Mass., just across the road from Thoreau’s Walden Pond. She was the daughter of Marilyn (Habel) and Warren Dwyer of Brunswick, Maine. She earned an undergraduate degree in English and archaeology from St. Lawrence University and an MA in historical archaeology from the University of Massachusetts at Boston. She worked for many years as a contract archaeologist across New England and, among her many professional accomplishments, discovered the site of Thoreau’s bean field. In July of 1995, Alison married Philip Freeman on a beautiful summer’s day on the coast of Maine. They were blessed with two children, Connor and Mackenzie Freeman, who were the joy of her life. In 1997, Alison left New England to follow her husband and his new job to St. Louis, Mo., where they lived as resident house masters on campus at Washington University. Alison was well-loved there as a friend of students in her residence hall and the baker of countless batches of chocolate chip cookies. In 2004, Alison moved with her husband and two small children to Decorah. Although far from the beloved sea of her native New England, Alison loved the small town in which she made so many wonderful friends. She happily worked for a number of years as a curator at the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum. But as fond as she was of Decorah, she returned with her family every summer to her family’s cottage at Deer Isle, Maine to breathe the ocean air and enjoy the sound of the waves on the shore. Alison passed away on Wednesday morning, Oct. 14, 2015, at her home, surrounded by the love of her family and friends after a long and courageous battle with cancer that was an example for many of determination and grace.

She is survived by her son, Connor Freeman; her daughter, Mackenzie Freeman; her husband, Philip Freeman; her mother, Marilyn Dwyer; and her brother, Stuart Dwyer.

She was preceded in death by her father, Warren Dwyer.

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