FARMINGTON – William H. Freudenberger was a longtime director of the guidance department at Gorham High School and a successful soccer coach, who inspired students on and off the field.

“He was born to be a teacher,” said his wife, Mary Lou Freudenberger of Farmington. “He liked helping students. (He enjoyed) counseling them.”

He died on June 6 after a long illness. He was 81.

Mr. Freudenberger was remembered by his wife Friday as a loving, happy and generous man, who devoted his life to his family.

She talked openly about his success as a guidance counselor and coach, noting that his life could have taken a very different turn.

When he was 7 years old, his father died in the line of duty as a Philadelphia firefighter. His mother, who was unable to support him, placed him in Girard College in Philadelphia, known then as a boarding school for fatherless boys. He lived there until he was 18. He later entered the Army and served during the Korean War.

After he was discharged, he enrolled in Westchester University in Pennsylvania and was a standout on the school’s soccer team. In 1950, he led the team to a national championship title. Two years ago, he was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame.

In 1957, Mr. Freudenberger married his first wife and raised six sons, who excelled at soccer.

In 1971, the couple moved to Portland, where he joined the staff at Portland High School as a guidance counselor. He worked there briefly before taking a position in the guidance department at Gorham High School. He retired in 1991.

A year later, he married his second wife, Mary Lou Freudenberger. She chuckled Friday afternoon, reminiscing about the day they met at Gorham High School when she enrolled her daughter there.

A couple of years later, they crossed paths again when she accompanied a friend to a business meeting. He sat across from her.

His wife said they had a great life. She said he treated her four children as if they were his own.

“Family meant the world to him,” she said. “We had a wonderful marriage. We liked the same things. We had the type of relationship where we could tell each other everything, and I mean everything.”

The couple enjoyed dancing, traveling, reading, and visiting with friends and family. He also had a passion for collecting rocks.

They lived in Gorham, then moved to Canaan, where they had a house on Sibley Pond. She said he enjoyed fishing with his grandchildren there.

“He loved that place. It was very, very peaceful,” his wife said. “It was a beautiful location. The view across the pond was beautiful. We could hear the loons at night.”

Mr. Freudenberger had a series of health problems in recent years that affected his heart and kidneys. He also struggled with Alzheimer’s disease for the past three years. His wife said she will miss his laugh and his smile.

“I’m lonely,” she said. “He was my best friend. We had our ups and downs, but he was my best friend. I’m doing OK. I’m stronger than I thought I was. You do what you have to do.”

The family is planning a service at Hillside Cemetery in Gorham in July.

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

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