The annual meeting of the Pittsfield Historical Society will be held
on Tuesday, January 13. The meeting will be at their headquarters at
13 Elm Street at 7:00 PM.
Dear Pittsfield Residents,
Saturday, January 31st, 9am-12noon at the town Hall the Economic
Development Committee will be sponsoring another All Board/Committee
Forum. Refreshments will be provided. The topic for discussion is
Route 28 (its limitations, challenges and economic development
If you are interested in participating in the
discussion please contact Ted Mitchell 435-6573 or email
Ted Mitchell, Chair, EDC
Dr. Donald Jackson “Jack” Freese
January 13, 1922 – December 27, 2014
Dr. Donald Jackson “Jack” Freese died on December 27, 2014 just two
weeks short of his 93rd birthday. He fell ill after celebrating a
fine Christmas and passed at Naples Community Hospital with his
loving wife Jackie and three daughters at his side.
Jack had three true passions in life: his family, dentistry and
music. He received his D.M.D. from the Tufts University
School of Dental Medicine and served as a resident in Oral Surgery
at both Yale University in Connecticut and Columbia Presbyterian in
New York. After completing his education, he practiced for nearly
40 years in Concord, NH, where his patients not only marveled at his
skill, but also at his dedication to perfection and his true concern
for everyone he treated. He was also a fine teacher of his craft,
teaching at different times in his life at Columbia University in
New York, Tufts University in Boston, Boston University and the New
Hampshire Technical Institute For Hygenists. He was the President
of the New Hampshire Board of Dental Examiners and was also the
Chairman of the Operative Section of the American Dental
Association. In addition, he served as President of the Academy of
Operative Dentistry and Director of the New Hampshire Dental
In 1986, at the age of 64, Jack suffered a severe stroke. A man of
extremely strong will, Jack pushed himself to do whatever he needed
to do for his recovery, and moved to Naples, Fl in 1987 for the
weather. Slowly, he got better and better, and never lost his smile
through it all.
While the stroke ended his ability to practice dentistry, nothing
would ever douse his love for music. Since he had lost the dexterity
to play the saxophone to his standards, he switched to the trombone
and became quite accomplished at that instrument.
His parents, Elizabeth Sweet and George Edward Freese, instilled a
love of music in Jack’s entire family at their home in Pittsfield,
NH. From the young age of 6 until he was 17, Jack joined his
parents, brothers and sister to create The Homespun Broadcasters,
travelling across New England in the family bus to perform concerts
at music halls, churches and hospitals. At the University of New
Hampshire, he formed the school’s first jazz band, The Campus
Kittens that became the basis for the New Hampshire Wildcats, which
still plays today. At Tufts Dental School, he formed The Tooth
Jumbos named for the school’s elephant mascot. After
serving as a naval officer in charge of dentistry on the U.S.S.
Wilkes Barre, he reunited with his brothers to form The Freese
Brothers Big Band in the mid-1950s. The band was formed as a
non-profit and it raises money for music scholarships even to this
Even after the stroke and his move to Naples, Jack ensured his new
community would be rich with sound. He started two new bands, The
Gulf Coast Big Band and The Music Makers Big Show Band, enticing
dozens of local musicians to once again pick up their instruments
and perform. Whether he had a lead or supporting part in any piece,
the tapping of his foot and the smile on his face was always a sign
of how much he loved what he was doing.
That same smile extended to his family as well. In 1948, he married
the woman of his dreams, Jacqueline McNeilly. Together they raised
six children in Concord, eventually moving to a farm where Jack kept
horses and loved to ride his tractor out in the fields. The family
also enjoyed spending every summer at their cottage on Lake
Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, a tradition which still continues.
Jack is survived by his wife of 66 years, Jackie, his son Matthew,
his daughters Constance Matheson, Dorothy (David) Binswanger and Dr.
Jacqueline Freese (Dr. Steve Bengtson), his son-in-law Dr. Ted Hall,
17 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. He was preceded in
death by his son Donald J. Jr., his daughter Judith Hall and his
son-in-law Tony Matheson.
A service to honor Jack’s legacy will take place at 11:00 am on
Saturday, January 10 at the Naples United Church of Christ, 5200
Crayton Road, Naples Fl 34103.An additional service will be held in
New Hampshire at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be
sent to either The Freese Brothers Big Band c/o Peter Imse, 147 Page
Road, Bow NH, 03304 or The Music Makers Big Show Band Scholarship
Fund c/o Thomas Curcio, 1525 Weybridge Circle, Naples FL, 34110.