Freda Tanz (1923-2023)

May 18, 2023

Freda Tanz

Freda Tanz (née Gerson), born in Pittsburgh, PA, died on March 3, 2023, at the age of 99. Freda was married to Lincoln vet Alfred Leo Tanz, who pre-deceased her in 2000, and with whom she shared her love and political activism. Freda was previously married to Gilbert D. Olmstead in Los Angeles in February 1949, one of the first interracial marriages to occur in California, following the California Supreme Court ruling that the prohibition of interracial marriage was unconstitutional. Freda´s children of that marriage are Sydney O. Williams (Lance) of Los Angeles and Mark Olmstead, of Hilo, Hawaii. Freda worked for many years as a legal secretary. After searching for her kind of place following Al’s death, Freda chose to live in Berkeley, CA.

Freda remained active in ALBA until a few years ago. She always remembered that the Good Fight is never won, and the battle must go on. Her numerous friends admired her unremitting activism and stalwart understanding of political issues. She suffered no fools. Freda will be greatly missed by many in Northern California. Besides her two children she leaves five grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and nieces, nephews and cousins throughout the country. Her family mourns her loss but celebrates her spirit. May her memory be a blessing.