Sally Ann Freedman

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Sally Ann Freedman, 1961. Photo by Gainsboro Studio, Salem, MA.

Sally Ann Freedman (born May 1, 1940) is a former beauty queen, professional model, and band vocalist. As Miss Massachusetts USA,[1] she competed in the Miss Universe contest held in Long Beach, California in 1958. Her previous titles included Miss Essex County 1955,[2][3] Miss Sea Nymph 1956,[4] Miss Hampton Beach 1957,[5] and Miss New England Ballroom 1958.[6] In 1961, she was the talent winner and one of the five finalists in the Miss Sun Fun USA pageant[7] held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.[8][9]

Early life[edit]

During her early years, Freedman trained as a dancer at the Alice P. Duffee Dance Studio in Salem, Massachusetts. With the school's professional troupe she performed for several years throughout the North Shore.[10] After graduating from the Academie Moderne in Boston, a finishing school founded by Mildred Albert, she began a modeling career.[11] She joined the Hart Model Agency in Boston and worked as a fashion and photography model throughout college.[12][13][14][15][16]

Her career as a vocalist carried her throughout New England. She sang with orchestras led by Bob Batchelder,[17] Ted Herbert,[18] and Earle Harris.[19] They played at popular ballrooms of the day including the Totem Pole Ballroom in Norumbega Park, Auburndale; Commodore Ballroom in Lowell, Massachusetts; Carousel Ballroom in Manchester, New Hampshire; Rockingham Ballroom in Newmarket, New Hampshire; Canobie Lake Ballroom in Salem, New Hampshire; and Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. In December 1959, she performed with the Earle Harris Orchestra at the Oceanview Ballroom in Revere Beach, Massachusetts. They were the last band to play the popular establishment before it was destroyed by fire.[20] Freedman also performed throughout the Greater Boston area with the Harry Marshard Society Orchestra.[21]

While pursuing graduate studies in Washington, D.C., Freedman continued her singing career. With orchestras and her own small combo, the Commanders, she performed at country clubs as well as civic, military, and social galas.[22] The venues included the Sheraton-Park, Shoreham, Statler-Hilton, and Mayflower Hotel.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Freedman was raised in Peabody, Massachusetts. Upon graduation from Peabody High School, she attended Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, majoring in sociology. She graduated magna cum laude and valedictorian[24] and went on to pursue graduate studies in sociology for two years at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She then became a teacher and left behind her singing career. "I love music," she [told a reporter], "but when I turned to teaching I sort of found myself entering another stage of my life. Somehow, I didn't think that teaching and entertaining were compatible. By today's standards, I suppose that no one would think anything of the combination."[25]

Freedman taught at Peabody High School, Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner, Massachusetts, and North Shore Community College in Beverly, Massachusetts. She served as research assistant to Charles F. Westoff, Ph.D., Princeton University, and Raymond H. Potvin, Ph.D., Catholic University, for College Women and Fertility Values (1967). In 1968, she married Eugene F. Connolly, who served for many years as Professor and Professor Emeritus at Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill, Massachusetts.[26][27] They settled in Danvers, Massachusetts, where they raised their four children: a son and three daughters. After earning a master's degree in Guidance and Counseling from Salem State College in 1980, she worked at North Shore Technical High School in Middleton, Massachusetts for twenty-one years as a guidance counselor. She is past president of Northeast Counselors Association. Since 1994, she has served as editor of the Counselor's Notebook,[28] the monthly publication of the Massachusetts School Counselors Association. In 2011, she was recipient of a MASCA 50th Anniversary Tribute Award.

After the death of her husband of thirty-seven years, Freedman found solace in creating a literary scrapbook of her husband's writings.[29][30] Her husband had written: "One of the peculiarities of death is that it can stop the breath, but it cannot still the voice of one we love."[31] She captured that voice in her self-published book and helped to perpetuate his legacy.[32] In the process, Freedman discovered a new creative outlet: writing. She continued to pen articles about health, education, and lifestyle issues, and she became a regular contributor to her community newspaper, The Danvers Herald.[33] Her columns are now syndicated nationally through Senior Wire News Service.[34] Online she writes for Her books include:

  • A Boy from Lawrence: The Collected Works of Eugene F. Connolly (2005)[35]
  • Never Better: All Things Considered (2007)[36]
  • Matters on My Mind: MOMM (2011)[37]
  • More on My Mind: MOMM (2012)[38]
  • More that Matters (2013)[39]


