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In Memoriam: Dr. Coburn Freer, former Department Head

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 2:10pm
Coburn Freer

Wilbert Coburn Freer passed away February 26, 2019, in the Episcopal Church Home, Rochester, NY. He was born in the French Quarter, New Orleans, LA, to Lillian Hicks Glascock and Bruce Glascock on November 5, 1939. 

He grew up in Portland, OR, graduated from Roosevelt High School, received BAs in Mathematics and English Literature (Lewis and Clark College), and a Doctorate in English (University of Washington). He taught English and Creative Writing at University of Arizona; University of Montana; University of Oulu (Finland); University of London (England); and University of Georgia, where he served as Department Head (English) and from which he retired as Professor Emeritus.

Throughout his forty-year career he wrote, and presented at conferences, numerous scholarly papers on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English literature, and wrote two books (Johns Hopkins Press), Music for a King: George Herbert’s Style and the Metrical Psalms (1972), and The Poetics of Jacobean Drama (1981). He received both National Endowment of the Arts and Fulbright grants.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years, Ramona; daughter, Meagan (Dan), their children, Anneli, Davin, and Kalen, of Kingston, Ontario; daughter, Elinor (David), and their children, Alina and Nathaniel, of Rochester, NY. He is also survived by a brother, Frank Freer (Susan), nieces Mary Ellen (Allan) and Diane (Steve) of Portland, OR, and a half sister, Toni (Ragnar), of Tyler, TX. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Nature Conservancy or the George Eastman Museum.


The English Department Newsletter solicits your memories of Dr. Freer for inclusion in our spring issue. Please send your thoughts to Dr. Roxanne Eberle (

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