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Home » Campus News Latest » Obituaries » Roberta “Bobbie” Borman ’54

Roberta “Bobbie” Borman, 90, died October 12, 2022, in Silverdale, Washington, after a long and eventful life filled with family, friends and books. Bobbie was born on December 13, 1931, in South Portland, Maine to George and Isalee Henry. She grew up in a close-knit extended family, aunts and uncles were babysitters, and cousins were her best friends. Her father was a mortician and Bobbie and her brother George (Skeet) loved to tell tales of growing up in a funeral home to their children and grandchildren.

Bobbie graduated from South Portland High School at eighteen and moved to Yellow Springs, Ohio to attend Antioch College. Antioch was not just a college to Bobbie, it was where she met and married fellow student Stan Friedman. Bobbie graduated from Antioch, and she and Stan went on to have three sons. Those sons and a granddaughter would eventually graduate from Antioch and the family has remained intertwined with the college to this day.

Bobbie followed her husband to Rochester, New York where he attended medical school. They moved around as his career as a research doctor developed and as their three sons Rick, Jeff and Ken grew up. Once her sons were in school, Bobbie obtained her master’s in library science, and embarked on her own career as a school librarian and, although the author of this obituary is a bit biased, she may have been one of the best school librarians who ever lived. Lucy Maud Montgomery, Judy Blume and Steven Kellog were some of her favorite children’s book authors, but Bobbie made it her personal mission to find books for every single child she knew. After a brief conversation with a child or young adult, she would have an entire reading list composed of books she thought they might enjoy – and she was usually right!

She and Stan eventually divorced, but the pair remained close as they enjoyed the successes of their three sons, their daughters-in-law, and their grandchildren. Later, Bobbie met and married Carl Borman, a retired naval officer. Never one to leave anyone out, Bobbie immediately set to work making Carl’s children and grandchildren her own. Anyone visiting her home over the past 20 years would be greeted with photos of her countless grandchildren, step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren plastering the refrigerator and propped up in frames on every surface. Well into her 80’s, she kept in close contact with all her family members and could tell you where everyone lived, where they worked or went to school and, of course, what books they were reading.

Bobbie was preceded in death by her brother George, her ex-husband Stan Friedman and her husband Carl Borman. She is survived by her three sons Richard Friedman, Jeffrey Friedman, and Kenneth Friedman, as well as her stepchildren Carla Ferrell, Linda Adamo, Gina Rickman, David Borman and Cristopher Borman. She is also survived by her daughters-in-law Kirsten, Jeanne, and Jane, her nephews and nieces Martha, Craig, Bob, and Ruth, her cousin Eleanor, as well as countless grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and extended family members.