VALE: ‘Our Pop’ Robert ‘Doug’ Freudenstein

I’m really humbled to be representing Pop’s grandchildren today. 

Robert Douglas Freudenstein was known to most of you as Doug, and many of you as Freudy.

To his 5 grandchildren he was always and only known as Pop. 

I’ve always been happy to talk about Pop. He was a giant in my eyes. I absolutely adored him. 

Pop had 5 grandchildren; Sally and James, my sister Nadia and I, and Tori.

I’ve reached out to my cousins and sister in recent days to share memories of Pop.

I’m really humbled to be representing Pop’s grandchildren today.

Katrina Dowton (Granddaughter)

Sally reminded me that he called her ‘Polly’ and, in fact, referred to all of his granddaughters as Polly at one time or another. 

James reflected that Pop was not only a grandfather, but also a good friend. 

We all spoke of a hardworking, generous, kind and community-centric man.

Qualities that would ring true to anyone who knew Pop. I’m here to talk about Pop as a grandfather. 

Pop was my father figure and I was always eager for his approval. 

I didn’t introduce a boyfriend to Pop until I was 28 years old. Anyone on the scene earlier wouldn’t have made the cut. 

Overwhelmingly I remember Pop as fun.

Mum tells me that Pop was the disciplinarian when she and Stuart were young.

They would appeal to Nanna to intervene as the voice of reason. 

I understand that his resolve softened somewhat by the time the twins, Kay and Joy, had arrived.

Nanna was stepping in more often to make sure the twins were towing the line. 

By the time the grandkids were in the picture there has been a full role reversal in the good cop/bad cop routine. 

Pop was the fun one who used to let us ride on the back of the ute, climb on grain silos and slide down ramps under the woolshed on our bottoms.

Apparently Pop once let me ride on a piece of farm machinery called a ‘thrasher’.

I fell off and banged my head and Pop got in trouble with Nanna. Nanna meanwhile fulfilled a crucial role, telling us to ‘hold on’ or insisting that we were wearing sunscreen or a jumper.

When I was older Pop teased me for being vegetarian ( offering me the best cut of meat every time I visited) and poked fun at my hairstyles. In my mid-teens I arrived in Grenfell with a nose-ring, which Pop made a grab for as he was hugging me goodbye. 

I have lots of little stories of Pop.

I don’t know how much they would mean to anyone but Pop and I. In a way, no one story seems more important than another. 

One memory that I have returned to several times is Pop teaching my sister to ride his motorbike near the pepper tree at The Ranch.

He patiently showed her the ropes, reassured her, and waited for her to make her move – under close supervision. 

Nadia took off and rode with confidence until she realised that Pop was no longer holding onto the back of the bike. 

She thought that he would run behind her, though he never promised to. 

As we say goodbye to Pop today, I know that he has shown us the ropes as well as anyone can.

Katrina Dowton


The late Robert Douglas Freudenstein.

The late Robert Douglas Freudenstein.