  1. ^ "Miss Massachusetts USA/Miss Massachusetts Teen USA".
  2. ^ "Daughter Of Local Businessman Winner of Beauty Contest". (September 14, 1955). The Chelsea Record.
  3. ^ The Topsfield Fair Presents the Miss Essex County Scholarship Pageant: 20th Anniversary (1970). Miss America Pageant.
  4. ^ "Bay Stater 'Miss Sea Nymph' ". (August 15, 1956). The Beachcomber, XXIX, 8, p.1.
  5. ^ "Miss Hampton Beach 1957". (August 7, 1957). AP Wirephoto. Boston Traveler.
  6. ^ Rugg, Eddie (April 10, 1959). "Let's Go Dancing: Leonetti Set for Varsity Club". Boston Evening American.
  7. ^ Sun Fun USA.
  8. ^ Myrtle Beach News. (June 13, 1961). 27, No. 4, p.1.
  9. ^ "Peabody Girl Wins Sun Fun Talent Contest". (June 16, 1961). The Salem Evening News.
  10. ^ "Alice P. Duffee Presents Her Dancers". (May 22, 1957). The Salem Evening News.
  11. ^ Boston Sunday Herald, Rotagravure Section. (September 2, 1956). Cover photo.
  12. ^ Boston Sunday Herald, Rotagravure Section. (July 26, 1959). Cover photo.
  13. ^ New York Journal-American. (April 11, 1959). UPI photo: "Just Looking".
  14. ^ "New England Cheesecake, Florida Style". (May 1959). Florida Newspaper News and Radio Digest. XXXX, No. 4, pp. 1, 3, 4.
  15. ^ Personally Speaking: Spring Fashion Show". (May 1, 1960). Lynn Sunday Post.
  16. ^ "Merrimack College ‘Career Girl' of 1961". (May 18, 1961). The Peabody Times.
  17. ^ Rugg, Eddie (July 2, 1960). "Let's Go Dancing: Glenn Miller Band at Casino". Boston Daily Record.
  18. ^ Rugg, Eddie (September 1, 1961). "Let's Go Dancing: Miller, Puente Bands Dell-Ru Stars". Boston Evening American.
  19. ^ Rugg, Eddie (October 24, 1959). "Let's Go Dancing: James Slated for Commodore". Boston Daily Record.
  20. ^ Rugg, Eddie (December 19, 1959). "Let's Go Dancing: Coral Gables Due Good Crowd". Boston Daily Record.
  21. ^ Meaney, Edward T. "Beauty queen still reigns". Daily Evening Item of Lynn. Reprinted in NECC Observer (October 13, 1977), p. 13.
  22. ^ Music Newsletter (January 1963). Stephen Lesieur's Music (Sheraton-Park Hotel, Washington, D.C.), p.1.
  23. ^ Music Newsletter (January 1963).
  24. ^ "Brains As Well As Beauty: Assets of Freedman Sisters". (June 26, 1961). The Chelsea Record.
  25. ^ Meaney, Edward T.
  26. ^ Hendey, Lisa M. "Getting to Know a Good Man". Retrieved 2010-7-09.
  27. ^ Pinto, Nick (October 13, 2006). "When death link strangers". The Daily Newburyport News, p. 1.
  28. ^ Counselor's Notebook.
  29. ^ Fearer, Myrna (November 16, 2005). "Creating a lasting tribute of love". Retrieved 2010-07-09.
  30. ^ Weber, Kerry (September 10, 2007). "Single, Catholic, connecting to God--U.S. singles outnumbering married, with many finding spiritual meaning". Retrieved 2010-07-09.
  31. ^ Fearer, Myrna.
  32. ^ Fearer, Myrna.
  33. ^, Retrieved 2010-07-09.
  34. ^ Senior Wire. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
  35. ^ A Boy from Lawrence: The Collected Works of Eugene F. Connolly. ISBN 978-0-9772653-1-2.
  36. ^ Never Better: All Things Considered. ISBN 978-0-9772653-2-9.
  37. ^ Matters on My Mind: MOMM. ISBN 978-0-9772653-5-0.
  38. ^ More on My Mind.
  39. ^ More that Matters.

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