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April 5, 1939 – Dec. 18, 2012

Freddie Mae Fordham, of the Town of Tonawanda, a retired Buffalo teacher and active churchwoman, died Tuesday. She was 73.

Born Freddie Mae Harris in Clarksdale, Miss., she graduated from high school in Kansas City, Kan., and attended Kansas City Junior College before receiving her bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1961 from Kansas State Teachers College at Emporia, now Emporia State University. She earned master’s degrees from Emporia and the University at Buffalo.

Mrs. Fordham taught in the Wichita, Kan., schools from 1962 until 1970, when she moved to Buffalo, where she taught for 28 years at Buffalo’s BUILD Academy. At the academy, she was a member of the policy board and education committee.

She received numerous honors and awards as a teacher, including the Jayne Kadney Award as a supervisor of student teachers.

She taught Sunday school for 16 years at Bethel AME Church and was Sunday school superintendent for 10 years. She assisted with the youth choir and was president of the Bethel AME Federal Credit Union for eight years. She also assisted several seniors from the congregation, taking them shopping and to appointments and church functions.

After joining her daughter and granddaughter in First Shiloh Baptist Church in 1997, she was active in the seniors ministry.

In retirement, Mrs. Fordham assisted her husband in organizing historical papers for microfilming. Her husband of 52 years, Monroe, a retired Buffalo State College history professor, died in June.

Surviving are two daughters, Cynthia Woods and Pamela; a son, Barry; a sister, Willie Ethel “Pudd” Dyer; and a brother, Woodrow Harris.

Her family will receive friends from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday in First Shiloh Baptist Church, 15 Pine St., where a service will follow at noon.